This blog will serve as a forum to showcase our "Go Ivy From China" students here at Beyond English, a firm dedicated to helping the brightest high school students in north China attend Tier 1 American undergraduate colleges (including liberal arts colleges), with a focus on those students pursuing studies in the arts, humanities and social sciences.
As noted on this blog's tagline, our "briefs" will be reflections on all things philosophical and legal, although there are no hard rules and our students will be allowed to write a "brief" (as broadly defined) on pretty much whatever fancies them. Most briefs will be between 250-500 words (think Common App standard essay), although some briefs won't be so brief and might be as long as 4,000 words (think IB Diploma extended essay). And we'll likely post occasional 150 word activity reports (think Common App extracurricular activity essay).
Most briefs will be based upon a weekly reading assignment or something that we viewed in class. Our students have weekly reading assignments covering a wide-range of hot legal issues (for developing vocab in context and critical reading/thinking skills) and philosophical issues (e.g., something on ethics from The Stone blog in The New York Times, an article in Philosophy Now or a BMCR/NDPR book review). However, the fact is that their reading assignments cover the gamut of political and literary magazines: If it's a source covered by Arts & Letters Daily, then it's fair game for a reading assignment.
In-class viewing and listening is from video and audio podcasts. Key sources: The Council on Foreign Relations, the Cato Institute, Washington Week in Review, (Harvard) Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Brookings, Meet the Press, Carnegie Council, Commonwealth Club, Global Voices, RAND, the IMF, Philosophy Bites, AmCham China, TPZ (archived episodes), Johns Hopkins SAIS, and numerous law schools (including Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Chicago, Cornell). And their daily at-school viewing assignment: Good 'ol Brian Williams (and Lester Holt).
Saving the best (and the legal) for last, reading assignments just over the past month have included:
- Name, Shame, and Then Build Consensus: Bringing Conflict Resolution Skills to Human Rights (by the Founding Director & Founding Staff Attorney at the International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic, Stanford Law School; Washington University Journal of Law and Policy, 2012).
- Barricading the Information Superhighway to Stop the Flow of Traffic: Why International Regulation of the Internet is Necessary to Prevent Sex Trafficking (American University International Law Review, 2012). This article was read as a supplement to a viewing of a presentation given at Stanford Law School and Harvard's i-lab ("innovation lab").
- CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act) in a Global Context (Southwestern Law Review, 2012).
- AEP v. Connecticut's Implications for the Future of Climate Change (The Yale Law Journal Online, 2012). This article and the "CERCLA" paper were read as supplements to a viewing of An Inconvenient Truth.
- Aristotle on Human Rights (Ave Maria Law Review, 2012). This article was read as a philosophical supplement to the "Name, Shame, ..." paper.
Bottom line: They're smart students, scary smart kids. And they like to be pushed, they want to prove themselves. Having HYS-on-the-brain for focus probably doesn't hurt, either. (Note to Williams, Amherst, Swarthmore & Company: They have WAS-on-the-brain, too. In fact, I tend to push liberal arts colleges with as much or even more fervor than national universities.)
For administrative reasons, I'll do the actual postings. (Great Firewall access problems, I use OpenVPN, things like this.) But the original author will be noted by their closing (with their English name) and label (with their Chinese name).
-- David Scott Lewis