Friday, July 13, 2012

Lasting Relations

Wow, these three weeks have passed so quickly. Today was the last day of class, and I'm really sad to go back. I've only been here for a couple of weeks, but it seems that I've known a lot of people for more than that time. I personally wish that there were more days, but less hours.

Starting our last Hotel Management class, Reneta showed us our final PowerPoint. It was a review on what the industry was all about. We watched a video about life long relationships, it made me think if I would see anyone from this program. She said that she has worked with someone for almost her entire life, but I don't know if I could keep in touch with people outside of the country.

After our lecture was over, Eric and I checked out. All of the ILCers then arrived to the Statler Hotel, just for the last day of the program. It is very relaxing to be able to have my own room, with my own bathroom, but I thought it was unnecessary. It was nice to have the experience of living in a dorm, even though it was like 90 degrees every night. As soon as I came to my room, I turned the air-conditioning on the lowest possible temperature because I was already sweating from walking to the hotel.

Later, everyone went to our first and last dinner in the past week. We arrived in Za Za at 7:00 PM and I was not used to the amazing look of the restaurant. I was always used to either dining in RPCC or getting delivery. After some seafood appetizers, I ate lamb chops and the soup of the day. To top off an already incredible dinner, we went to Purity Ice Cream to get some desserts. I got a double scoop Mocha flavored. The only problem with my delicious dessert was the size of the ice cream. It was so enormous that I couldn't even finish it. The ice cream cone was as long as my head. After eating our dessets, we headed back to our hotel.

We finished off our last day by hanging out in just one room. It is going to be sad to leave tomorrow, after the graduation.

Preparing for Departure

It's a bit surreal to be honest. A month ago, I didn't know anyone here on the East Coast but as the weeks past, the weeks seemed to pass faster and faster as I began to meet more people and establish what Reneta would call "relationships that last a lifetime".This time tomorrow, I will be 3,000 miles from Ithaca. I have learned so much about the hospitality industry as well as met some really awesome people. As cliche as it sounds, the word bittersweet probably best describes my situation. I'm looking forward to being home and being to finally sleep in my own bed, but at the same time, I'm going to really miss my new friends and Cornell. I love this school and I'm seriously contemplating applying to the School of Hotel Administration. I sincerely appreciate all the support from the sponsors who made this trip possible.

Initially, Frank and I stuck to our group of Alex, Calvin, and Eric, but as class progressed, Frank and I began to meet and hang out with new people. The first people we began to hang out was with Julia, Jiyoon, and  Andrea who will be good friends for a long time. I can speak for both myself and Frank when I say that we truly believe that the trio are all really cool people and we're both grateful that Jiyoon came up and introduced herself. 

Mark and Reneta, thank you for opening my eyes to the world of hospitality. I never knew that the hotel industry could be so interesting. All the aspects that go into running a successful hotel are incredibly complex and I loved every moment of class. Not only am I aware of the hospitality industry now, I am now able to do much more with Word and Excel and I thank you Mark for making me much more tech savvy. 

Today, I got up to get to the Bin (computer labs) early to finish my report. My group grinded it out and handed in  our final report in a half hour early. Frank and I then went to grab lunch with some buddies and then scrambled to cram all our belongings into our suitcases in order to check out of my dorm. As hot and uncomfortable my dorm was, I realized that I am also going to miss my dorm. I worked late into the night and spent minutes laughing with Frank as we tried to complete work. We then checked into our rooms at the Statler and then Frank and I went to the gym to play a pick-up basketball before we cleaned ourselves up for our final cohort dinner.

Now, I'm typing this blog in Frank's room with our cohort, together for one last time on the East Coast.

Friday the 13th

Wow... It is all over. No more class at Cornell. It is hard to believe, the first week felt so long and I was sure this experience would feel like forever, but before I knew it it was done. This was probably one of the best experiences of my life. It is sad to think it is over. I am definitely going to try for the ILC again next year, this time for Yale Grand Strategies.
Possibly My Last View of the Lecture Hall

 I think the final exam went well, despite the suspicions associated with today. It consisted of a long essay, two short essays, and five short answer questions. Time was much more of an issue on this test than the preliminary test. I was working until the very last minute, but I managed to finish everything. The studying I did was very helpful. I felt very prepared. The final is over! No more stress!
Lobster and Shrimp Risotto
After the final we went to lunch with a number of our classmates, then I proceeded up to Donlon to finish packing. After checking out at 2, Calvin and I hung out until Mr. Chan-Law picked up the Donlon kids to check in at the Statler. I hung out until dinner time. We ate dinner at a local italien restaurant and had our last ILC Dinner (another sad thought). The meal was excellent, and was followed by ice cream at Purity (an aclaimed local creamery). We spent the rest of the night hanging out and enjoying the luxury of the Statler.
Mmmm... Lamb

All that is left is "graduation" and the flight home. In a way I cannot wait, but I know I will always remember and miss this month.

The Grand "Final"

It is over! Today, we took our final which lasted two hours. The essay questions were pretty straight forward and I had plenty of time to finish it. It was quite sad realizing that it was the last time I would probably ever be in that lecture hall ever again. As the exam finished up, I couldn't help but to marvel at the room and soak everything in. All this time, everything had become so routine that I didn't soak in every aspect of going to class: from the walk to our lecture hall to the trip towards the dining hall. 

Group photo with Professor Kramnick
Our lecture hall
Inside Goldwin Smith Hall

Goldwin Smith Hall: Out lecture hall
After our exam, we had our last lunch at Trillium with some of our classmates. We (Eric Wilson, Alex, Hannon, and I) started to engage in a deep conversation with Brian on terms used in the Bay Area versus New York. After lunch, we all went back to our respective dorms to pack up in preparation to move to the Statler Hotel. After packing up, I went up to the Donlon Lounge to hang out with Eric Wilson for a while before walking towards the Statler with Alex while Eric squared, and Frank were driven to check in since their check out times at Donlon were earlier. Our check out time was at 5:00 PM. 

