Tuesday, March 23, 2010
The event was extremely insightful and it gave me a lot to be proud to have my son participate in along with other students. Being able to meet the other alumni and current students, I was also impressed with what Cornell has to offer and has opened me to the educational opportunities in East Coast. It would definitely be a great college for any student to attend.
I had a chance to talk with Cornell alum, David Korda. He gave me an impression of how diverse the Cornell student body is. We talked about what Cornell is like, and what his plans are for the future. Healso gave my son, Andrew, a few tips about the campus life, different parts of social outtings, and hoped to see him during the three week stay.
I am excited for my son this summer and am thankful for this opportunity.
P.S. Go Big Red! I'm following Cornell in the NCAA tournament this season.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
First of all, I would like to formally thank Mr. Ramsey, Mrs. Kronenberg, and Don Gosney for their continued support and encouragement as the seven Cornellians prepare for an extraordinary and rigorous three weeks at the prestigious Cornell University. I am extremely excited to be attending Cornell and am looking forward to the many activities and opportunities that we will have the privilege of participating in as members of the ILC, such as college tours at Syracuse, Colgate, University of Rochester, and, of course, residing and studying at the beautiful Cornell University.
I would also like to acknowledge everything they have done to prepare us for the program. So far, the Hotel students have had two training sessions with Mr. Ramsey, Mrs. Kronenberg, and Don at the Hercules Public Library. At these training sessions, we have learned about Microsoft Office 2007, which is a very important aspect of Cornell’s Hotel Management and Operations program. To help us recognize the type (and quality) of work we will be expected to produce, we studied examples provided by former Hotel student, Yueming Wang. One invaluable gift we received from Don at our first training session was a beautifully illustrated step-by-step Microsoft Office 2007 handbook.
As I read through the Cornell blog from last year and look through all the pictures, I can easily visualize where we will be in just a few months and I can’t wait!
Friday, March 19, 2010
WOW! This was my initial sentiment concerning last evening, which was spent at the Big Red by the Bay event in San Francisco with my son Alex Elms.
I want to first thank Mr. Don Kuehne for inviting the 2010 ILC Pinole and Hercules students to attend this Cornell event. His feeling that they might benefit from this event was an understatement. The next item on my agenda is to send a personal note of thanks to Mr. Kuehne. As always, I thank the ILC for the opportunity to experience this event along with Alex
That being said, I hope I can adequately describe my experience.
Since Alex has blogged about the impact of the room, I will go on to talk about the speakers and discussions.
On the slightly raised dais were comfortable chairs for the panelists and for the moderator, Professor Valerie Reyna. Professor Reyna made everyone feel relaxed with her easy style of questioning. The three student panelists discussed their varied social interests.
Dan Huttenlocher then moderated “A Meeting of the Minds” with a panel of five faculty members. They discussed decision making, as well as dissected what a decision is and the various components involved in making decisions, psychologically and otherwise. It was noted that Cornell has recently received a grant to purchase an MRI machine to map the brain’s activity during decision making. What new breakthroughs can be made from this machine is yet to be seen.
The panelists were asked “Why Cornell?” and to sum up the answers, Cornell represents the “head and the heart” working together to educate and influence with a global reach.
As President David Skorton could not be present, due to having undergone recent surgery, the substitute speaker (I apologize for not writing his name down last evening) talked of Cornell’s plans to increase financial aid by $35 million (15%) next year. To a parent, this was encouraging news. He also stated that Cornell received 36,000 applications for 3,150 open spots in 2010. Talk about competition!
As we filtered downstairs, our first impression of what to expect was a huge red circular floor rug with the Cornell crest. At first, it appeared superimposed upon the floor itself. On the tables outside of the buffet room were scattered buttons for the taking denoting various Cornell visual sound bites, such as “Dragon Day,” “Ithicating” and “Where Students Matter.” How fun!
Inside the buffet room on the various tables, we encountered even more colorful buttons in huge clear glass bowls. What a great marketing idea. Mingling among the current Cornell students, professors, alumni and faculty was very exciting. As a mother, I have to take a moment to say how proud I was of Alex for handling the networking aspect of the evening. I feel I would not have been as poised as he was, if I had been given this opportunity at the same age.
The entire evening, from the presentations to the networking and delicious hors d’oeuvres, was a great experience ~ most definitely one I appreciate being a part of.
Many thanks go out to the members of the ILC for giving my son the chance to be a part of what I hope to be the first of many eye-opening and educational experiences. I am forever in their debt.
Darlene Elms/Mother of One Lucky Young Man! (Don, please go easy on this first-time blogger) )
Last night, I attended the Big Red by the Bay event in San Francisco. It was quite a night. I got to hear from and personally speak to past and current Cornell students, as well as faculty members. Knowing that I had to attend school the next day, we had to reluctantly pull ourselves away from the gathering around 9:30 p.m. So here is my experience…
The driving time was less than we expected, so we arrived half an hour early. This worked to our advantage because it gave us a chance to enjoy the spacious lobby of the beautiful San Francisco Marriott Hotel prior to checking in for the event. As the event hall opened and people began filing in, we saw Mr. Don Kuehne, our gracious host. From the reception area, we were led through double doors into a grand room with low lighting, but also purposely flooded with Cornellian Red. Because we arrived early, we were able to sit with Mr. Kuehne in the second row. Andrew Woo and his father arrived soon after and sat behind us. Once the event began, the magic unfolded.
