Monday, June 30, 2014

Cyber Seniors and Constitutional Controversy

In class today we analyzed Supreme Court cases that had to do with the abridgment of free speech in certain instances. Some instances include Brandenberg v. Ohio (a case involving a Klu Klux Klan member) and New York Times v. The United States (a case that had to do with the release of top secret files concerning the Vietnam War). It was interesting to learn about the New York Times v. The United States case because at the time it was a national scandal and Daniel Ellsberg, the man who obtained the top secret files, was in a lot of danger for trying to spread news about the Vietnam War. Aside from the in-class curriculum, one of my classmates mentioned the latest Supreme Court case ruling in the Hobby Lobby case which ruled that under Obamacare, religious for-profit employers with religious concerns can opt-out of providing contraception. Seeing in class a progressive view of the Supreme Court  rulings and how it has evolved over the years considering free speech rulings, I think the ruling involving contraception can be seen as a parallel to it. I think that in the future, cases involving abortion will evolve and become broader, leaving a different interpretation of the Constitution in the same way that free speech is protected under broader definitions than when compared to the first cases involving the conflict between people and government.

At lunch, I volunteered at the Community Outreach table for the Cyber Seniors program. A group of about seven of us got together on Friday to discuss the topic of helping senior citizens become more familiar with working computers. I gave a short presentation on using Word Document and other people presented on password safety, captcha codes, social media, etc. Everyone there was very attentive and incredibly kind. It was so much fun being able to help them and speak to them on a one-on-one level. It was a great experience and I felt important whenever Frank came around to snap pictures with his camera or Kathy interjected to ask a tough question. Aside from teaching about computers, I spoke to a few people at the senior citizens center about the ILC and what it has done for me. The people I spoke to were very supportive and overall awesome. I had a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to doing it again next Monday.
The Cyber Seniors crew! Not including some of the camera shy folks.
Toward the end of the day, I was going over my reading on Low Steps and struck a conversation with some really nice people from New York that are also in Columbia's high school program. Their names were Erika and Elliot and they reminded me of some of my friends back home. Today was a productive and fun day!

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