Thursday, July 5, 2012

Report! What is your status?

My status is tired, but satisfied and stress-free.

I think this is one of my later blog posts. Since 7 PM, I have been working diligently to finish my six-page report due tomorrow morning. During office hours, I focused only on making my necessary charts (five in total, after much experimenting) based on the performance details of my six simulated CHESS weeks. I have the most trouble playing with the Microsoft Office features, so I wanted to do the charts where there were people who could help me if and when I accidentally deleted five cells of data, or wanted to turn 73000% to just 73%. With much advice from Colleen, I was able to finish my charts in time, and took an hour-long break to walk back to my dorm, call my Dad (he has been busy at work, so I haven't had any long conversations with him in awhile), and take a well-deserved shower. My seven-page report includes all of my excel-produced charts, several headings and sub-headings, a cover page, a table of contents, and one page at the end that I cannot delete because it changes all of my footers in the previous sections. It actually only took me about three hours to write (not including putz time); I just started late because office hours go until 9 PM. Tomorrow, all I will have to do is figure out what to do with that last, unnecessary page, and print out my work. 

Besides the "short" report that was looming over the all of the students' heads today, it was just business as usual (yes, the pun was intended). Group A continued their Excel education in the morning, while Group B got a lecture from Reneta. Once again, everyone was exhausted today. When we took a fifteen-minute break, at least twelve students (including myself) opted to rest our eyes instead. The Excel lesson was not hard to follow at first, but the last few points that Mark made were lost on me. Thankfully, they did not seem to be necessary for my graphs tonight, though. We also had a quiz on the basics of Excel, and a surprise quiz on all the calculations necessary for a completing Rooms Contribution Statement. Apparently, Reneta's small side comment yesterday that "this would make a good quiz," was supposed to be our obvious hint. Unfortunately, although Mark seemed to hear that remark, I did not. I put in a good effort, but lost all hope after my paper was collected and Mark laughed a little when he saw my answer. I was about $6,500 off; math is clearly not my forte. I only feel a little better know that the girls to my left, behind me, and in front of me were also off by a considerable amount, too.

At least lunch was fun. The class voted to shorten it to an hour so that we could get out of class early. It only took me 30 minutes to eat, so I walked back to class with my friend Alva. We mostly talked about politics - ranging from Mao Zedong's lengthy rule to the various levels of U.S. law. I always learn something new about China during lunch or after office hours. For instance, did you know that Chinese citizens don't get to vote (except for local laws on a rare occasion)? Did you also know that, similar to North Korea, the Chinese are still expected to honor the late Chairman Mao public? Hospitality school has taught me so much in so little time.

Up Next: The Holy Trinity

Today was a special day. It was the day that Freedom and Justice gets to hold over every other course at Cornell. It was the start of our 3 day weekend.

The school day was relatively normal. Professor Kramnick lectured on the ideas of John Stuart Mill and the realtionship between freedom and democracy. It was a very interesting topic The most interesting part for me was Kramnick's idea that technically everyone in the U.S. is a liberal in some way. The Republicans being concerned with the right of property, a liberal idea, and the democrats being concerned with the rights of life and liberty, two very liberal concepts. We followed the lecture with what I think was our best discussion section yet.

After lunch a lawyer friend, Richard Stumbar, of Professor Kramnick's talked to us about the issues of gay marriage laws, and his part in the struggle to eradicate them. Calvin, Alex, and I went to the library for a little while, after that, and I began refining my esssay. We then briefly met with Mr. Chan-Law about our weekend plans. I met briefly with Ulas during his office hours to talk about my essay. He gave me some very helpful advice on what he wants to see in my 2nd draft, and I feel prepared to make my next draft a drastic improvement to the first. THe rest of the night I spent eating dinner, playing pool, and finally watching  the movie Kick-Ass with Morgan.

I cannot wait for this weekend and the multiple activitise we have planned. It is crazy to think that this is my last weekend in New York! I am going to make it fantastic and memorable.

A Democratic Tyranny?

