Vigorous Debates and Overwhelming Art
Letter from New York! Luise Müller gets to know the American culture of discussion and relaxes in Central Park.
Nov 04, 2015
Summer is over, and so are the first few weeks at college. During my political theory workshop at the Political ScienceDepartment, I get to know the professors and run into a few PhD students I have met before. A specific book chapter was presented, and now it is the subject of vigorous debate. One side poses highly critical questions regarding the hypotheses put forward by the other, which then mounts a vehement defense. By contrast, the tone in my other seminar, which is about meta-ethics, is more relaxed: Over wine and hors d’oeuvres, the three-hour seminar simply flies by.
I have to turn in a paper by the start of the week, so I spend the day at the library on Sunday. I am surprised to find that the library is not deserted. Quite the opposite, in fact; it’s busier than I have ever seen it during the week.
Later, I take a walk through Central Park and go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Registered Columbia students receive free admission to the museum. It is an overwhelming place, offering one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive art collections. The museum houses medieval and modern art, American crafts and musical instruments, drawings and prints, Asian, Islamic, Greek and Roman art, and much more.
The museum is located right next to Central Park, so a walk is well worthwhile. I especially liked the lake in the center of the park – known to New Yorkers simply as the Lake – with its view of the San Remo building.