Thursday, July 10, 2014

Wanting to Go Back in Time

Although there's one more day of class, today felt like it was already the last day because it's our last day of discussing articles and working in the libraries. Like always, we discussed our article which was actually one of my favorites out of the 14 articles we've read. It was about empathy and how several president's have used it to their advantage. Lincoln had strong levels of empathy towards American people because he faced a lot of the same struggles as "the common man". His dad would make him work several jobs while Lincoln could not keep any of the money. He witnessed slaves being beaten at a young age too, so he empathized for slaves. The author specifically stressed the difference between empathy and sympathy. Empathy is being able to put yourself in the other person's shoes and feeling the same way as them while sympathy is feeling bad for someone else.

The other three presidents mentioned were Clinton, Bush, and Obama. Clinton learned to empathize with others, but critics say that his empathy came off as artificial. On the other hand, Bush lacked empathy and was criticized for being cold-hearted. After Hurricane Katrina, he didn't give much attention to the issue until he was criticized. He later on visited New Orleans to prove critics wrong. Lastly, Obama has been the first president to openly voice that empathy is needed. One of the reasons he chose now Sonia Sotomayor to be a justice is because he felt that she would be empathetic towards common people. Unlike other justices, Justice Sotomayor had a difficult childhood and understood what it's like to grow up in the face of adversity. For my second half of class, I talked to the TA about my paper and adjusted a few sentences.

For lunch, I went Kendall and Emily to Massawa, an Ethiopian restaurant. Four current Columbia students, Beulah, Heather, Emerald, and Elie joined us and Ms.Thrift. I sat across from Eula and talked to her for the majority of the lunch. To my surprise, Eula was a part of the ILC and studied Presidential Powers too! We meet a lot of students and alumni at lunches and dinners, but most of them weren't a part of the ILC during their high school careers. We talked about college in general, student life, and the Presidential Powers course. She had the same twenty page paper as an assignment too! Eula was really honest about how she felt about Columbia and didn't sugar coat anything. She told Kendal and I that there are times where she doesn't feel accepted by every single group at Columbia, and I think that's true for all schools; it's just that other students haven't openly said that. We continued to chat as we ate the Ethiopian food. It was my first time trying it and I liked the meats and toppings. The bread was a little sour for my liking, but otherwise, it was fun to scoop up toppings with pieces of dough.

Heather, Elie, and Beulah
Going back to campus, I received a text from my RA. The message said that we all need to be out of our rooms by 12 on Saturday. I know that we only have one full day left, but I haven't been able to accept that reality yet. I'm at the point where I don't even remember what my room back home looks like. I know I'm going to miss walking right off campus and taking a subway to anywhere in New York City. I won't be able to walk past the beautiful Low or Butler library anymore. My hallmates and I had to meet with the RA to discuss check-out plans too. Everything is going by so quickly, we're just sad that this has to end so soon!

In terms of my paper, I've finished all the requirements, but I'm adding more of my own opinions and expanding on points that I've made. I thought I was done, but my RA gave me a lot of comments that made me think from an Iranians perspective. My paper is about the Iranian Hostage Crisis and looking back at it now, I might have shown a little bias towards America. Most of the changes are quick fixes though, so it didn't take me long to make the revisions.

Just to end the night on a fun note, we took the subway to Momofuku Milk Bar. There's a few of them inn New York and Toronto, but my friend Cassie said that we went to the original shop. I bought a cereal milk ice cream, birthday truffles, and a confetti cookie. I haven't had the other two yet, but the cereal milk ice cream was pretty good. We have a little over a day left and we're going to make sure we don't waste any time!
Momofuku Milk Bar!

Anne, Cassie, and I

1 comment:

  1. I believe our political system often lacks empathy, so I'm glad that your professor saved a day to talk about that with you. Empathy with foreigners is often seen as unpatriotic, for instance, and empathy for the poor is viewed by some as enabling a "moocher" class. Yet, empathy in leadership of any kind can make the world so much better--whether it be in foreign policy, domestic policy or just in a common workplace environment.

    I'm also so glad you had the chance to talk with Beulah about her journey from being an ILCer to being a Columbia student. You may make a similar journey! Maybe in a few years, you will be the one that will be talking with new ILCers over lunch! I hope I get to see that!