Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Shaky Start

A shaky start to this Cornell Summer College experience is a drastic understatement. Everything that could have went wrong did. 

We started the day by checking out of the beautiful Statler Hotel and into the dorms. Now here is when everything goes downhill. Upon arriving at Mary Donlon Hall, I was told that the list on a piece of paper said that I was in Balch Hall. However, the email I received about one week ago said that I was assigned to Mary Donlon Hall. After the confusion, I was referred to a staff member who then found out that my name was actually in the roster at Mary Donlon Hall on the computer. So I was now officially checked into Mary Donlon Hall. Now you may think that it ended like that, but I was far from over. It turned out that my class schedule was not in Mary Donlon Hall, but in Balch Hall. I was then referred to another staff member who took me to Balch Hall. Unfortunately, my name was not on the roster on the computer for Balch Hall and so I ended up not even having a room for the first four hours of the day. The staff member helping me, Jesus, ended up having to actually find me a room. Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, I found out that Cornell Summer College didn't even make me an ID Card. This basically limits my whole access to anything on the campus. I did get a temporary card but it is close to useless: I can't get into my hall because you need an actual ID card to swipe open the doors! After about four hours since the start of this ordeal, I finally got a room. Furthermore, to make things seem even more like I don't exist, I am not officially a part of either Donlon or Balch Hall, I am simply just here. 

Well, enough about all the things that went wrong (which was actually a lot), let's go on to the other events of the day. During lunch, we ate at the Robert Purcell Food Court, which I do have to say has some pretty delicious food. After lunch, we headed to Bailey Hall for our orientation. We heard from the head of the program, two Summer College staff members, and the Dean. After the orientation, Alex, Eric, Mrs. Kronenberg, Mr. Chan-Law, and I went off to meet with the Freedom and Justice class for a class orientation. I did have the honor of Mr. Kramnick (our professor) giving me the duty of holding up the "Freedom" sign. Once the orientation was over, Alex, Eric, and I went to the Cornell Bookstore to purchase the Course Syllabus for our class. However, on our way back we got lost in the Cornell Plantations. What would've been a 15 minute walk became an hour journey. Luckily, we did stumble open some beautiful scenery.

Overall this day has been extremely stressful and frustrating. Considering that Don, Mr. Ramsey and Mrs. Kronenberg are always stressing the importance of first impressions, I have to say that I am not very impressed (although my roommate and I do have a personal bathroom in our room).

Here's to hoping that things will get better as the week progresses. 


  1. I suppose it’s all how you look at things that determines whether you’re laughing or ready to go postal.

    If this were happening to someone else you might find some amusement in all of this. But then again, it’s not happening to someone else, it’s happening to you so it sucks.

    Sorry your first day at Cornell was a little shaky. With any luck things will get better.

    After reading your first paragraph I was about to write suggesting you grab your gear and head back to the airport. Sounds like things are getting smoothed over, though, and in a week or two they might have things squared away. :-)

    But at least you had a decent meal. Always look for the silver lining.

  2. Hi Calvin, Boy, you did have a rough first day, but I agree with Mr. Gosney's statement "look for the silver lining". I'm kind of old, and have experienced some challenging times myself. I believe we go through the experiences we do to learn lessons we'll need later. Someday, hopefully in the near future so you can see this, your experiences from your first day will serve you well. Have a great first week, in spite of your first day!

    Michele Redlo, Rachael's mom