Our class discussion revolved round George Bush’s presidency. When he was president, I was still fairly young and I did not keep up with politics. I remember hearing people criticize his presidency especially when it came to taxes and war, but I finally learned why there was so much criticism regarding his terms. The author was slightly biased in his writing. It was clear that he was not a fan, however, that doesn’t take away the substance from his article.
President Bush ignored the Geneva Conventions, denied the writ of Habeas Corpus, ordered the NSA to tap into conversations, and abused his use of signing statements. His administration claimed that the Geneva Conventions could be ignored because this was a new type of war. He said that the Geneva Conventions could not be applied to this situation because it was a war on terror. My classmates and I started to analyze the four situations presented and tried to pitch arguments for both sides. Overall, the president expanded the power of the executive branch because he gave himself the right to overrule any other branch of the government. Even when congress overwhelmingly passed a bill, he would issue signing statements that would essentially make the bill useless. This poses the issue that future presidents will follow in his footsteps and abuse their power.
After discussion, we had another guest speaker! Ms.Kelly Dougherty, a former intern for Obama and current director of a workforce development agency spoke to us. She met Obama when he was a senator in Chicago. She said that even then, people had suspicions that he would run for president and he was like a celebrity whenever he went out. All of her experience has given her a chance to take part in the country at the national, state, and local levels. She chose to be in the workforce development because she prefers being able to work closely with many people, instead of being in one area with other interns and a small amount of politicians.
A while later, she lead the class in a case study about the citi bikes in New York. Citi bikes is a bike rental system that's offered in parts of New York. Former NY Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, strongly supported the idea. We were split into teams of two to come up with why or why not the mayor, businesses, police force, and community would want this program.
Aside from class, I watched Les Miserables with Lisa and a group of other Columbia students. Most of the people that went were also at the Philharmonic Concert. The musical started with Jean Valjean in prison. In comparison to Wicked, Les Miz had a lot more powerful singers, different set changes, and a more balanced cast. All the cast members had a chance to sing and most of them had their own solos whereas the two witches sang the majority of Wicked.
|Before the show started!|
The story in Les Miz was a lot more touching too. Jean Valjean promised to take care of someone's daughter and the musical showed his growth as a person. He started off as a convict who even stole from a priest, but went on to saving lives and doing good deeds in the future. I'm glad Ms.Thrift debriefed the story for me in advanced! It would have been really confusing otherwise. My favorite song was "I Dreamed a Dream". Melissa O'Neil, the actress who played Fantine, had such a strong voice. She was belting out high notes throughout the song. A few members of the cast were under ten years-old! Their singing sounded too large to match their bodies. There were some comedic parts in between the meaningful parts too. One of the scenes had so many sound effects to help depict the war that was going on. Cast members were being shot to death and some of the people around me were so touched that they started to tear up. I'm elated to have watched Les Miz during this trip!
Time continues to tick as all of these events happen. The cohort was at El Cerrito High not too long ago; now we have three more days left. The cohort talked about this in the morning and I realized that I don't even remember what my room back home looks like. I'm becoming more and more attached to New York City. I really wish I could stop time or go back to the beginning of the program again. Until some type of time machine is developed, I think i'll just stick to cherishing the last remaining days.