Saturday, July 31, 2010

The World of Ideas

By Patricia Gutierrez (Santa Maria, Calif.)

I am amongst intellectuals -- a realization that finally planted its seed in my mind during today's first workshop, "What is Journalism?" By Richard Just '01 (SJP director and managing editor of The New Republic). I was filled with the sort of happiness that can only be properly compared to the happiness that one might feel when reuniting with a far-flung relative. A feeling of comfort, expectation, of ultimate satisfaction.

Although we had, in a discussion on the first night, established what it meant to be an intellectual, among other things and throughout earlier discussions that have taken place. I found myself taken aback in a profound way by what the other participants had to say and it hadn't registered what a rare opportunity for me this was to be among such intelligent people.

Even on the first night of discussions, while some people, including me, were hesitant about participating in the discussion, many students set a standard for a level of understanding for the discussion. As Richard explained, we don't want to be tolerant of each other, we want to be respectful. It's important to challenge each other during the program so that it's an intellectually stimulating experience for everyone.

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