Saturday, June 23, 2012

And So It Begins

The Meeting Hall
Today was the start of our experience at Cornell. We left the hotel at 9 in the morning to go check in at our dorm rooms. For most of us this was an easy process but Calvin, (as I am sure his blog will indicate) had, and is still having, a lot of trouble. When I got to my dorm it was boiling hot and smelled terrible. The room was actually nicer than I expected though. It was spacious, with a bed, closet, dresser, desk, and chair for both occupants. My roommate had not arrived yet, so I left him a note with my name and number asking him to call when he arrived so we could meet. The rest of the cohort and I spent our time before and after lunch showing off or complaining about our rooms to one another.

Mmmm Ice Cream
My first meal at Cornell was an eye opener. Everything that people told me about dorm food was proved wrong. The dining hall we eat breakfast and dinner at is the next building over from my dorm. The restaurant is a buffet style with almost any food option you could want. The ones which stood out to me were a Korean Grill, a standard American food (hot dogs, burgers, and fries) booth, a pizza area, and, of course, Cornell's famous ice cream options. Being an ice cream lover, this appealed to me especially. The variety of options from soft serve to milkshakes promise endless fulfillment of my sweet tooth.

A Slight Downgrade
At 3 in the afternoon there was an orientation for all the incoming summer college students. The leaders of the program all spoke, and it turned out to be very informative and entertaining. I learned that we are fortunate to be a part of the last session run by the current leader before she retires after 22 years at Cornell in this position. The dean made an introductory speech filled with humor and good advice for both students and parents, which really put me at ease for the program. After the speeches everyone split up in to our separate classes to meet with our professors, and get a quick overview of the course.

Its not quite king size
Meeting Professor Kramnick made me even more excited for the course. He defied all my negative expectations of a college professor. Energetic, funny, and sociable, he led us the lecture hall where we will meet every morning at 9 for class, cracking jokes the whole time. When we arrived in the hall we took our seats and Kramnick went to the podium. He gave a brief introduction to what we should expect during the class, going over our required textbooks, homework, tests, and the daily schedule. Apparently what everyone says about college professors not making what is important during a lecture is not true. At least not in Professor Kramnick's class. I am even more excited for this class now that I have met the professor. He has an obvious passion for this field, and for teaching in general which makes it clear to me that the class will be a pleasure. I am really looking forward to the scheduled lunch all the students get to have with him.
I am happy with this workspace

After the orientation, Calvin, Alex, and I stopped by the student store to get out course packet and check out the extensive supply of Cornell gear. I also bought a spiral bound notebook in Cornell red, bearing the Cornell seal, since paper was something which I forgot to bring.

On our way back to the dorms we got hopelessly lost, and ended up walking deep in to the Cornell Plantations and all the way to the lake before we finally found our way back to civilization. This proved to me how large, beautiful, and diverse the Cornell campus really is. Our time in the plantations was beautiful, and I look forward to exploring it more, hopefully under more controlled circumstances. We then had some free time which we spent socializing and exploring the various dorms. Then it was off to the buffet again for dinner.

After dinner we had two events. The ice cream social and a floor meeting. The ice cream social was a really nice opportuntity to meet new people, enjoy the beautiful weather, and, of course, eat ice cream! The floor meetings took place in the common hall on each floor. Everyone on our floor got together and introduced ourselves. Then the resident Cornell students who are in charge went over rules. After the meeting we did our first nightly check in then it was back to my room to blog and shower before bed.

Tomorrow should be a fun day. We have mostly free time except for an afternoon crash course on college which I expect should be very helpful.

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