Saturday, June 25, 2016

Cornell Dorms and Orientation

After finally arriving in Ithaca, New York, we got picked up by a shuttle and were dropped off near the Balch Hall dormitory. The rest of my cohort lives in that dorm, but I am part of Mary Donlon. A student RA met us near Balch and led us all inside and after another RA came to check the Balch dormers in, the first RA took me to Mary Donlon. The walk to Balch Hall and then Mary Donlon was extremely difficult. It wasn’t very long in terms of distance, but with a large suitcase, small suitcase, backpack, and weak arms it was the hardest part of my day. I honestly thought I was done with heavy moving at University of Chicago after just carrying my laptop around in my backpack, but I was obviously very wrong. I got escorted to my dorm room, which is on the second floor, and as soon as I set everything down I started looking for my backpack so I could finish my blog. 

It was then everything started going down hill. After looking around the room multiple times I realized I left my bag in South Balch when we decided to take a picture, so I ran down stairs and got an RA to bring me back to Balch and get my bag. When I got back to Mary Donlon, I walked up the stairs to my dorm and my subconscious decided that was the perfect time to read the numbers on the wall wrong so I ended up going in the opposite direction from my room. There were some good parts about going the wrong way though. I saw an open door with a girl in it and I thought it might be a good time to introduce myself since I would be living near her for the next several weeks. She is from Hong Kong and spoke English really well. I met a second girl in the hall who was lost like myself and I soon realized she spoke Chinese as well when she went to talk to the Hong Kong girl. I finally found my room after another couple of turns and it took me approximately a minute to realize how hot it was. I quickly started looking around for an outlet to plug the fan in. After going under the bed and desk I found the one outlet, which is what the lamp was plugged into, and quickly pulled it out without thinking. With the lamp being the only light source in the room, I obviously was in pitch darkness. I quick got out from the desk, stubbed my toe on the chair, and opened the door to let the hallway light in. I found my power strip and was finally able to plug the lamp back in for light and the fan in for air. After that I was able to unpack relatively quickly and shower. 

Mural in Mary Donlon Hall
My room is actually much larger and nicer than I expected it to be. The closet is rather spacious and there are also plenty of drawers to put my clothing in. The desk itself also has multiple drawers. All of the furniture seems to be very sturdy and relatively nice. The mattress on the bed is kind of weird, but better than nothing. I also didn't expect the room to come with towels, bedding, a pillow, etc. They seem to be decently clean, but I'm still using my own because I didn't carry them across the country to not use them. Also, my sheets were made for little kids so it's super cute. It has elephants, stars, and plants on them. Who wouldn't want to use those sheets when you're a high school girl? Just kidding, I'd rather use them because I'm pretty sure they're cleaner. The Mary Donlon Hall itself is extremely cool. It's super easy to navigate because it's just a couple of straight hallways on all the dorm floors. All the dorm floors have a little living area for people to hang out. The bottom floor is a large living room with multiple TVs and couches. The walls have murals with various things on them. Some have inspirational quotes where as others have animals, etc. There are communal bathrooms and I was really dreading that part. I was really hoping to get a room where I had a shared bathroom with some other girls, but that obviously wasn't the case. After being in there multiple times for various uses, it's really not nearly as bad as I thought. There are several things that make the trips there easier. I'm really good I'm experiencing all of this now so I can be ready for college where I will most likely be using communal bathrooms. 

French Toast, Egg-White Omelet, Potatoes
In the morning, I met up with the rest of the Cornell cohort and ate breakfast. The cafeteria had a nice selectionI really wanted a super cool picture that would blow Don away and make this cohort legendary. thought that since Cornell's mascot is a bear we could act as if a bear statue is trying to maul us and we're running away, but those thoughts were soon crushed when we were told there aren't any bear statues. Then, I thought since there also aren't any large signs of "Cornell University" that are cool then we could just make the letters ourselves. So, we set out to do that after Diana mentioned we should do it in different places around Cornell so we can show the scenery more. It honestly took a lot of work because wearing the hoodie in that weather was crazy and I was sweating so bad, but after a lot of trial and error we were able to come up with the letters that make up Cornell. Coming up with ideas to make our letters better and rearranging ourselves together was an extremely good bonding time and I'll treasure this experience forever even if I was dying in the heat for a long time. 
The NEW standard for future ILC cohorts
Gorge with Nets
We then headed to an opening session in Bailey Hall. They talked about all the different parts of the campus, different rules and expectation, and advice to all of us. They showed us this video about the amazing gorges there. That they are super amazing, but also super dangerous. One senior died on his graduation day because he slipped in there. As soon as he slipped in he wasn't able to get out. Another super interesting fact is that Cornell has a super high suicide rate so they place nets on parts next to the bridge so that students aren't as easily able to commit suicide. After that hour long session, we split into our classes and headed to different lecture halls to talk about the syllabus of the class with the professor. My psychology class is actually really two classes according to the professor. One on clinical psychology and the other more on the science behind it all. The professor gives an hour and a half lecture everyday and then we meet back up later with different teacher assistants to discuss more in depth. This course is supposed to simulate a college course, hence the name "summer college". The professor is actually a co-author to the textbook we use and majority of the money earned from the textbook is donated to a charity the class decides on out of several charities. We had to get paper out to cast our vote and those around me weren't prepared for this so everyone was asking me for paper and pens. It was actually pretty funny. I was able to make some friends from this. 

I then headed to dinner. Past alumni told me that the food at the Cornell cafeteria is incredibly amazing. So amazing that anything I might want to eat would be there. I agree that there were a lot of options that were good, but I didn't think it was all that amazing. After dinner they had an ice cream social. They served chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and lemon sorbet ice cream while everyone got in small groups and played volleyball or frisbee. I personally walked around the campus with some various people I met. At 9:00 PM, there was a floor meeting at each dorm. We were told the rules and signed contracts concerning the rules. Our bedtime on the weekends is actually midnight and if we're not drinking alcohol and have our IDs then we have the freedom to do almost anything. This is the closest I've ever come to a legitimate college experience and it's super cool. 

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