Monday, June 27, 2016

Spanish Debate Day One

So the title is very misleading. I am taking a Debate and Rhetoric course, but it's not in Spanish. Although, I did speak a lot of Spanish today and met a bunch of other Hispanic people, and it was wonderful to say the least.

First rainy day
I woke up around 8:40 AM since my class doesn't start until 12:30 PM but I still wanted to make it to breakfast. Right before I was going to leave my dorm, and try to have breakfast at Trillium (the other dining hall closer to most classrooms) it started raining. I knew that even though it was raining it was probably just going to be humid later. Either way, I put on my Cornell hoodie courtesy of the Ivy League Connection and grabbed my umbrella. As I was walking down the staircase, my classmate Amelia texted me saying she was having lunch at the RPCC, so I went with her instead.

Around 12 PM, we started walking to Ives Hall, in the ILR school (Industrial and Labor Relations). I had passed by it yesterday, so it was a short 15 minute walk, some of it uphill. Apparently most people struggled, but we found the lecture hall with ease. About 25 students were already seated, and our professor was no where to be found. So we were early. His TAs, Rubin and Armands, eventually showed up. They asked us how we were liking the campus, and everyone said they hadn't done much. I don't think I've done enough exploring either, but I hadn't spent all my time in my dorm so I was okay.

Class started and it was mostly introduction. The biggest thing I got out of it was that my professor, Sam Nelson, has a certain pedagogy, and it's to democratize the class. He believes he has as much to learn from the students as we do from him. I personally appreciate that, because although yes he's very well-rounded in debate, being a champion of many competitions and all, he definitely does learn from us. Also, he said that a good debater has a mindset of sharing ideas. It's not so much about how they look when debating or how they "perform," but the actual sharing of concepts from that person to another. That made me think about how I would be debating in the future, and made me try to focus on worrying more about getting my ideas through as opposed to worrying about appearance.

We then all got to introduce ourselves, almost. About a third of the class, including myself, have yet to say our names and facts about ourselves. They also all got silly nicknames with their initials. The class was a good laugh, and even though I know it's supposed to be a very difficult course I'm glad I chose it. He even gave us time to talk to each other, and I met two girls from Spain, a boy from Iowa, a girl from Connecticut, and a girl from Long Island. The girl from Long Island, Rachel, and I were fascinated by how educated the boy from Iowa, Hans, was. He lives on a farm so he does know a lot about agriculture, but they do think about how it affects global warming and ways to improve and prevent that. That's actually going to be one of our debate topics, global warming. It was a class I'm looking forward to.

After class, I met up with Diana and Shuxin to go to Ithaca Mall with Mike and have some dinner. The Ithaca Mall is unfortunately small and Ithaca in general lacks food options within a small proximity We ate at the food court, and I got Chicken teriyaki. Mike and Diana also got plates from there and Shuxin got noodles. We talked about how it's been so far, first day of classes, and our first weekend at Cornell. I was really full, unlike when I eat at the dining hall because I'm usually talking so much with my friends. We then said goodbye to Mike and went back to Cornell.

I got to Cornell just in time for the Dodge ball circle they had going on. So many people were involved. Afterwards, I met up with Sami and Paula at the RPCC, just to later find Kachi and Diana, our friend from the midwest, and decided to go play cards at Donlon. We were there for a good hour, until we were tired of playing. I told Paula I was going to go on a run, since the day was still so beautiful and it was light out. 

Dodge ball circle near Mary Donlon Hall
I didn't go on that run though. Paula and I ran into some Hispanic girls, who called us over just by yelling, "Hola!" They were so excited to see that we also spoke Spanish. One of them, Victoria, is from Puerto Vallarta and she was really outgoing. Valeria is from El Salvador and Ericka is Taiwanese but she's from Costa Rica. It was a lot of fun speaking in Spanish so we went to look for more Hispanic people to bond with. Then turns out, a girl I had met 2 days before, Eva was Italian but also spoke Spanish! It was such an adventure and I got to meet and talk to way more people. 

Everyday has been significantly different at Cornell. I know it's not always one-hundred percent excited, but being here always makes me look forward to the following day. 

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