Saturday, June 22, 2013

Intercultural Introductions

I'm happy to announce that I've successfully made it through my first full day at Cornell University! Although classes have yet to commence, the day was still full of plenty exciting events and happenings. I woke up at 8:10 AM with the intent of meeting with the rest of my cohort and Mr. Chan-Law for breakfast. However, due to a few complications, we decided to abandon our initial breakfast plans. Instead, we agreed to eat our meal at the dining hall at a later hour.

Determined to make use of our morning, Rochelle and I decided to return to the foyer of Risley Hall's in order to receive our class schedules and Summer College memorabilia, thus officially completing our check-in process. Once we had been provided with all of our materials, Rochelle and I parted ways, promising each other that we would meet up again. 

Robert Purcell Community Center
Whilst waiting for breakfast to begin, Mr. Chan-Law arrived with the course manuals for the Hotel Operations course. After delivering Rochelle and Michelle their copies, I spent the rest of my time skimming through the manual's 317 pages, taking note of the various hotels and franchises cited within the text.

By 10:30 AM, the other girls and I reconvened in front of Risley Hall and together we made our way towards Robert Purcell Community Center, our residential dining hall. Summer College provides its students with a generous meal plan that allows students three all-you-can-eat meals a day. Students are offered a wide selection of assorted foods, desserts, and drinks. During breakfast, I ate waffles and potatoes as the girls and I discussed our expectations for the upcoming weeks.

Bailey Hall
At 2:00 PM, all Summer College students and their guardians were required to attend a one hour orientation meeting, held within Bailey Hall. The orientation opened with a welcoming statement from Summer College's Program Director, Jim Schechter. After relaying the demographics of the current Summer College populace as well as giving an overview of the program, Director Schechter was then followed by several other speakers, including Nick Salvatore, an esteemed faculty member who is revered by all due to his vast wisdom, seniority, and impeccable wit, and Janna Bugliosi, the Associate Director of Summer College.

The main orientation was immediately subsequent by a faculty convocation, course orientation held between professors and their students. The faculty convocation was held within Statler Hall, and it was here that I was finally able to meet with my two instructors Professor Reneta McCarthy and Professor Mark McCarthy. During the convocation, the professors explained how class was going to be run; we have two three hour sessions every weekday from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM and then from 12:30 AM to 3:30 AM. In addition to that, we also have mandatory study hall from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM Sunday through Thursday. Though I was initially overwhelmed by our schedule, I've come to appreciate it, as it ensures that we will be able to get the most out of our time at Summer College by ensuring that we will get our work done as quickly and comprehensively as possible.

At 7:30 PM, Summer College hosted an ice cream social where a large portion of the Summer College students met together for an evening of music and mingling. During the social, I was able
a wide array of people from various areas around the world, such as China, Japan, Canada, and India. I was shocked to learn how multicultural Summer College really was, with over forty countries being represented in our student body. I'm very happy with our diverse population, as I've already been able to learn a lot about foreign educational systems. For example, I learned that in some parts of Hong Kong, children spend three years in kindergarten, as opposed to the one year children spend in America. I hope to learn more about my fellow schoolmates and the countries, so that I may become more aware of the world around me.

The last event of the day was a mandatory residence hall meeting, wherein our RCAs explained the rules of Summer College along with the various services and trips being provided by Cornell University.

Today was a very tiring, yet satisfying day. I was able to get acquainted with a large variety of people, as well as get to learn a lot more about my course. I hope to get to meet even more people during the next few weeks.

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