Tuesday, July 3, 2012


My morning was nothing special; it followed my usual routine and nothing more. 

Luke was the one who taught today's morning class. He began the class with a discussion about what it means to do the right thing versus having the right to do something. By the end of the discussion, our class had decided that "doing the right thing" is doing what you believe is morally correct, whereas "having the right do so something" is something that is deemed legal by the government due to morality of the action being considered either neutral or correct. 

Instead of going over our homework like we usually do, we applied the evidence and holdings from the cases and applied them to hypothetical cases. One of the hypothetical cases that we "defended" was Smut v. Prudeville. In the case, the defendant Sally Smut, a photographer who enjoyed posting her racy photographs  both inside and outside her home, was being prosecuted by the people of Prudeville for the public display of obscene material. Using the reasoning from the cases Roth v. United States, Miller v. California, and Paris Adult Theater v. Slaton, the class was able properly defend Ms. Smut's case. 

After class, I decided to eat quickly and then rest up for my next class, instead of studying. I'm glad to say that I made the right choice, because I returned to class a lot more well rested than usual. 

During the afternoon class, Jerrfery announced our debate groups and topics. My group consists of my roommate Lizzy, as well as four of my other classmates,Caroline, Mac Tan, and Brenno, Our debate topic is the following: 

Case One: Smith v. California

Rita Smith was upset and angry after her son died in the line of duty in Iraq. She joined an anti-war group and participated in a protest in San Francisco, During the protest, Rita burned of flag of the US. No one was injured in by the fire. The police, who ere nearby making sure the protest would not get out of control, arrested Rita and other members of her group for disorderly conduct. Rita is suing the state for violating her first amendment rights. 
For the debate, we will be representing the State of California. Our debates shall include a 6 minute opening speech, a Q&A session between the two sides with each side asking the other four questions in total, and then finally a 5 minute closing statement. The rest of the class period was spent in the library, conducting research. Initially, researching for our side was somewhat frustrating--all efforts at suppressing flag burning or similar offenses had been deemed unconstitutional under the claim that they violate the first amendment, but after further research we found some arguments that may just help us win the case. I would like to keep those arguments a surprise--mainly because Lucas and Lenny are on the opposite team! My team and I continued our research until 4:00 PM and we disbanded with our respective assignments in hand.  

At 6:00 PM, the others and I met with Mrs. L in Times Square in order to take a boat cruise on the Circle Line Cruise! I had never been on a boat before, let alone a boat cruise so the trip was an entirely new experience to me!  The cruise was a round-trip sail along the Hudson River and New York Bay. While on the cruise, we enjoyed a leisure dinner of hot dogs and nachos as we took in the glorious sights so the view before us. 

The boat cruise was fantastic and I would really like to go on another one someday. Not only was I able to catch a few glimpses of both New York and New Jersey, but I was also able to learn a little more about New York's history as well. I would also like to mention that was able to meet my personal goal of not getting seasick! This evening was really great and one of my favorite parts of the trip thus far. I just hope that tomorrow's holiday will be just as great!

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