Friday, April 22, 2011

A Beautiful Day for Beginner Bloggers

Image courtesy of
The sun shone brightly over a lovely spring morning as we gathered inside the Hercules library meeting room for Thursday’s blog tutorial. Students and chaperones quickly set up extension cords and laptops, then took their seats and mingled before Don began speaking. Although I’d met most of my fellow Cornellians before at the U of Chicago info session, this was my first time seeing many of the other ILC students. We met up with our chaperone, Ms. Neal, and it was wonderful talking to her again after our last brief encounter. I found her to be a very approachable and helpful person.

Before I get any further, let me introduce myself. I’m Kelly Xi, a sophomore and a member of the ILC’s Hercules High school cohort journeying to Ithaca this summer for Cornell’s Hotel Operations and Management course. It’s my first time blogging, so I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the ILC for their support, and readers, whom I hope will stay tuned for all our adventures!

Now, back to the tutorial… Don guided us through the basics of blog-posting, which I appreciated and thankfully found out to be pretty simple. He also reinforced many of the important points that had been mentioned in his previous packets. I will certainly remember the What-not-to-dos.

I read with admiration Austin Long’s Bulldog Days, the sample blog we were provided. Improving my blogging skills will be among my summer resolutions, and hopefully it will reflect in better writing and sharper critical thinking, as Don pointed out.

Overall, the session was very informative. I was intrigued by the many tools available to explore with Photoshop Elements. The tutorial inspired in me the desire to capture as much of our journey this summer in photos as possible, because pictures really do communicate much more than words can.

By the end of the tutorial session, I was famished. We Cornellians had made plans to hang out together afterwards, but I was consumed by a hunger that only two McDoubles could fill (it was my wallet was prepared for). I ended up adding a McChicken and fries to the order, and the seven of us (Genevieve, Jobel, Joe, Kevin, Taylor, Nick, and I) convened at Refugio Valley Park with our takeout.
Image courtesy of
It was really fun getting to know each other better and enjoying the beautiful day together. For me, it was certainly a welcome departure from the endless AP test and SAT prep, AP Bio reading guides, AP world write-ups, research papers, Calculus homework, physics e-portfolios, Spanish essays, and general chaos consuming my spring break. To top it off, we went to Kevin’s house for an afternoon of DDR.
I'm sure Jobel will have the photos up on our gallery page soon.


  1. Kelly,

    The way you described things I wish that I was at the same place you were at. :-)

    A very nice blog--not just a first time blog but a good blog even for an experienced hand.

    Had we the time and the setting where I could work with you all individually on the photo stuff I know I could show you some quick tricks that would make all of your photos look better. As it is, though, I'm going to advise you all to just play around with whatever photo software you might have so you can learn some of the basics about how to improve your images.

    I've only taken a couple of million photos so I'm still looking for that one image that can't be improved upon. With a little practice we can make most of our photos look better and that can be a good feeling.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. That is a very powerful picture of Don.