Sunday, July 11, 2010
It felt very good waking up today at 10:30 AM. I was very excited to go canoeing today, something I have never done before. We ate brunch first at Appel and then walked to Ms. Kaplan’s car. Actually, the gang almost left without me because I was talking to my group members about our service learning project for today, which we agreed we would do at around 5 (more details later). They seriously were about to drive off without me until I saw them outside starting to move. Based on today, I would have smacked myself upside down the head for missing that car. Nonetheless, we all drove for no more than 10 minutes until we arrived at Lake Cayuga.
A man there handed the 8 of us life jackets, and we decided that I would be the one making videos on the lake. We divided the canoes as follows: Dyana, Andrew Gonzales, and Jacky in one canoe, Alex and Andrew Woo in another, and me, Ms. Kaplan, and Beilul in the third. We struggled in the beginning to even maneuver the canoe, but I really got the hang of it 20 minutes in. It was such an amazing experience being isolated by the serene and calm water, only to be disturbed by occasional waves caused by nearby boats, or the pestering wind. The three of us really enjoyed our 2 hours on the lake, as well as the other groups. I think the videos will explain everything better. Canoeing was more tiring than I thought, and when Ms. Kaplan returned us to Mary Donlon, Alex and I went to the Bear Necessities store in the adjacent Robert Purcell Community Center to grab some milkshakes. I then went up to my room and finished my milkshake.
I chilled until I had to go downstairs to meet my group members to work on our project. At first, I really didn’t want to go to Appel, stand by the trays and silverware, and hand them out to entering students. Walking there, I realized that today was CAU, Cornell Adult University, or actually this week. Basically, as my roommate just explained to me, adults come to Cornell for a week to enroll in a program, so they’ll be eating at Appel downstairs, while the students will be upstairs. This actually made me feel better because I know older people tend to be more courteous. Anyways, Veronica and I manned the tray/utensils stations, while Joanne and Eunice manned the drop-in tray station, where people returned their trays.
At first, it was very awkward, standing there with trays ready to be handed out. This is how it ranged, when it came to reactions: most people were honestly shocked to have two people ask them: “Would you like a tray?” Which I said about 50 times tonight. I even took notes, so this will summarize things better.
• Someone said, “that was shocking.”
• Someone also said, “are you kidding me.”
• Some even laughed to their friends
• Seriously in awe, didn’t know what to say, some ignored us from shock
• Some people just said no, thanks, and took a tray by themselves even though we had one ready a foot away from them
• Some literally ignored us
• Especially adults were really impressed with our professionalism.
• Some were so quick to grab a tray that I didn’t have time to offer them one
• About a fourth of the students said, “Are you a hotelier?”
• But overall, the vast majority was very kind and thanked us. They were genuinely gratified.
We did this for a little over an hour, and we learned many things, which we will talk about tomorrow in class. I learned that people are really not used to this kind of service, especially at Appel. People are surprised by personal service, and would thank you for it, especially if it saves them time or makes them feel better about being served. Some people can also be rude when you’re trying to help them because they really don’t understand why you’re doing it. But overall, it was a very interesting experience. I didn’t mind being rejected, I figured that’s how it is most of the time in the business, like telemarketers, they keep being rejected, but they continue because that’s their job. I want to say that we served at least over 140 people.
I was so tired afterward that I went to my room and stayed there for about 2 hours. I am looking forward to hearing from people tomorrow about their experience.