Sunday, April 22, 2012

The First Steps

Hercules Middle High School Campus
Honestly, walking into Room 106 of Hercules High School, I didn't know what to expect. I couldn't say I was nervous, especially after having the comfort of arriving with another member of my Cornell cohort (and being 30 minutes early, might I add).  I could hear the echo of my father’s instructions to keep my passport and computer on my person at all times. I could feel the breeze and hear the blowing of the trees that provided the minimal comfort to endure the unusually hot weather we were experiencing that Saturday morning. 

As the tutorial began, Don introduced himself as we were introduced to each other. We commenced by covering the basics: the importance of checking our e-mails every day, how we shouldn’t take such a marvelous opportunity for granted, and the seriousness of presenting high levels of maturity to be a part of this program.  Hearing all of Don’s stories about the consequences of not following the rules would have been intimidating if it weren’t for his twists of humor he frequently included in these anecdotes.  Luckily, we had "Good Don" speaking to us that day, as opposed to "Evil Don."  We listened to instructions on how to format the blog, the importance of frequently saving your work, and how much Don loves the inclusion of pictures in the blog.  We read examples of good blogs, of bad blogs, and I was surprised to see the familiar face of a former classmate and now graduate of our school in the example of an outstanding reflective blog.  We proceeded by taking our own shot at writing and editing a blog of our own, which turned out to be fun, something different and hands-on, at least, and practiced saving our pictures to MediaFire, an online media storage service. 

Cornell University
After reviewing the essentials of the blog, we learned about the basics of photography, for the blog, and then discussed the “this and thats” of our trip: where to go, what to bring, and what our responsibilities are.  As Don was composing a verbal checklist of what to bring my thoughts always wandered to the dorm rooms and how anxious I am about living on campus and having a roommate! The college dorm room experience, though it seems somewhat daunting, is something nonetheless that I look forward to the most about this journey, along with the opportunity to meet people from all over the world.   

Just like the informational dinner with past Freedom & Justice students, the tutorial made me eager to start my journey. The lesson placed things in perspective and made me realize how quickly time is moving and how soon I will be on a plane destined for Ithaca.  Having the mentorship of Don, past alumni, and the ILC staff as well as the support of my cohort makes me feel confident that I will be prepared when the time comes to begin my trip to the East Coast!

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