Saturday, June 25, 2016

Start of Something New

The struggle up the stairs
Our cohort got to Cornell right in time for the last early check-in time. A Cornell student, who is also the RCA (Residence Community Adviser) for the Mary Donlon Hall, met us at the bus stop where the shuttle from the airport dropped us off. We had to carry our luggage, which was also a huge struggle, up the stairs to the 4th floor of the South Balch Hall. They unlocked the doors for us and said we'd get keys and everything in the morning.

My door had a tall Starbucks cup with pink confetti inside and my name on it.  That meant that I was in a single dorm. I walked in and sure enough on one side of the room there was one XL twin bed and across from it was a wooden desk. In between the two was a window and it has a great view to the grassy quad in between the buildings, of course I didn't know that at midnight. I have three doors on the wall parallel to the hallway. One is a closet with drawers and shelves, and on the inside of that door is a vertically long mirror.The other is a sink with a small medicine cabinet and a light. The third is another closet, but there's a lot of hanging space in this one. There's also another piece of furniture next to the desk and it's a sort of book shelf with a little door on the bottom.
The outside of South Balch Hall

The table set up with lanyards and
the bags we'd get.
I was a little sad at first to see that I had in fact gotten a single dorm, but that also comes with its perks. I put my sheets on the bed and my Stitch pillow to kind of personalize it. About two hours later I decided to shower. Yes, I showered very late and it was scary.  The bathroom light was on yet the showers were darker because of the curtains that separate the bathroom stalls and them. Not long after I decided to sleep so I turned off my room's light, and it was super dark. I decided to turn my desk lamp on but got up before I was fully asleep to turn it back off. I strongly suggest a nightlight if the darkness is something you don't like.

This morning I woke up later than I wanted, but I had time to get my key and find the RPCC, which is one of the dining halls, and get some breakfast with the rest of the Cornell cohort. It was emptier than expected, but then I realized most people were still checking in. We then decided to find the Cornell bookstore to get some Cornell apparel! We failed at that too. On the walk there we saw Falls Creek and were amazed.

The Cornell bookstore's clothing items honestly seemed more affordable to me than the others we had visited. After much searching we all got very different hoodies or jackets, not so much because we have different taste in clothes but because we preferred different fits and we all look different. Once we all were satisfied and ready to represent the school we went with Mike to take some pictures! We put a lot of work into those poses.

At 2 PM we headed to Bailey Hall for some welcoming remarks from the dean. We got some regulations that bummed me out, but I understand it's for our safety. I had hoped the Gorge was accessible to swim in, but we're not allowed to because of how dangerous it is. We were reminded that we were here to learn, and they hope that we all make at least one friend for a lifetime. The words were inspiring, because they also reminded us that it's not so much about the grade but who we meet and what we learn. The whole presentation lasted about 2 hours, and then we were released to the front of Bailey Hall, where our instructors would be carrying signs for us to find them.

I found my group easily, and it seemed like a very small group. My class is made up of only 31 students and we're being taught by the professor, Sam Nelson, and his two assistants Armands and Rubin. My professor actually went on a scholarship for debate team to USC, and so did his assistant Armands. Rubin is a current student at Cornell and is also on the debate team. I'm looking forward to all I'm going to learn in this class because they all seem to have a lot of expertise on the subject.

The program orientations didn't take too long and by 5 PM we were dining in the RPCC. There was a whole herd of high school boys wearing "Cornell Basketball" jerseys. I'm assuming it was also a summer sports camp, but they were very smelly. I had quite a bit of food, especially breadsticks. I got a slice of pizza thinking it was pesto, but because I can't read I didn't realize it was broccoli and was very let down. I decided to be a buzzkill and go up to my dorm and work on blogging and by 7:10 PM I was down on the Balch Hall quad for the ice cream social. 

I didn't eat a lot of ice cream although it was very good, but I was more interested in joining the huge circle that was playing with a volleyball. I met some girls that way and two turned out to be in my dorm, which was pretty sweet! We must've played on the grass for about an hour before everyone went back up for floor meetings.

The floor meeting for us was a little long but it was straight forward and mostly common sense. We all introduced ourselves with an adjective then we got some papers to fill out about us. Then we got some rules: no alcohol, drugs, or smoking. Also, night check-in is at midnight on the weekends and 11 PM on the weekdays. After those times, our cards no longer open the doors to our buildings. The last thing we did was write adjectives on a bulletin board then most of us showered and waited for night check-in.

Tomorrow, we have a scavenger hunt and an activities fair. I'm looking forward to joining some clubs and being able to make new friends. I know these three weeks are going to go by fast so I'm definitely going to try to make the most of them. 

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