Saturday, June 22, 2013

Hello, My Name Is...

As approximately 900 students and their parents from New York to Hong Kong entered the Cornell campus, the official check in day for all summer students commenced. Fortunately, my cohort and I did not have to endure this process due to our early arrival yesterday. Instead, we had a calm morning and decided to tour the campus for a couple of hours. I had always heard that Cornell was an extremely large college, but walking from our residential halls to our designated course facility, McGraw Hall, gave me the opportunity to familiarize myself with the Cornell environment. 
Jenna, North Balch floormate Tess, and Tamilyn looking for McGraw Hall

By 2 PM, there was an opening ceremony held at Bailey Hall by program director Jim Schecter to welcome all the students to the university. I looked down from the balcony and saw a sea of young, unfamiliar faces. I never imagined that so many people would willingly spend their summer vacations participating in a college-leveled course.

Program Welcome and Dean's Convocation within Bailey Hall
 It made me realize that this experience must be pretty valuable for young teenagers to make such a social sacrifice. Once the ceremony ended and everyone left with their respective groups, I was able to meet Professor Kramnick for the first time. Before the ILC interview a few months ago, I did a little research about him to get a sense of who he was and what he may be like. Of course, due to his numerous publications and awards, I knew he was quite intelligent and successful. As he briefly explained what we should expect from the class (lectures, discussions, and seminars) with an engaging presentation and wit, my predilections about Professor Kramnick rained true. I am excited for the class to begin on Monday so I can experience his teaching style and gain so much knowledge from the course.

Later in the evening, the Cornell staff set up an ice cream social for all the students. In order to break the ice among the diverse group, the RCAs initiated group dances with the students.
The RCAs and students dancing at the ice cream social
The purpose of this event was for everyone to step out of their comfort zones and meet the other students. One of my goals for this trip is to be able to develop my character socially and build the confidence to meet new people. Fortunately, before and throughout the event, I was doing just that. It was simply amazing to speak with students from across the country and across the globe. With each conversation I had, I felt my horizons expand and I cannot wait to meet more people during my stay in the East Coast.

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