My week at Carleton was jam packed with a million little things that made me really appreciate being here. To start the week, my friends and I played a board game called Diplomacy. Seven people control the powers of England, France, Germany, Russia, Italy, Austria Hungary and Turkey. Only one army occupies a territory at a time (as opposed to Risk where you can stockpile armies). The significance of this is that if you decide to attack someone; you need the support of others to be successful. A fifteen to thirty minute timer allows the powers to talk with one another and discuss strategies and alliances. After this time is up, everyone writes his or her move down on a piece of paper. Players are not remotely held to anything said in diplomacy talks. Several times, my friends promised they wouldn’t attack me, I trusted them-and then they did. Worse yet, someone promised to support me in my attack against Italy, and ended up supporting Italy against me instead. This game facilitates such an interesting dialogue; even though I was deceived multiple times-I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
After class on Tuesday afternoon, I returned to my room to a very strange occurrence. Literally everything I owned was wrapped in newspaper. All of my clothing, juggling balls, Rubik’s cube (which I am currently learning how to solve!), books, food etc. Everything. It turns out this was the work of fellow marvelous admissions blogger, Madeline! She gathered a cohort of our friends (including my wonderful roommate) to carry out this dastardly scheme. It was quite hilarious and perplexing.
Tuesday night while calmly doing my homework with my friends, we received word that it was snowing! All of us ran to the lounge to soak in the wonders of the first sign of snow at Carleton. Shortly afterwards we ran outside and frolicked for a bit reveling in the snow. Seeing the sheer jubilation of my friends was a most wonderful sight, I have a feeling that we will endure the winters quite wonderfully. (It should be noted that one my friends was very bitter about the snow and did not participate in these revelries L. I’m sure we can convince him of the beauty of snow!) It should also be noted that this snow didn’t stick at all and only lasted for half an hour, nonetheless…snow!
Wednesday, my International Relations class had an absolutely fascinating discussion on the future of Nuclear Weapons. We discussed if they should be eliminated. and if so if they could possibly be eliminated. We mentioned all of the factors that go along with nuclear warfare, and how even if we could somehow eliminate nuclear weapons, the knowledge to build them would still be there. In general though, I just think discussions like this remind me how special Carleton is. In my International Relations class we are expected to do the reading-to grasp the basic concepts but then discuss these concepts, and implications of them in great detail. The statistics for this particular discussion were pretty depressing, but at the same time I learned a lot, and feel much more informed. After this class and lunch, I went straight to the library to write my paper on Human Rights. If anyone is interested my essay focuses on the controversial issue of humanitarian intervention. Although I had previously done the research for this paper, I had yet to actually write my ideas out. I was able to write my entire draft from 1-5 in the afternoon. I mention this because I believe it demonstrates the sheer amazingness of the library. Back at home, if I had homework and others in my family didn’t it would be extremely hard to study. Now, I have the perfect spot to be productive! Furthermore last night, I started working on my philosophy paper, when I was about to go to bed at around 1 am something clicked, and I just took off with the topic. I ended up writing until 4:30 in the morning, but it was really cool how excited I was when writing it. I genuinely care about the topics I am addressing in my papers here, which makes writing them yet another great experience. Normally I can’t do any homework after one, but once I realized what I wanted to say, I was genuinely excited, that I was wide awake. In this paper I addressed the question: Does sense perception provide us with knowledge of the existence of a mind-independent external world, or do we have to take it on faith?
Currently I am in the midst of the game Humans vs. Zombies. I am a human, but two of my best friends have been turned into zombies, which makes things slightly awkward. Currently they are sitting in my room promising that they won’t consider killing me to at least 8 o’clock when an official mission starts. It’s somewhat conflicting, but I’ve definitely decided to choose friendship over survival. I believe that they will keep their promise, but at the same time I am definitely putting my self at a great risk. On top of all the things listed above, I am about to go to a talk given by Salman Rushdie. After this, the first official humans vs. Zombies event will commence! Until next week!