Sunday, July 14, 2013

Back to Life, Back to Reality

I could not sleep much last night. Preparing for the long trip back home and thinking about graduation consumed my thoughts so I only gained a few hours of rest. I thought I woke up pretty early this morning to  organize my room for check out but found that most of my fellow floor mates had already departed. We said our final goodbyes last night knowing we had different check out times but it was still difficult to not see them when I woke up. Instead, hoards of newcomers for the second session of Summer College began to enter the rooms of my floormates.
Last view of North Balch
After exiting my dorm room, the Freedom group and I met with Mr. Chan-Law outside of North Balch to check in our luggage. Fortunately, the process was very quick and smooth since there were not many people at the small Ithacan airport.

Myself and Professor Kramnick
Myself and my TA Nolan

By 10:30 AM, we met with our Freedom and Justice class for the graduation at Kennedy Hall. I could not help but feel saddened by the fact that it was the last time I would see my fellow classmates, several of whom I have gotten to know really well. One by one, each student was called in alphabetical order and was given his or her certificate from the TAs. Even though the ceremony was not too long, I will not forget the sense of accomplishment I felt once I was handed my certificate.
Jenna, myself, and Tamilyn at graduation
After saying our final goodbyes to our classmate, the three of us walked to Staler Hotel to meet with the rest of the cohort to have our final meal at the hotel's Taverna Banfi restaurant. As we passed by McGraw Hall and McGraw Tower, with the unusually cool air brushing across my face, I realized that it would be the last time I walk this path to class for Professor Kramnick's engaging lectures or for discussion sections with my classmates and Nolan.

We had a few hours before we needed to depart for Philadelphia so we enjoyed our delicious lunch with leisure. By 2:45 PM, we headed for the airport.
Boarding for Philadelphia
Despite the slight turbulence, the flight was less than an hour and we arrived safely. The lay-over for our flight to San Francisco was about an hour long so we got lunch to go; most of us ordered a Philly cheese steak for the sake of authenticity. Promptly by 7 PM, our flight to California took off. A feeling of anticipation overwhelmed me once I boarded the plane, knowing that once I land, I would be back home. A family of three, with a newborn infant, sat to my left. Seeing this family only reminded me how much I missed my own and made me even more thankful that I would be seeing them soon. Fortunately, the flight ended approximately thirty minutes ahead of schedule and we arrived at the San Francisco airport early, where I was graciously welcomed by my parents.

Before heading home, the Cornell cohort huddled up for a final group photograph and we said our final goodbyes. I honestly thought I would cry throughout the whole day but not one tear fell from my eyes. Maybe it has not truly hit me yet that this journey is over. However, I know that I will miss everyone I have met, especially my cohort. 

Now I am back in my wonderful room, preparing to sleep in my warm bed after three weeks. It feels so good to be home. 

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