Friday, July 16, 2010

Not Ready to Leave Just Yet

Day 23/ The Penultimate Day

I never knew I could hurt like this
And everyday life goes on like
"I wish I could talk to you for awhile"
Miss you but I try not to cry
But it's like you're gone too soon
Now the hardest thing to do is say bye bye.
-Mariah Carey, "Bye Bye"

And thus, I will remember my last evening at Cornell as myself echoing these very lyrics into the various hallways and classrooms of the beautiful Cornell University Campus at the Talent Show. To Cornell and everyone that I've gotten to know these past three weeks: thank you for making this summer one of the most memorable and favorite of my life so far.

Currently, I'm having trouble finding the right words to say at the moment. For one, I'm preoccupied with both blogging and studying, and for another, I'm just too distracted by the very fact that this is my last night at Cornell. This is it; this day is finally closing in on me. This is my last night officially as resident of the Donlon Lounge. However, before I get ahead of myself, let me start off with this very early, very second-to-last morning here at Cornell University.

I woke up early this morning to get in some extra studying time. I also planned to eat breakfast earlier so I could also head out to class as soon as I finished. However, despite getting to class an hour earlier than testing began, I was disappointed to see that the two seats I wanted were already taken. This wasn't too much of a setback since ultimately, I got a seat at a table that had a desk, and not in one of those sitting chairs with the removable side tables. For me, comfort during a test is vital; I guess you can say it's one of my many pet peeves.

The final exam was a modest measurement of how much we've learned in the past three . The material, I thought, were a lot harder than that of the pre. lim. However, that is not to say the test was extremely hard. It's difficult to say how tough these "Freedom and Justice" tests are because it test you, not only on the material, but on how well you can apply that information to scenarios and/or make connections between different thinkers. Personally, I thought the test was actually kind of fun. It was surprising to see that, if I had one more short answer question to answer, I would have had to use three booklets for this test (most people only used one.)

After the final exam, everyone quickly got out of Mallot Building and frantically started getting together with one another to discuss the test. I was waiting for a friend of mine as well as helping several of my peers take photos with the professor and the TA, that by the time I left the classroom, nearly everyone had left to Trillium.

Instead of going to Trillium first, I led my friends, Kelsey and Clara to the Synapsis Cafe to buy a lunch to-go. We used out ID cards for the last time there to get some drinks to compliment our sandwiches. While I sat with my two friends, the table next to ours was that of Ms. Kaplan and the other ILC kids. All of us later got ice cream at Trillium Express. Thank you Ms. Kaplan!

On our way back I knew I had to stop by the Uris Library one last time to take the photos that I promised to get. The Andrews, Ms. Kaplan, and Beilul had never seen the famous "Hogwarts Library" so Alex and I also brought them to see it. And since pictures are worth more than a thousand words, here are my thousand words and more:

On my way back to good 'ol Donlon, I encountered the departure of two friends. The first was Munera, one of my lovely friends from Qater. She lived in Balch the past three weeks so I didn't get to see her as much as I see my fellow Donlon peers, but we had dinner together several times. The next departure was by my dorm neighbor, Roya. She is from Switzerland and she took the same class as me. I gave her a long hug before she left.
Right before I left for the mall with the Andrews, I spent some time practicing my piece for the talent show and hanging out with my really good friend, Clara, who was leaving that very late afternoon at 3pm. We took several photos with one another and had a short and sweet chat before a van pulled up on the parking lot and she went inside. I will definitely miss Clara, whom I had a lot in common with; we plan to be pen pals and meet up again two years from now when I return to Hong Kong over the summer.

I was very glad that I had a chance to go to the mall today. A lot of people have been telling me that there wasn't much to look forward to, but personally, I thought: "But it's a mall? What isn't there to look forward to?" We rode on Bus 30 that took us directly to it. This bus made me very nostalgic of Pinole because the interior design of the bus was the exact same replica of the West Cat bus back home. The only exception? It was a lot cleaner and quieter.

I spent most of the time by myself at the mall. I bought a large cup of lemonade and walked around. The first store I went to was a little animal shelter. I spent a decent amount of time looking at the adorable kittens in their cages. Of course I wanted to take them home with me, but we all know that is a bit impossible both plane-wise and parental consent-wise.

I spent the majority of my time at the Borders bookstore. I simply love bookstores and can spend hours and hours just looking at every detail of these interesting shops. From my stay there, I was able to purchase a blank sketchbook and a memoir on sale. It felt good to leave the store knowing I bought something from the East coast that didn't have the word "Cornell" on it.

I decided to have dinner at the mall as well. I ventured into what you may call a food court and ordered from the Chinese fast food stand. I found an empty table amongst the crowd of hungry mall shoppers and started eating and reading my newly-purchased book. Then, something occurred that hit me with surprise.

Little did I know, I was sitting as an audience to some sort of singing competition for Ithaca's radio station. There was a little stage set up, a panel of three judges, and participants of all ages coming up and taking a 30 second jab at the mic. I couldn't help but smile every time one of the judges would remind the crowd that there was still time to sign up for a spot and audition, because in the back of mind, I thought of the talent show I was involved in later that very evening. I'll admit, the act of signing up was tempting, but based on both timing and the fact that this was obviously an ongoing competition that I wasn't going to be around for, I quickly dismissed the idea. Instead, I stuck around and listened to some of the singers' performance while I munched away at my noodles and vegetables.

By the time I got back, it was a blur. My remaining time was devoted to getting myself ready for the talent show. I slipped in some additional practices, got into a dress, and quickly left for the multipurpose room at the RPCC Building.

In general it was a great experience. I was very honored to be placed as the closing act of the entire two-hour show.

Now it is quite late. I'm exhausted and also plan to wake up extremely early tomorrow. Until later my fine-feathered friends. Adieu!

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