Sunday, June 23, 2013


The rain stopped just in time for me to walk back
 to the dorm after dinner.
Today was the first day of rain. After yesterday's blistering heat, the monstrous downpour was quite a shock to all of the Ivy League Connection Cornellians. I had heard about the unpredictable weather changes, but fleeing into a building from the blistering heat only to come out to a pelting downpour was an eye opener. The rain and thunder were only a few of the many surprises today held.

The day began humid and hot when I went for breakfast and even in the early afternoon when the newly arrived Summer College students and I trekked to Bailey Hall for the Crash Study Skills Course. All summer college students were required to attend and over 900 students converged in the large auditorium for the three hour introduction. I met many more people and learned about psychology, but I also learned more about myself.

Students wait restlessly as music fills the hall.
 Starting at 1:30PM, the primary function of this session was to provide the green students with a general sketch of college life. Through the use of a slideshow and distributed clickers, which were used to take polls on various questions, students were lectured on what to expect in college and how to deal with the coming challenges. Generic tips such as getting sleep and setting priorities were covered and I was beginning to hope that the remaining hours would pass quickly so I could go back to my dorm and prepare for the first day of class tomorrow. Just as the thoughts formed in my mind, the helping RCAs, Residential Campus Advisors, tossed beach balls of various sizes into the crowd. The restless students laughed in delight and for ten minutes the colorful orbs of plastic soared through the air.

The students were shocked and delighted when the balls

 were thrown off the stage.
Soon after, the balls were returned and the lecture continued. I expected the continuation to be an eye-drooping presentation of encouraging students to study well and work hard, but instead I was given a thin packet of paper labeled “The Four Learning Styles.” In each packet was a grid for students to fill out and calculate their learning style. According to my survey, I am a diverger.

A diverger is an individual who ends to deviate from ideas and views concrete situations from all angles. Divergers often embody artists, poets, psychologically minded people who bring observational and intuitive skills to their peers and learn by watching and analyzing. They are open minded and enjoy gathering information. The description was rather generic, but seeing the words on paper brings awareness to a person. Implicitly I knew that I was a diverger, but I was not truly aware until I read the description.

Before the session, I wondered how the Crash Course would last three hours and worried that I would waste my time listening to advice I had heard countless times before. To my relief, I learned much more than I had expected, from how sleep makes you smarter, to how college classes are really like. The most important lesson for me, though, was what my learning style was- my strengths and weaknesses. I understand people and enjoy brainstorming, but I am often paralyzed whenever I have to make a final decision. A few of my previous teachers have implied that I need to be careful of when my divergent ideas shifted too far from the original question or reality in general; however, the point did not hit me until this afternoon when I saw the paper. After leaving the building slightly enlightened, my newfound insight was further hammered in by the shocking boom of thunder.

Cornell University continues to surprise me, and I look forward to what awaits me tomorrow when I attend the Introduction to Modern Political class for the first time. 

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