After we all settled in, we headed out to our last fancy dinner at an Italian restaurant. We ended up ordering some delicious appetizers. I ordered the crab cake and lamb. After eating dorm food for three weeks, this was a welcoming reunion of high quality food. However, now that we won;t have anymore dorm food, I will miss it somewhat. 

My entree
After eating a great dinner, we went across the street to have dessert at the famous Purity Ice Cream. Before this trip, Nick Schebek praised this place as if it was the holy grail. To say the least, Purity did not disappoint. The ice cream was delicious and the portions were titanic. What a great way to end the day! Now we're in the Statler passing the time with some reminiscing and game playing.  

The four weeks we have spent in the east coast have zipped by. There are still many things I would like to do here, but unfortunately, there can only be so much done in the time span. It's been an amazing and priceless experience. I can't thank the ILC and Cornell University enough. Tomorrow, everything will become official after graduation.

A Surprisingly Good Day

The awesome risotto that we're at the end, our time spent in New York seems to have passed by so quickly. I can still remember getting up at 4:00 AM to meet with Don for our last-minute orientation and pictures four weeks ago. Today was good though; my group finished our work an hour early, and I was able to finish with all of my chores by 2:00 PM. I enjoyed my last lunch at RPCC (salad again), and at 3:00 PM I went to check out the design program's final show - basically, they made complex paper light covers. Afterwards, I packed up my stuff, vacuumed my room, checked out, said good-bye to some of the people I often encountered on my floor or in class, and left for the Statler Hotel. I am not sure why we are staying at the Statler, though, since we could have stayed in the dorms until Saturday afternoon (I have no complaints about the hotel, since it has air conditioning, a soft bed, and no roommates!).

Everyone at the restaurant; we devoured our food!
For dinner, we ate at Zaza Cucina - an Italian restaurant - and enjoyed our last night eating fancy. I had a salad for an appetizer, and a deliciously creamy risotto for my main course. We decided to head over to the ice cream parlor for desert (Purity's); the line was long, but it went by quickly and was worth it. I got a single scoop of mint chip with peanut butter and gummy bears. The scoops were generous (probably an understatement) and all of us could barely finish it.

Now Eric Wilson, Calvin, Alex, Frank, and I are all in Calvin's room blogging (or at least Alex and I are, for now) while listening to music. I am eager to go home, but I will miss Cornell. I won't be writing a reflective blog tonight, but I can say this - these past four weeks have seemed almost like one long, adventurous dream.

A third of the way in....

I Love It Here, Simple as That

We woke up an hour later after Professor Kramnick rewarded us with a 10 o’clock start for our final.  Of course, at our last meal at the Robert Purcell Community Center, the day of our final, Cornell decides to conduct a fire drill in which everybody had to evacuate.  The test was not easy, it required much critical thinking and preparation, but after two hours, it was over.  We gave Professor Kramnick a hug goodbye and a massive “thank you” before heading out of Goldwin Smith Hall for the last time.  We left for lunch at Trillium before heading to our respective dorms to pack up and check out.

ECHS Freedom and Justice with Professor Kramnick and Hannon
"Kamp Kramnick" coming to a close
I didn’t need to check out until after five, so took my time packing and cherishing the moments in Risley for the final hours.  I have really grown to love the place; the location is the only inconvenience.  I have considered Risley my home as of recent, and have really found a routine in the dorm life.  With only one floor of guys in the building, I have really bonded with some of the people on our floor.  I really am going to miss the people the most; the thought of never seeing some of them again seems unthinkable right now.  I knocked on some doors and said some final goodbyes to my neighbors before Asher came to check me out. 

Goldwin Smith Hall with McGraw Hall in Background
Asher and Riley, the two R.C.A.s on our floor, have really treated us well during the trip.  They are both only eighteen but I feel like they are so much older than I am.  They have been essential in my amazing experience at Cornell and I am so glad that I met them both.  Asher did a final inspection of the room before we shared a final goodbye. 

We checked into the Statler Hotel, just like when we arrived in Ithaca.  I realized that I have changed so much since our arrival.  We have been accustomed to dorm life, and now we get one more taste of luxury before our departure.  We spent the night stress-free in each other’s rooms, enjoying what is left for us in Ithaca.

The Statler from the Back
Dinner was at ZaZa restaurant near the campus.  I realized that I have really missed these fancy dinners we have had with our group and am so sad that this will be our last one.  The high life has been so enjoyable and I’m glad that we had one more dinner to reflect on our experience at Cornell. 

Some of my very good friends we enrolled in “Kamp Kramnick” last summer.  One of them in particular, Nick, could not stop talking about a certain ice cream parlor in Ithaca, Purity Creamery, once he realized I was attending Summer College.  Mr. Chan-Law has already visited the parlor to pick up an ice cream cake for my birthday almost two weeks ago, which was such a generous and considerate act on the part of my group.  We visited Purity after dinner for dessert, and we all loved it.  The double-scoop was enormous; I ordered a combination of chocolate-chip cookie dough and mint chip on a chocolate and rainbow sprinkle dipped waffle cone.  All of my expectations were met, this ice cream was amazing!
Tuscan Steak with Asparagus 

Enjoying Our Last Night Together!
This will be the last time I will be blogging to you from Ithaca.  I have absolutely loved my time on the East Coast, and I would do anything to spend more time here with my friends.  I am so grateful for all of the people that I have met and I have created such a special bond with my group throughout this past month.  I would love to introduce you all to my friends but I hope I can describe them all another time when I write my reflective blog.