Political Theory

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Political Theory and Discourse in America: Red versus Blue was a class that could never agree in Duke East term I, 2006. The class started out seeming okay under the direct influence of their capable instructor, Josh Davis. However, the students slowly took back control and turned the course away from Josh's mastermind plan and morphed it into their own combat forum for contentious debates which ended up in heated yelling matches. But after the first week, the class came to a consensus and toned down their debates. However, by the third week, the debates had once again reached the level of epic battles.

The first weekly project for the class was to research thouroughly one of four contensious issues from 1968 to 1988. The class generally complained about the project, but got it done nonetheless. It was around this time that the class took on an adjacent class, Game Theory, in Ultimate Frisbee. Such legendary players like Hunter Wolk and Tom Burr quickly taught the majority of the class to play on the day before the big game. However, Game Theory was a class comprised of all boys who were quite skilled at the sport. Thus, despite the amazing efforts from individual members of the team, Political Theory lost in a 7 - 0 shutout.

However, the class began to sit together at lunchtime in the days after this match. Thus, it is a common theme of the class that "Ultimate brought us together". The class went through a relatively low period of non-fighting and nicities during the second week. The second week was also the source of the inside joke which managed to make it onto the class T-shirt. One morning, Josh was totally out of it. He was losing his train of thought easily and didn't really have it all together. It was a common joke that he was *ahem* inebriated and/or high or hungover. (I did a bad job explaining this part. Please edit this.) As a disclaimer, he was not actually drunk, hungover or high.

The third week however, following Pegram's Quad Fest victory, brought lots of rain and the return of the heated arguments. As the class worked on their final project, to manage a campaign for a close senatorial race, they had fierce debates on such issues as drug prices and public health care.

The class contained the following students: Tom B., Hunter, Alex, Daniel, Sunny, Logan, Jordan, Will F., Natalie, Emma, Will J., Tom J., Katherine, Alec, Allison, and Ellie.

The class was mostly divided up on every issue. Jordan and Logan would normally advocate on behalf of the conservatives. Emma and Alec would be the spearheads of the liberal side of the debate. But what was most unusual was that neither of the pairs of advocates necessarily agreed with each other on each issue. This made the debates awkward sometimes because Jordan might side with the other liberals against Logan and Emma may team up with her opposers to take down Alec. However, this just made class more interesting. Combined with the occasional yelling and/or strong stubborn stance of Alex, Daniel, and Will F., the class got really interesting.

Evening sessions were run by the TA, Emily, a student at UNC. The first evening session digressed into a yelling match over 24, Jack Bauer, torture and wiretapping. This precedent led to amusing evening sessions throughout the three weeks, except for the many evening sessions spent on projects. Emily taunted Katherine about the best basketball player ever, J.J. Redick. Emily had met J.J.'s girlfriend, and accused J.J. of having back acne.

But perhaps what was most epic about the class was their "war" with their neiboring class, Game Theory. What started with an innocent "raid" on their class (four girls and one guy threw some grass on the floor) turned into a battle when Game Theory threw their trash onto Political Theory's floor and then, later that night, trashed the room when the class was in a computer lab. All the chairs were turned over, books were stuck to the ceiling, and there was offensive writing all over the board. This may not have happened if the classroom door had still been locked, but sadly enough, it wasn't. Thus, the next day, their instructor Josh got really angry and told Game Theory off, only to have them write a pathetic apology. The action is still unfolding and the consequences of this war are still not clear.

this is a weird class. weird.