The program began with a Student Conversation. Professor Valerie Reyna moderated the conversation between two current Cornell Seniors, Dorian Bandy and Serena Chiang, and one Graduate student, David Korda. Professor Reyna asked each student to give a bit of background history about themselves and how they came to arrive at Cornell, as well as what their social lives were like while attending the University. It was interesting to hear about their various backgrounds and social interests. The audience was then allowed to ask the students questions. After the Q&A, Dorian played a marvelous piece of Baroque music from the 18th century. I was blown away during the entire performance. After he finished his piece, I realized that my jaw had literally dropped. It was amazing. After this portion of the evening, we took a break to mingle and enjoy the refreshments in the reception area.
Next, we listened to a discussion among five Cornell professors, which was moderated by Professor Daniel Huttenlocher. The panel included Professors Joseph J. Fins, Thomas Gilovich, Jon Kleinberg, Brian Wansink and Valerie Reyna. Each of the professors specializes in a different area of study, such as medicine, psychology, computer science, economics and human development, respectively. Their primary focus is the psychology involved in their applied field. The discussion revolved around decision making, psychology, human predictability and human actions. Even though they each specialized in completely different areas of study, they were able to relate to every question asked because of this link with psychology. Again, the audience was allowed to ask questions at the end. Each of the professors was captivating in their discussion and very engaging. This was my favorite part of the night because of the analysis of, not only human morals, but also the thought processes of the average person when presented with a certain scenario.
After the discussion, we were invited to adjourn downstairs to a long narrow room to sample the diverse hors d’oeuvres and to mingle and network with Cornell alumni, current students, as well as the professors that spoke during the presentation. My first discussion was with a Cornell alumnus. He was very personable and happy to tell me about his Cornell experience, having recently graduated in December 2009. I told him of my excursion this summer and he said that these sorts of events (the summer program) were great ways to get my foot in the door with universities. I was excited to meet and speak with Brian Wansink, one of the professors from the second presentation, as his portion of the panel discussion was very engaging. We talked about how the night was going so far and my trip to study at Cornell this summer. He then offered to give us a private tour of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, of which he is the director. He was very interesting to speak to.
I think the person I enjoyed speaking with the most was Dorian Bandy, one of the students from the first presentation. We discussed the piece he played and how long he had been involved in music. He has been playing music since the age of two. Yes, I said the age of TWO. I was speechless when he said that. He also said that after visiting Ithaca, places he once found beautiful now paled in comparison. I heard something along those lines at least five times last night. He also said something very interesting. Every time he returns to the Ithaca campus, upon arrival, the light changes. I think that is what I’m looking forward to the most now – seeing the campus as David does and viewing the rural setting.
This night was absolutely unforgettable and I cannot thank Mr. Don Kuehne enough for allowing me this amazing opportunity. I only wish I could have spoken to Andrew Woo after the event to get his impression of the event.
This was definitely an event that very few would want to miss.
Once again, this is Alex Elms signing off.
P.S. - Happy Dragon Day (which is a MAJOR event at Cornell)
Thursday, March 18, 2010
I took notes on the discussion in this notebook, and I took a picture of it, because I really liked how they had pins all over the place. Although, I didn’t see Andrew or Alex there, I hope their experience was as eye opening as mine.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Yesterday, March 14, 2010, the seven Cornellians, Don, Mr. Ramsey, Ms. Kronenberg and Mrs. Kaplan had all agreed to meet at the Hercules Public Library at 3:00. We decided that the two individual groups, the “Hotelies” and the F&J group, would work separately for an hour and later convene to discuss the Cornell blog site. So here is what happened…
Upon entering the conference room that Ms. Kronenberg reserved for us, I realized that Don was the only one who had arrived thus far. It was not long before the room was bustling with Cornellians, including the students from Hercules. We did not get much of a chance to meet and chat with the Hercules Cornellians because at that point, we had decided that Mrs. Kaplan and the F&J group would adjourn to the adjacent room so we could begin our discussion on Plato.
We had a very meaningful discussion about what Socrates thought would make the ideal community. We raised several questions about why Socrates went about arranging his hypothetical community the way he did and if we also tried applying his thoughts to today. As we delved deeper into the discussion, we began asking a lot more questions and answering them with new questions. Occasionally we would come to a somewhat concrete answer, but most of our questions just led us deeper into a forest of questions without answers. I have found that our political theory discussions feel a lot like an algebra problem; we work backwards from what we know in order to achieve a resolution… or more likely, just more questions. I think that analyzing these problems, situations and questions like I would an algebra equation makes it much easier for me. It also makes it a lot more fun. It kind of blends two of my favorite aspects of school: my math class and forensics.
We began by observing the Columbia and Brown blog sites, just to get an idea of how we should customize ours. Just as we began doing this, Mr. Ramsey arrived. This was our chance to step up and put our ideas out there. The ideas that we brought forth and agreed upon were to change text and background colors. We also briefly touched on what information we wanted in the sidebar and how certain pictures would be displayed. Before we knew it, our conference room time was at an end.
Overall, we had a productive meeting. The seven Cornellians got a chance to meet face to face and we took a step forward with our blog page. I know that this is going to turn out to be a great group and that we will churn out one of the best blog sites that the ILC has ever seen.
Until next time, this is Alex Elms signing off.
Sunday, March 14, 2010