Sunday, June 26, 2011

Getting Adjusted + Dinner

All Cornell University Summer Program students met in the Alice Auditorium in Statler Hall today for a Crash Study Skills Course. The crash course was a three hour presentation by Janet Snoyer, the Assistant Director for Health Careers and Credentials at Cornell University. During the presentation, we explored four different learning types: Divergent, Convergent, Assimilators, and Accommodators. We were all presented with a set of example characteristics of different learning types. We ranked these- the characteristics, like “highly active” or “acts on feelings”- in order of how much we think they pertain to our learning style.

According to the test, I am an Assimilator, but I disagree with the test. Janet said that Assimilators trust concepts and theories they have learned over real life experiences and tend to not challenge ideas they are taught. That’s not me at all. I am constantly challenging concepts that are taught to me, both inside and outside of school. Still, the exercise was interesting just because I discovered a few of my learning preferences.

Janet covered a variety of topics, all to help us succeed in our courses. We covered the importance of sleep and how the right attitude can make or break our summer college experience. Janet also made sure we knew the difference between college and high school classes. She said high school teachers are very much judged by their students’ abilities, so they reach out to their students about understanding the course material. College professors, on the other hand are not judged by t­­­­heir students’ abilities, and cannot reach out individually to students about understanding. Therefore, it is the students’ responsibility.

Almost everything she covered, we have heard before, but the way she presented the advice was incredibly inspiring because she seemed so genuine.

It was interesting to observe the other students’ reactions to Janet and her presentation. The students in the audience were very respectful, and it made me think of the student body at my high school and how difficult it is to capture their attention in large-scale gatherings.

At the end of the day, the WCCUSD kids and Ms. Neal went to dinner with Mr. Ramsey, Mrs. Kronenberg, Cornell Engineering Assistant Director Jill Shafer, Cornell Undergraduate Admissions Director Terra Bubbles, and Cornell rising junior Ashley Harms. We had dinner at John Thomas Steakhouse in Ithaca.

Terra answered all of our more general questions about the Cornell experience and admissions, while Jill answered more of our department specific questions. Ashley offered a more personal perspective of campus life, extracurriculars, and how to adjust to such a prestigious school as Cornell. I haven’t gone on a Cornell campus tour yet, so besides researching Cornell online, talking with them gave me most of the knowledge I have about Cornell. Being able to talk to them was a special experience that not all students have the opportunity to receive. It was nice to get emotion along with information about the school- something the internet could not have given me.

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