Friday, July 15, 2011

Checking Out of Class

Like a hotel, there is always a time when you simply have to check out. While it may seem like an odd metaphor to summarize my day, it certainly is a proper one that fits.

While everyone's mind was focused on getting the final report done, Reneta and Mark held some closing words for the class as a whole before every student went back to finishing and polishing their last project of the program.

With an emphasis on relationship and group building, Reneta went through a slide show of the different groups within the class, including ours! Amusingly enough, she slipped in a few inside jokes that made many of the pictures worthy to laugh of! In one instance, she made a rabbit pop onto the screen in reference to the fact that one girl owns a thirteen-pound rabbit! In another instance, she added the name "Frenchie" to another student as that is what everyone simply refers to him as (as he is French after all).

She then shared a video about Marriott Hotels and one example of a customer having a strong relationship with an employee for many years. Afterwards, she went into a presentation on the importance of relationships and shared her anecdotes of working at one of her previous hotel. She then struck a philosophical chord within each of us in providing motivational and positive thought to sprinkle throughout our daily routine. While it can seem a little corny, Reneta obviously overshadowed it with sincerity. And while so many students were itching to get back into the computer lab, all I was thinking of was how I am going to miss all the relationships I have made here at Cornell. While she emphasized that strong relationships will never break, this may be the last time I will ever see my cohorts face-to-face.

My group as we finally finished our report.

But without wasting another minute, we all scrambled to our chairs in the computer lab and went to finishing up what we had left to do. The day was crazy and chaotic as the pressure of finishing it "efficiently and effectively" (a term Mark has used throughout the course) was getting to us. While some compromises had to be made, we managed to get everything done from head-to-toe! When groups began to leave one-by-one as they turned in their report, it was hard to accept the fact that this would be the end of a remarkable journey.

The "pressure" got to Jobel's group.

Throughout the day, however, I was seeing my friends and cohorts around campus and giving them a warm welcome as I passed them by! But the icing on top of the "farewell cake" was being able to play bowling with many of our friends and the head teacher assistant of the class, Gorka. If you were there, you could have obviously felt the energy and joy this event brought to us. And while I may have been ultimately horrible at actually knocking pins down, the game was worth every minute as I was able to hang out with people I enjoy.

A group picture outside of the bowling alley.

Unfortunately, all things must come to an end and this program happens to be one of them. I think that this program has set such a high standard for similar summer colleges. The class is extremely different than anything that is taught at a high school level and it absolutely felt like a breathe of fresh air in curriculum. And while sometimes forced, the group mechanics that are thrown at us only help with the bonding of cohorts. With all the amazing people I have been honored to meet and know, it has been hard to pack up and part ways. But as it has been said before, I hope these relationships will continue to bloom and grow.

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