Monday, July 6, 2015

Fine Lectures and $6000 Guitars

My day went off to a pretty rough start at 7:30 AM. I woke up with my face on my case briefs with a pen in one hand and my phone in the other. Once I looked down, I realized the one of the most daunting things to ever cross my mind: I didn't finish my homework. With only one case fully briefed, I sped through the remaining two cases for the remainder of the morning and finished by 9:30. I rushed my shower and changed quickly to at least get to breakfast but alas, the cafeteria closed upon my arrival.

Morning lecture was rather interesting  as we went over two cases: Schenck V. United States and Abrams V. United States, both results from the Red Scare in the early 1900's. Both cases covered the First Amendment, specifically the freedom of speech/expression clause. Now what made class really interesting this morning was Michelle's belief in the Socratic Method, a form of critical thinking. Michelle pulled up a random name selection generator that would pull up any individual's name at random causing their selection as victims of the Socratic Method. Michelle's questions were very thought provoking as she asked the class questions like: "When is it necessary to limit free speech in a democracy?"

Afternoon session really dove deeper into the concept of free speech. We briefly went over Masses Publishing Co V. Patten and then Michelle opened the floor to some of the international students and their experiences when it comes to freedom of speech in their countries. The two most interesting stories I found were from one student from China and another from Saudi Arabia. Both spoke about the current restrictions both governments have on speech and expression. In Saudi Arabia, women are treated with complete disrespect as though they are property. Simple things like sitting in the front of the car or driving are highly restricted and looked down upon in Saudi Arabia.While in China, citizens are apparently restricted from giving their opinions on politics or other social matters, whether it be on social media or to a friend. The Chinese student stated that her father even told her to keep her political opinions to herself and within their household to not risk possible persecution.

It was honestly painful to hear some of these testimonies. Americans today take our freedoms for granted, and we fail to recognize how lucky we are. Personally, I believe that freedom of speech and expression is one of the basic human rights that every individual deserves to have. Taking away or restricting these freedoms is detrimental due to the fact that it keeps people ignorant of the issues that problems that plague their government. Opinions are what drive success in countries like the US, and taking it away can be inhumane.

In the afternoon, I went with Deborah and Alyanna to Guitar Center in Times Square to relieve stress through music. We covered a variety of different songs like "Daughters" by John Mayer and "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons. After our little jam session in the acoustic instruments room, Deborah and Alyanna vanished off to the pianos while I walked into a wooden room filled with the most expensive guitars you could think of. The first one I got my grubby little hands on was a $6000 Gibson hollow body jazz guitar and oh boy was it fantastic. The guitar had an excellent wooden feel and touch to it and included a really smooth jazz guitar tone. I instantly fell in love with the guitar, but hated the price.
Covering Music
It felt great to finally pick up a guitar and play. But it was while I was playing when homesickness hit me. I started to miss playing for family and friends back home and playing jazz tunes in an empty room only deepened the homesickness. My homesickness isn't bad yet but it's obvious that it's starting to settle in. Well, what can you do?

1 comment:

  1. Nice to learn of another one of your talents! That was really sweet.