Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Very Wet Day

Today marked the midpoint of our time at Columbia University. It’s a strange feeling to know that I am already halfway done with the program. In some ways, it seems as though I’ve just arrived. On the other hand, I’ve made so many great friendships and learned so much. Regardless, I’m happy to be here. I will make the most of the rest of my time there. It will be exciting to see what the next week and a half have in store.

Today was a busy day in class. This morning we discussed the cases assigned for yesterday’s reading. These cases involved religion, in particular religion in schools. In two cases, schools tried to institute a time for prayer in the morning. The Supreme Court instituted a series of tests to determine whether this was allowed. They decided that it was not and that it was in violation of the Establishment Clause.

In another case, the governments of two different states provided funds for religious schools. The money was intended for only secular purposes, but the Supreme Court still ruled the funding unconstitutional. A justice argued that there was no way to determine if the money was really not promoting religious teachings.

At lunch today, I had an epiphany! For the past week, I had been pondering why the food tasted so strange. It looks normal, and tastes almost normal. It is almost really good. Today I figured out what makes this food so different. It is unusually moist! Now that I have figured this out, I can eat my meals without constant puzzlement.

After lunch, we had a debate. Although no winners were declared, it was still a very competitive experience. I enjoyed being in such a passionate environment. It was strikingly different from my daily classroom experience at El Cerrito High.

After class, I headed to Brooklyn to walk across the Bridge. At first, the trip seemed like a flop. When we arrived, it started to pour and we became absolutely drenched. We then had to wait for a good 20 minutes in the pouring rain outside a pizza place. When a large party left we were able to go inside and this is when the trip turned around. The pizza was delicious and the company was even better. We ordered quite a lot, so I have a ton extra. I’m excited to eat the rest in the near future.

After a great meal, we made our way to the bridge. When we walked up a narrow staircase and arrived on the walking section of the bridge. The views were amazing. We arrived at the perfect time for pictures. The sun was setting, and the water on the ground made the lights glow even brighter. It was an unforgettable experience. 

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