Today was great. In class, we discussed the very last article in the book, which was chronicled 4 presidents and their use of empathy. This, I thought, was one of the easier articles to comprehend, and the main idea came across pretty simply. I also got the implication that the author was generally very fond of Obama. The first half or so of the article, the author detailed instances of Lincoln's life that contributed to the formulation of his empathetic character. The author had high praise for Lincoln and basically said that Lincoln's use of empathy in political speech and public relation was perfectly balanced. The next president that the author examined was Clinton, and the author described him as at times being "too empathetic" which either came across too strongly or seemed ingenuine. Bush was thirdly depicted as being a "tough" president, and apparently had extraordinarily low empathy ratings with the people. Obama, however, the author described as coming closest to Lincoln in terms of empathetic effectiveness. I found the article interesting, but mostly just kind of weird and I didn't think that the bulk of the essay matched up very well with the author's thesis. The author claimed that the article's main purpose was to prove that presidents have to find a good balance between too much and too little empathy. However, throughout the whole paper I just got the vibe that the author knew a lot about Lincoln and also really, really liked Obama.
During the second half of class we played jeopardy, which was actually really fun. My team was awesome - the Garfinkles (named for our dear TA Scott Garfinkle). We were competing against the Founding Fathers, the Mugwums, and "Coco and the Pips." We won out in the end, so that was pretty cool. The questions were mostly about writing research papers and citing sources, things like that.
After the lunch break, we went back to Butler library one last time to work on our research papers. I added about 200 words to mine, reviewed it, reread it, edited it, and reread it again before finally printing it out. The relief of finally being done with my paper didn't hit me suddenly, but has been slowly seeping in. I'm happy to finally be done, and I'm proud of myself. I've been working on this paper for about 2 weeks, and I went into the topic knowing very little about it, let alone what position I would take. I've come out of it feeling much, much more accomplished and way more knowledgeable. This was definitely the hardest assignment I've ever had, and the fact that it was so very hard correlates directly with my profound happiness to have it behind me.