We arrived at Goldwin Smith Hall today for a lecture on the roles of freedom and democracy after wrapping up the feminist movements.  The focus of the lecture was based on the teachings of John Stuart Mill, who was also a women’s rights activist, and Adam Smith.  The discussion section was directed at the same issues, diving deeper into the differences between true democracy and freedom.  We looked at the “tyranny by the majority,” which eventually led us to discuss the contrasts between public opinion in the modern-day world, especially the controversies over same-sex marriage laws.

After lunch, Richard Stumbar, an attorney who also focused on the controversies of gay rights, greeted us.  He spoke from personal experience from his colleagues and highlighted the contrasting issues regarding same-sex marriage on the political and religious scales, which are partially intertwined.  He later spoke of gay rights progressivism through the adoption of many new laws that had already admitted same-sex marriage in six states: Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Washington, and Washington D.C. We were soon dismissed for our three-day weekend.

The three Freedom and Justice students spent the early afternoon in Uris Library in a group study room to relax and revise our essays.  Around 4 o’clock we met with our cohort including Mr. Chan-Law for a brief overview of our plans for the weekend, and then the three of us heading up to Balch Hall (Calvin’s dorm) where Ulas, our T.A., to review the notes he had written on our first draft of the essay.

We spent the evening after dinner initially playing pool with Mr. Chan-Law and a Freedom and Justice friend, who, interestingly enough, goes to Albany High about two blocks down from our high school and whom I used to play soccer with.  It was a relaxing way to officially start our three-day weekend.  Tomorrow, Eric, Calvin, Mr. Chan-Law, and I will spend the day touring Colgate University; I am looking forward to reliving the college-visiting experience once more!

Busy, Busy Day

I have big report due tomorrow, so I'm going to keep this post short. Today in class there was two thugs that we covered that was interesting to me. The  pivot tables on Excel is really interesting. The pivot table allows to me organize data and then copy these posts to Word without the information looking distorted. Originally, I thought he pivot table would be very complicated and difficult but after Mark walked us through making one, I was like 'Wow, that's not hard at all.'

The one aspect I rally like about this class is that we get to learn computer skills that can be applied even outside of the hotel world. Before this class I just ignored all the different features on Microsoft Office programs because I didn't know what they did. Now, I'm like I'm not going to hit the space bar forever to get the date on the right side of the page, I'm going to set a right tab to the right side of the paper and hit tab once to get to where I want to go.

Tonight I'm going to have to use the skills I've learned in this class to get my business report done.

An All Nighter

Today was the longest day I had since summer college started. The business report is due tomorrow and a lot of people are staying up really late to finish it.

This morning class started with a quiz. It was a quiz to make sure we knew how to use Microsoft Excel. I did alright but I knew I missed some questions. On a happier note, the entire class made a vote to cut lunch to one hour instead of an hour and a half so that class will end half an hour earlier.

Later, the class was split and our group started with a lecture from Reneta. She showed us a video on he importance of yield management. Then, we went to Mark to get an insight on advanced excel. It was very long, but it was manageable.

Currently, I'm trying to finish my business report, so my blog had to be shorter than usual.

Leisure and Liberalism

It was a nice feeling knowing that we would have the day off tomorrow while everyone else had to attend class. In fact, Professor Kramnick reiterated this fact quite a few times throughout the day. As for the actual lecture, Professor Kramnick spoke about the differences between Liberalism and Democracy and the viewpoints of Locke, Smith, and Mill. The lecture and group session seemed to go by faster than usual. In the afternoon, we had a local attorney talk as a guest lecturer who talked about the subject of gay marriage. After class, we met up with Mr. Chan-Law to go over the logistics of tomorrow's campus visit at Colgate University. So in reality, I still have to wake up at the time I usually do. After a quick dinner Eric Wilson, Alex, Hannon, and I decided to go play some pool and then later in the evening, we were joined by Mr. Chan-Law (Eric and Hannon left). I was surprised at how good he was at pool! Alex, and I ended up losing to him in the one-on-one game. 

Overall, today was filled with more leisure time than I will ever have in this next week. With papers due, reading to be done, and a final coming up, I'm surprised I'm getting 7 hours of sleep every night. Well, that's time management at its finest! I look forward to touring Colgate University tomorrow with Eric, Alex, and Mr. Chan-Law!