Through WCCUSD’s Ivy League Connection program, Hercules High School Students Justine Betschart, Stacy Chan, Ramiah Davis-Shephard, Louisa Man, Julia Maniquiz, and Yueming Wang will be attending Cornell University to either study Freedom and Justice or Hotel Operations Management during the summer of 2009.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Has it Come to an End...Or a New Beginning?
Today, students of every other course had a final, or at least I think so. I am not quite sure if architecture students had a final or a project. Anyways, while many of the other courses had finals, the hotel program had a final group report due. My group and I were pretty confident and relaxed at first, but then as time was crunching down, we began to stress ourselves out. I truly enjoyed working with my group and producing such a great product. However, one member of my group said upfront that she disliked everything about our final report ten minutes before the deadline. I was incredibly angry. I did not see how that was rational or professional of her to do so. The entire group accomodated to what she wanted, but she could not accept the changes we would suggest. She basically wanted it her way. It is people like these that make group work so difficult and difficult to enjoy.
I have to say that this trip has provided me with many firsts in life. It is the first time I have needed to walk to and from school everyday. It is the first time I have stayed in a dorm and had a roommate. It is the first time I have really needed to take care of myself and my well being. At home, normally my mom would always be there to tell me to eat my vegetables or do my laundry for me. This, however, was definitely a major change. Besides having the five friends that came along with me on this trip and the new companions I met through the course and program, I have basically needed to depend on my own. When I needed certain amenities, I would have to go out to purchase them. If I wante ice cream, I would have to walk across the street to the Robert Purcell Community Center to get some; not like taking it out of my freezer in the kitchen. I find that this experience as allowed me to understand what it feels like to be independent, to live life on one's own accord. I did call my mother every so often and contacted my dad, so I did always have a little piece of home with me. Who doesn't though? This lesson I know I will forever cherish and take along with me where ever I decide to go in the future.
Since Freedom and Justice and Hotel Operations Management had significantly different schedules, it was difficult for the two groups of students to meet on a regular basis. When the program itself began, the only time we really saw each other was the weekend of the first week. That was the week we saw the awesome Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. The subsequent weekend we met up for the uneventful Fourth of July. Basically, we tried to see each other every chance we could. Although we knew we would see each other back home in California, we missed each other and thought no matter what we should always keep in touch regardless of how busy we were under the loads of work given.
I have said once to Ms. Kim, the college consultant, that I do not find myself fitting in large classrooms with large amounts of students. I was correct. I found staying awake in lectures a challenge. Not only were they long, but I felt uncomfortable in the seats in the actual classroom. Let me tell you. They are attached to the leg of the desks that hold it up and the swing. When you pull it out enough for you to sit in, it swings you all the way so that your belly hits the edge of the desk. You literally have to use your feet to stop yourself from swinging back to the desk; what a nuisance. However, most lectures were fun. My professors and many of my classmates always kept me laughing with their jokes. When things like this bring smiles to my face, you know I am having a blast. What I also liked about my class was, it wasn't like the typical college class. We did not have typical lectures and discussions with our TA's. All the work we turn in is graded directly by our professors rather than by the TA's. Classes with this set up allows more opportunities for communication and conversations with the professors in which was the case for me. At the beginning of the program, I did not think the class would be so interactive or that I would be so connected with my professors. I have had various times where I just walk up to Mark or Reneta McCarthy and asked a question and it would just sprout into different topics to converse over. This is the type of relationship I would like to have with my teachers. Hopefully, I will still be able to keep in contact with my professors somehow.
Living with a roommate has definitely taught me the art of compromise. I know my five other comrades have developed close relationships with their roommate. Unfortunately, I was not able to engage in such an intimate connection with mine. I wish I did, however. Since my roommate, Leann, and I rarely ever saw each other, and therefore, rarely ever spoke to each other, we were only able to develop a sense of respect for one another. That is the very first step to living with a roommate. Without respect, nothing will ever go in the right direction and there will never be room to grow. Sometimes, I feel that time was not the only factor in our lack of relationship In college, most times people roomed together in a single dormitory became quickly and exceptionally familiar with each other. However, sometimes it just depends. I really do feel I should have made more of an effort to connect with my roommate. Living in a dorm building is an entirely different story. The floor I lived on was always so lively and always in action. No one could stay bored. When one has nothing to do, always look at the activities that may be going on in the building's lounges. Life can always be found in the dormitory building.
As a post-secondary institution, Cornell is extremely elite and highly selective. Everything about it suggests quality. It has been said the Cornell is named as one of the most beautiful campuses in America, or maybe even in the world. I must agree. It is different from other campuses in that it is surrounded by the beauty of nature itself. Each and every day, I found myself realizing a new feature of Cornell's surroundings that contribute to the beauty it presents. Today, some of us hotelies took a different route to class. We took a side bridge that went over one of the waterfalls in the gorges. It was absolutely breathtaking. Only Cornell would be able to offer such a splendid adventure. Even after taking the campus tour today and learning so many new facts, I must say Cornell can never cease to amaze me. The only flaw on campus that I can find is the construction of a new science building that disrupts the peaceful aura of the campus.
Sadly, after being here for three weeks, I do not really see myself attending Cornell or live in such a rural environment everyday. I am not saying will not consider applying to Cornell, since I know Cornell will be able to offer me a wonderful education. I do not see myself working well in this type of environment though. Having experienced what it is like to be at Cornell and this type of college environment, I feel that I fit better in a more urban setting. I found it incredibly inconvenient to have to walk 20 minutes to class everyday. Although, walking did seem to grow on me. I needed the exercise anyways. I hope no one gets me wrong. I am definitely not degrading the school in anyway nor am I speaking for anyone else. My opinion about Cornell is solely my own. For others, Cornell could ultimately be the perfect choice.
If anyone would like to attend Cornell or participate in the Summer College program, some suggestions I would make are 1) BRING AN UMBRELLA AT ALL TIMES!, 2) download Microsoft Office 2007, 3) pack light, 4) make sure to bring a calculator is definitely needed for Hotel Operations Management, 5)hotelies should learn business jargon, 6) be confident in and optimistic of all the opportunities you encounter, 7) work hard, and 8) HAVE AN AWESOME TIME!