I am REALLY excited now that I realize that within a few weeks, I will be off to Philadelphia to tour my first East Coast college, and will be even closer to Cornell. Of course, first I had to complete the orientation tonight.
It ran through much faster than I expected though; when Don e-mailed everyone saying to prepare for up to two and a half hours of information, I was not sure what to expect, except possible boredom. Fortunately, the two hours only seemed like one as Don, Mr. Ramsey, and Ms. Kronenberg quickly and efficiently ran through their part of the agenda. The only things that they lingered on were being on time (I feel a little bad for Molly, who was apparently the last one to arrive; Don spent about ten minutes altogether discussing punctuality because of that) and returning things to Don and the district (also a cumulative ten-minute lecture). Otherwise, the meeting lacked the repetitiveness I anticipated, and we soon split into our respective college groups.
As Mr. Chan-Law passed out our itinerary - which could have been mistaken for a small book - I became a little daunted. Would we really be doing so many events each day? I knew, though, that this program would keep me busy, so I internally sighed and accepted that eight hours of sleep each night may not be possible; but it would definitely be worth it. We discussed in detail our planned excursions to the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University in New York, and Princeton University in New Jersey, with our base in Philadelphia for those first five days before migrating finally to Ithaca. Although we did not say exactly what places we would visit within each respective city, Mr. Chan-Law has already sent out e-mails telling us that we will fit in as much as possible. It seems like twenty-four-hour days won't be enough! Although the cramped schedule seems large and nearly impossible to complete, it's also exciting to think of all the things I will be able to see and do in just one week. Furthermore, Mr. Chan-Law promised that as long as our work load is not too heavy, we will be able to take weekend trips around Ithaca and maybe even outside of the city. I know the course will be rigorous, so this will motivate me to finish most of my homework on Friday instead of procrastinating! After all, this may be the only chance I will get to see all of these places before going off to attend college for an actual degree.
During our group sessions, former participants Terilyn and Yueming gave us advice on what to expect on campus and in Ithaca, and a few tips on what to bring (like flip-flops to wear in the shared showers). Our group ended up being the last group to finish up; we had to be called to attention when Don and Mr. Ramsey were ready to continue their presentation on what to bring, when to arrive at the departure location, etc. I think everyone is excited to go on this new adventure, and as Mr. Ramsey pointed out, "we made it!" I glanced at my fellow cohorts, and I realized that I was excited not only to tour the East Coast, but to share the experience with these fellow adventurers.