Friday, July 7, 2017

Islamic Tiles, Martial Arts

Muna Ndulo who is the Professor of Law, Elizabeth and Arthur Reich Director of the Berger and International Legal Studies Program and Director of the Institute for African Development at Cornell Law School was the guest speaker for our morning session this Friday. As a class, we were fortunate enough to be in this man’s presence. For someone who has accomplished so much in life, Mr. Ndulo was incredibly humble. He spoke with us about international tribunals and their response, or lack thereof, to mass atrocities such as the Rwandan Genocide.

Pudge (Pooja) enjoying her food and casually
looking like a proper model.

We discussed many different ideas and shared our thoughts. This made the talk even more interesting and engaging. In particular, I wanted to know whether educators from Ivy League universities working as consultants for tribunals and getting paid thousands daily are actually bringing about positive change. Shouldn’t that money be granted to the victims instead? Mr. Ndulo agreed that at times it doesn’t and said that the higher salary that these consultants request, the more they’re sought out and hired.

I wish that Muna Ndulo had stayed afterward for individual questions, because I would have liked to ask him about the work that he has done with the UN in nations such as Afghanistan, Colombia, and Mozambique. Nonetheless, he inspired me. I wanted to be as passionate and genuinely invested as Mr. Ndulo was when he spoke.  It drove me to fully appreciate whatever it is that I enjoy doing at all times.

All of our Islamic tiles next to one another.

Our class ended earlier than it usually does today. It was around 11:00 AM when we got out. Pooja, Sultana, Robson, and I went to the Indian Buffet restaurant we (Robson and I) had eaten at previously. Today, they were serving sevaiyan and carrot halwa among other South Asian staples. I ate so much; it was difficult for me to walk after. Sultana, Pooja, and Robson went out to the Gorge after we took pictures at the Cornell University sign near Collegetown.

But, I had to be at Balch by 1:40 PM. for an art workshop at the Johnson Museum. We made Islamic-inspired tiles while we were there. Not only was it relaxing and fun, but I got to meet and talk with a new friend. Her name is Juliane and she’s from Louisiana, studying social entrepreneurship here at Summer College. We spoke about the differences between our classes; hers is more of a Socratic seminar type whereas mine is lecture and discussion based. It sounded like an interesting course and one that I might also have looked into, although I really do love my own more than anything else.
Concert near Clock Tower celebrating
it's 125th Anniversary!

Me and my Islamic tile
There were many incredibly talented girls present that painted literal pieces of artwork, but I was able to incorporate my name into the tile in Arabic and sketched in patterns that I had noticed inside mosques. Overall, my tile was pretty nice, and I am proud of it!

At 6:30 PM, after dinner, Robson and I had planned on going to the Friday concert that is usually held in front of the clock tower. Today’s band was called “The Destination.” They played favorites such as September by Earth, Wind, and Fire and Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves. Everyone gathered was dancing, and I really wanted to as well, but ended up watching others and looking after the free balloon that I had got. I’m going to miss this Friday fun when I get back to California. There’s a real sense of community here in Ithaca that I doubt I’ll find back home.

It took us a while to get up there.
Pooja, Sultana, and I.
An exhibition at the Johnson Museum full
of red objects that people had left there. 
The summer college Talent Show that we wanted to attend started at 8 PM. Pooja and Sultana had gotten there earlier and reserved second-row seats for us which was a huge help, considering some kids were forced to stand and watch. There were students dancing, singing, and playing instruments to showcase their talents. I enjoyed watching and listening to each and every one of them, especially the hosts Malia (animal science major) and Brittany (Chem. Major), both seniors at Cornell. My favorite performances, however, were a martial arts dance performed to Eye of the Tiger, a Chinese traditional dance, my friend Eunji’s piano playing skills, and Devanshi’s singing.  They were all interesting and unique in their own way, but also showed an immense amount of skill and knowledge.

After the talent shows ended (10 PM), my friends and I walked over to the open rooftop of Olin Library. There were people there, but it didn’t bother us. We danced, regardless. Not only did we do the Macarena, but also the Cha Cha slide and other iconic school dances. Eunji and her friends Devanshi and Emi joined us. We jammed to Hindi and dance songs for at least an hour before heading back to Mary Donlon, where we stayed until it was time to check in for the night.

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