Saturday, August 6, 2016

Discovering Too Late

*note: this blog is an entry from 7-20*

With having only one more day to prepare for our final capstone projects, Professor Hansen was generous enough to actually dedicate the beginning of the day for us to focus on them. During this time, we could go to the library, get help from Professor Hansen or the other student teachers, or just finish up what we have already started independently. I took this opportunity to get permission from my group leader, Yun, to go to Biddle Law Library in search for cases in relation to domestic violence or even help from someone who works there to steer me in the right direction.

Biddle Law Library is located past the PENN bookstore and along Samson St. I found out how to get there earlier in the week so I could access this help sooner. The time it took me to finally figure out that the library was within the law building, it was almost closing time and the only people who could help at the Information desk were gone for the day. I was annoyed and disappointed. The library itself is spacious and beautiful. My eyes had lit up the first time I stepped through the doors; I was dumbfounded. It made me sad that I only entered this library the last week I would be here. I wish I had discovered this library sooner; if I had, most of my free time probably would have been occupied there. Leaving was as difficult as finding the library. It took me five minutes of wandering around to figure out that I couldn’t leave the way I came. I asked another college student for help getting me out of there and he showed me the way and understanding my confusion being my first time in the library. Next time, I for sure made it my goal not to make the same mistakes twice.

I walked up the limestone steps and into the grand building known as the Law School. I turned left past the security desk and down the hall passing the brick walls with hanging paintings of past deans of the school and floors made of tiled limestone. Step by step, I walked up the staircase leading me to the entrance of Biddle Law Library. I opened the one way doors and went straight to the information desk.

Entrance of Biddle Law Library
The librarian there was busy typing away on his desktop before I had approached him. Polite and pleasant, he asked me what I needed help with. I explained to him about my capstone project and what information I was seeking and asked him for help trying to access it. Na├»ve as I was, he simply told me that I would not be able to access specific cases in relation to domestic violence and testimonial from children because they’re to be sealed from the public because of their age. After being in Law and Justice for two years, that had completely slipped my mind making me feel so stupid since I already knew that. The librarian had instead, showed me to a nearby desktop and showed me how to access other scholarly sources using the LexisNexis Academic search engine from the PENN Library website. He explained to me which sources to look at and which would be most helpful to me then showed me how to limit the results so all that appears will be useful to me. I was completely grateful for his help because I would not have figured that out and gained all of my information without him. I thanked him and continued along with my research.

I spent about thirty minutes doing research on the library desktop before I had to return back to class. I was reading through so many articles that I began to memorize everything as if I already knew it prior. My time there was peaceful and productive to my research gaining valuable information for the project such as how Florida is putting in effort to build resource centers for battered women, to educate parents on how to take care of a child, community centers, and domestic violence centers to help lower the rates of child abuse and domestic violence within the state.  I wish I could have extended my time longer there but we were all required to meet back at McNeil by 11:30 AM and it was already 11:15 AM. I closed all of my tabs and headed out of the library.

Hall of  Penn Law School Displaying Portraits of  Past Deans
I knew it wouldn’t take fifteen minutes to make it back to class but I wanted enough time to stop by the farmer’s market on the way back. I haven’t been to a farmer’s market in at least a year. I loved going there so much back home that I would go all the time with my dad early in the morning; a rush of memories started flooding my mind. The best part about farmer’s markets is the freshly made food that is sold by different prospering companies. There is always a variety of things being sold like fruit, vegetables, baked goods, etc. This farmer’s market was set up along the sidewalk of the block with Urban Outfitters and the PENN Bookstore. It was smaller than what I was used to seeing but was the highlight of my day. While I was there, I purchased a chocolate muffin from a vendor selling baked goods such as bread and cookies. He had a good sense of humor turning my question of “Can I buy something?” into a light-hearted joke. I don’t know why I ask the obvious questions but it just comes out my mouth. As he handed me my muffin, I asked the times that the small market was out here selling. He responded nicely telling me that they were there every Wednesday from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM. The same saddened feeling I had when I found the Biddle Law Library so late in my time here at PENN returned back to my body. Everything I had come across was all for the last time and made me long for it even more. I made it my goal to go to a farmer’s market when I return home. I thanked the man and wished him a good day and returned on my way back to class.

Walking down Locust Walk, I encountered Diana on her way back to McNeil too. She had come from Van Pelt Library conducting research for her project as well. She told me it was difficult concentrating on her project in McNeil so she asked her TA, Diamond, to go to Van Pelt. Understanding her situation, I told her I’m the same way as we walked up the stairs back to our class on the second floor. As we entered the room, almost everyone was still working their project. After about five more minutes, the professor had asked everyone to wrap up what they were working on and get ready to head out for lunch. Many of us worked up an appetite doing such consistent and studious work we were ready to chow down. Eager to eat my muffin, I unwrapped the chocolate starch and broke a piece off and popped it into my mouth. It was delicious. I shared some with Diana as we headed down to Houston Market for lunch with Chris and Sam.

The rest of the day went by in a breeze. From our discussion groups to the end of class, it all ended before I knew it. All that I could think about was how our final days were drawing near and we would be leaving within just a few days, that, and my capstone project. This entire trip has felt as if I had dreamed it all in my mind. I needed to make every day last as long as possible while I’m still there. For the rest of the night, I  dedicated my time to do more research on my project so I would be fully prepared for my presentation in two days. 

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