Sunday, June 22, 2014

Orientation Day and the Power of Ice Cream from a Social Level

Map I used to find Sue and then almost got lost with
Today basically marked the arrival of the vast majority of Cornell Summer students. Thus, it was going to be hectic and full of many wonderful things to do and say, no matter what the activity. I woke up around 7 this morning to begin the official unpacking of my luggage and organizing everything that was left to organize that was on my side of the room. I had my entire luggage, duffel bag and backpack to unload and masterfully pulled it off in around 30 minutes.Yet the entire building was still empty--for the most part. On my floor, it was still only my RCA Michael, and my two room advisers Solomon and Titus. Something interesting is that with all the diversity we have on campus with the student populace, I keep forgetting somehow that the advisers also reflect that as well because they are Cornell students--silly me to forget that. My RCA Michael is originally from a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia and also took the course Freedom and Justice two years ago and is now studying in the ILR School at Cornell. He said it was literally some of the best and most stressful times of his life and it helped prepare him for college immensely. Solomon and Titus are both from Kenya. Solomon is now studying Computer Science as his major and Titus is majoring in physics. 

My awesome fuchsia bed that Thao recommended.
I saw the promise of tranquility and decided to take a shower at this very moment to ensure that I would be alone. As expected it was pin-drop silence on the floor as I showered away. Afterwards, as I was going back to my dorm, I began to see parents dropping off their children on my floor and quickly came into realization while walking in the hallway with my towel covering the bottom portion part of my body my days of staying at hotels were over and now I was to get a real college experience.  

The original plan was with the rest of my cohort was to meet up somewhere around Balch Hall so we could all walk together to lunch. I went downstairs to the lobby and received my complementary synch bag as well as some other items, including the all important map that I used to find my way throughout campus. The situation with the meeting up, was that only me and Sue were ready so she told me to meet her at North Balch and it turns out that I mistakenly walked all around the entire long side and took nearly 4 times the amount of time it would've took me if I just went down the stairs in the middle--oh well I found her in front of Risley anyway. Later on we found more and more of each other while waiting at the North Balch front entrance and we even got a new friend out of Balch who is from LA, she accompanied us. 

There at the Robert Purcell Community Center, where we eat all of our meals I ate a good feast in order to make up for what I didn't eat last night. I ate fried rice, french fries, chow mein, some sort of beef pasta and much more that I do not seem to quite remember. The food at Cornell is honestly not that bad and at the same time is in the form of buffet style. Even before and while eating, we met a whole new mix of people. We met a girl named Ashley who happens to live in a US army base in Germany, yet speaks English perfectly well. We also saw this guy we happened to see at the airport earlier, eating alone and invited him to join. While in the process, he invited his friend and thus we became an enormous table. 
The Goods

After lunch, Mr. Chan-law took us to some much needed shopping at Target--and we geared up. Shopping for supplies was a funny idea in our heads as we still thought of ourselves as kids, when parents still do this part. Either way we got just about everything, what I bought included, air freshener to deal with the pestilence of my room, some toothpaste (I had to steal some of my RCA's in the morning because I had none), a pillow, detergent, eye contact solution, soap, a notebook, some pencils, Nutrigrain bars and other products. The total bill was a lot more expensive than what I had thought but worth the price. 

Beautiful Bailey Hall.
When we returned to the dorm, to my delight, my roommate arrived and I finally got to talk to him. His name is Jantzen Nakai and he is from Oahu, Hawaii. He goes to a private school there and his ethnicity is full Japanese. It turns out he was more than welcoming for me to use his fridge and microwave--so I enjoy those privileges. Later on, we all had to go Bailey Hall for orientation so I went with him and Carla, since everyone else was already there. We got lost at first, but found our way with following the crowds of people.

Front seats in the large building.
The orientation was definitely not something I expected. Jim Schechter covered what exactly the
 experience was going to be like and as well as Janna Bugliosi. They had much to say on how the experience was going to change us, not to mention also the various extra-curriculars one could join for free, but Mr. Schechter also highly emphasized not swimming in the gourges because of a student death. His boss, also had the podium and and told everyone advice while comparing them to history and he loves Kramnick's course so much that he shouted that this is the best in New York.

The Freedom and Justice students outside the auditorium (once the orientation was completed) were led to a state owned building where Professor Kramnick gave his introduction and as he was explaining the class and telling the jokes he as has over and over again, I began to realize that he wasn't a boring teacher at all. He actually kept interesting the entire time and made the course all the more exciting and promising. One thing I found extremely weird was that our class consists of only 30 students

Orientation of Freedom and Justice course
After having arrived back to our dorms, we had the same situation as last time, for we all met up this time without any major setbacks and I even invited my roommate to eat with us. Except this time our number grew immensely--up to 18. We basically became the largest group at the cafeteria from this day on. 

After dinner, there was to be a ice-cream social at North Balch. Let me tell you, as foolish as it sounds, the notion of free ice cream pleases just about everyone. There I met a multitude of people including 3 Italians. Two being from Milan and were on the same flight--although did not know each other until the end of the flight. Furthermore, I also met many students from Hong Kong, China, London, Mexico, Taiwan, and even one from Turkey. What's amazing is many things, one being that so many students from all around the world come to study at Cornell and the fact that everyone is determined to do well in their own classes. I'm pretty sure that's as close to the real college feel I can get at the moment.
Cornell gorge from bridge.

Massive ice-cream social.
After the ice-cream social, I left around 8:45 PM, I just went to my room and began organizing more papers and then a floor meeting was called to lay down all the rules about attending summer college  and what not. Some of the basics, were no alcohol, drugs or other illegal substances, no weapons, no pets while some others included no candles or cooking in one's room (even though it said microwaves were not allowed), the RA's just allowed the use of them. Overall, coming to the conclusion that my RCA and RA's are very likeable people gave me all the more confidence that I was going to enjoy summer very much. Guess what? Tomorrow is time for a giant scavenger hunt!
Rock V. Scissors tournament on the 4th floor.

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