Thursday, July 8, 2010

Mid-stay reflections

Okay, so it's time to reflect on life in Ithaca. The tee shirts often report that "Ithaca is Gorges, " which, frankly, gives you an idea of life in Ithaca. The kids are doing very well. They have found bus transportation (for that great urge to go to the mall), bowling on campus, and their innate ability to order food by phone. The chaperone, on the other hand, has been busy at her desk. Fortunately, she has tasks to perform and a myriad of interests. Otherwise, this bucolic setting could drive you to a Lord Byron-sort-of-state. Here's the deal: we (okay, I in this case) are accustomed to a 15 to 20 minute drive to go to San Francisco or Oakland. From Ithaca, it is a short drive if it is only 45 minutes to anywhere. Since I have little that demands my attention, this does not sem too bad. However, when it entails chauffering the 7 fabulous students, it means a lot of organization. I thought that I would have to create tasks for myself, but that did not actually materialize. Instead, I am creating tasks for the next person who chaperones here. For instance, we went on a cruise on Lake Cayuga. Although it was scenic, there was no history involved, and I like to get a feel for a place and think that kids should also. Hence, I spent much of the day yesterday hunting down Amish people. There are many Amish who have moved here from Pennsylvania, as the farming is good, and the land is cheap, so we are hoping to go out tomorrow to meet some of them and learn about their lives.
We are also going to Colgate University this Saturday and then canoeing on Sunday. This would be perfect if I did not have to be in the canoe. It's not that I don't enjoy the sport but am almost hopeless in the actual rowing.
Oddly enough, the time has flown by here, and, when I get restless, it takes me at least 30 minutes to get to the local organic grocery store and back.
The campus itself is beautiful and very large, as the kids may have indicated. I have seen a small part of it and am planning to return to an area called The Plantations (big planted area) as soon as the weather drops into the 80's.
The real plus here is being able to drop into classes. In two visits to the hotel management class, I have learned that there is much more to hotels than I ever even suspected. I will never view a Best Western the same again. And I love listening to Professor Kramnick. It is all I can do to not interject comments. The faculty has made me feel most welcome, and I love knowing what the kids are doing. In fact, it really is the kids who have made this experience special. Each one of them brings something unique to the group. They are all fun to be with, whether we are listening to very loud music or discussing what freedom really means. Sharing a piece of their world and some of their thoughts is the real bonus and would make any trip to any site worthwhile.


  1. I am glad you are having fun. I can't wait to hear more about it when you get back.

  2. Congratulations. I left a message for Don, but he didn't get it until after midnight NYC time. I supposed to get the info tomorrow so I too will appear.