Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Making Progress

No pictures today, unfortunately.

After the crazy-busy weekend we just had, today was a nice change of pace.

Our morning session was very interesting as we discussed the remaining president’s in Fred Greenstein’s book Inventing the Job of the President, including Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson. Then we began discussing The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery by Eric Foner, which focused on the thoughts going through Lincoln’s mind as he debated the issue of slavery. As we did not finish, we will be continuing our discussion tomorrow.

Towards the end of our morning session, Dr. Z gave us our outlines back along with the comments she and our TA, Pavel, had made. I found their insight to be very helpful and it gave me a lot to think about. Dr. Z wrote that I must narrow down my topic even further and after my consultation with a Columbia University librarian and a discussion with Pavel, I went back to Dr. Z to present my revised thesis. We had a very nice discussion and I have a much better understanding of what I am doing than I did on Friday when I handed in the outline. I believe I am on the right track.

This project has really been a wonderful experience so far. I am learning a lot about the different leadership styles of various United States presidents but I am also learning an invaluable academic skill – how to write a research paper. I am certain that this is a skill that I am going to need in the future and I am glad I have been given the opportunity to learn it now, rather than struggle in college.

Tomorrow seems like a wonderful day and I am very excited for our upcoming boat cruise with Mrs. Lilhanand and Mrs. Kronenberg.

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