Friday, July 14, 2017

The Day of Interviews

My friends and I in the law school lounge
Today I learned a lot. In class we had a fact finding activity were we played the role of an NGO, we interviewed witnesses about a human rights situation and wrote a legal memorandum about the facts that we learned and we made recommendations about what to do about the situation. I thought it was great because from what the guest speakers talk about and what our instructor says our activity that we did is a lot of what human rights advocates do. After the interviews we had to write legal memorandum. I found that difficult because I never written a paper with one other person let alone with 4 or 5 others. Afterwards my time was spent with friends, shopping in the Cornell store, sitting next to the clock tower and working on my class assignments. Today was amazing as always and slowly the reality of my eventual departure is slowly sinking in.

In class we had to investigate the human rights violations of a fictitious government. In short the case we were investigating were the violations of the nation of Moloqua and the mining corporation of MoonCorp especially during a protest were police officers opened fire on protesters. It was way more difficult than I thought it would be. I thought we would just interview people and type up a little paper and we would be done by lunch. It was way more difficult than that. We had to form questions without fully knowing the person so we had to write questions that would get the answers that we wanted, but we would have to frame them in a way that wouldn’t offend them or anger them. We also had answers that wanted and had in mind, but we also had to ask open ended questions so we weren’t interrogating our witness. The whole thing was striking a balance. With other teams basically everyone went to do multiple interviews, but I only conducted one. It was with and elder of a persecuted minority. The thing that I found difficult was finding the right words to say. The elder describe horrible human rights abuses and situations and I had no clue what to say. I didn’t want to say something wrong or offensive, but I also needed to say something to fill space and to engage with the interviewee.  I found it very interesting trying to find that balance and I actually liked interviewing a subject because even though it wasn’t real I found it excited because I am gathering information so I can improve the horrible conditions that I was learning about.

After lunch we had to write a memorandum describing the conditions of the mines and the government’s treatment of its people. It was really boring. My team and I had a Google Doc and we split up the work by each right that was violated. We finished half an hour early. My friends and I met in the lounge of the law school to go to the Cornell store because I wanted to get gifts for my friends and family, then we went to sit next to the Clock Tower to look at the view.

When I got back to my dorm I had a talk with my RCA and it was very interesting because I asked him about Cornell and he said what a lot of students and alums said when I ask what makes Cornell unique and why I should go there. He said that there is an amazing variety of study (he took a class on the studies of mushrooms) and the campus is beautiful. But what struck me was his honesty. He expressed his disdain for the administration a

nd he said that the people of Ithaca aren’t his favorite. He also said that people either hate or love Cornell and most people hate the isolation. I thought this was very helpful and great information. I still want to apply, but knowing the major cons of the university was very helpful.

After talking with friends I went to my dorm to work on my op-ed which is our last assignment. The op-ed is just our opinion on a particular issue. My issue is money in politics in America. I am excited to write this because this is a topic that I am very passionate about. As the day started to end I started to realize that I’ll be going home. Previously I was sad to think of this, but I really miss home and I am excited to leave. Sometimes when I think of home or when my mom calls I get a lump in my throat and a pain in my chest so I am just happy to back home, and if I am being honest the biggest thing that I miss is (of course my mom) but also my cats. I don’t know how I am going to deal with being homesick in two years when I am go to college. 

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