Sunday, June 23, 2013

Playing CHESS with the World

North Balch's halls became loud with the sounds of rolling suitcases and worried parents. The building was no longer only housing three people. A girl named Mia moved into the room to the left of me. She was from New York City so she only had to drive here. Cornell's checklist started making sense to me because it had listed things like bicycles and instruments. I only thought about the people flying in, not the people who were simply driving. A neighbor down the hall moved in too! She was from Vermont.

We had our first meals in Cornell's dining hall today! Instead of a fancy meal at The Statler Hotel, we got our schedules and walked to the Robert Purcell Community Center(RPCC). To get food, you had to give an attendant your Cornell ID to swipe before going in. While waiting in line, I introduced myself to a girl behind our ILC group. Sherry was a fellow hotelie and she was from Hong Kong! After briefly asking where us ILCers got our course manuals, we proceeded onto getting food. It was buffet-styled with anything from cereal to pasta. The food was pretty good and when we sat down, Sherry approached us asking if she could sit with us too. Her parents were going back to Hong Kong and we were some of the first people she met. Of course we let her join and talked to her! She talked to us about the places she went to before arriving at Cornell. I wanted to take pictures of the dining hall, but I turned on my camera to find out the SD card was left in my laptop.

Our appetites were satisfied, but there was a few things that were needed to be done. Us hotelies needed binders for our course manual, Christian needed to reset her password, and Sherry needed her course manual. The worst part was that Cornell has a huge campus. I've been to UCs, Stanford, UChicago, Northwestern, and other universities but Cornell has the largest campus out of them all. We were redirected a few places before finding the right person to solve Christian's password issue. On our way back to the dorms, Mr. Chan-law was running around campus. He said he'd get the binders for us, so there was no need for the ILCers to walk to the student store. I didn't have much to do and the Program Welcome was in an hour, so I walked with Sherry to the student store on the other side of campus. The Program Welcome was located near the student store so everything worked out. During our walk, I told Sherry about the ILC. She was shocked by the process. She called me a nerd under the impression that a nerd just meant someone who was smart. I found out that she also applied for summer programs at George Washington and Stanford. It's crazy how much international students want to get into these programs and how much they're willing to do to get in. I really wanted to participate in this program too, but I wouldn't have even known about Cornell or any of the other Ivy League summer programs if it weren't for the ILC.
A view of Cornell from Libe Slope
Sherry was impressed by the laptop lock that Don gave me, so she bought one at the student store. She said that she's never seen one in Hong Kong and truthfully, I didn't know about these until I saw it on ILC's loaner list. We looked through the store and went to Bailey Hall. The auditorium was almost full. Sherry and I looked for the rest of the cohort but only found Rochelle and Tomi. We tried saving the F&J ILCers seats, but an RCA told us that we had to fill in the seats and close the doors leading into the floor. Mr. Schechter gave an opening speech and introduced the residential directors. He revealed that there were students from over 40 countries and 40 different states. The residential directors went over different rules that everyone has to abide by.

Nick Salvatore gave the next speech. His speech had uhms and pauses, but he gave one of the most compelling speeches I've ever heard. He talked about the history of introductions and told us a funny story about a man who gave a 105-minute speech. He advised the parents to leave in a teasing fashion and used inuendos. Some of the international students in front of me asked each other if they understood the jokes. We were all released in a short amount of time. Mr. Chan-Law met us outside of Bailey Hall and gave us our binders.
Bailey Hall
The filled auditorium
We broke up into our classes and met our professors for the first time. Mr. and Mrs. McCarthy gave us folders with syllabus. They told us that hard work was not an option and that there are so many people we may run into at Cornell. I'm slightly nervous for the course, but I know I've done my part in reading and becoming prepared. I've known that the class was eight hours and I was confident in myself that I could succeed in the class. There's 81 students in the class so we had to divide into two groups. Group A will listen to their lecture and group B will go into the computer lab and then switch. We'll start learning about Competitive Hospitality Education Simulation Series(CHESS) on Monday. 

I had dinner with Tomi and Sherry. Sherry told us more about the differences between Hong Kong and America. In Hong Kong, they don't have to take the SAT or ACT unless they want to attend school here. They go through three years of kindergarten instead of pre-school, kindergarten, and first grade. Our conversation was filled with funny misunderstandings and new things learned. The program hosted an ice-cream social where hundreds of students ate ice-cream and danced. Today was so insightful in terms of other lifestyles, including college life. I had to take my first shower in a community bathroom and push myself to talk to more people. Overall, I was able to meet people from India, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Brazil, Canada, and people all over the United States. There's so much diversity at Cornell and I'm excited to see that people have been reading our blogs! 
Sherry, myself, and Hadley

No comments:

Post a Comment