I gmail-chatted Erinn of the ILC Brown group yesterday and asked her how she was dealing with leaving Brown University.
"I feel like I left a bit of my soul at Brown."
In five days, that's how I will feel about Cornell.
My day started with a walk around Beebe Lake with Kelly. It was, as you can see, quite beautiful. The sun was shining and the shade from the trees near the lake kept us perfectly cool in the heat. Eventually we went our separate ways. I walked back to my dorm to meet with my group for our service project, and decided to spend a few minutes cooling off from the walk.
I climbed to sit on top of a stone fence at Balch Hall, another dormitory at Cornell. There, I sang and hummed and said hello to people walking by before moving along to meet my group.
The local soup kitchen was closed, as was Goodwill, so we tried to find other places to volunteer for our project. The Ornithology Lab and Sciencenter did not need help, or required a lengthy application process, so we ended up going back to the Farmer's Market! We picked up trash all around the facility. It was very simple- we were simply picking up trash, but in the first twenty minutes alone, at least five different people had gone up to us and thanked us for "our contribution." It felt very nice to be there.
After we arrived back on campus, I headed off to the Olin Library for the first time. There, I did some studying. I had two articles about good service to read (in case you haven't noticed, that is our theme in class right now)- one called The Luxury Touch and another called Three Service Rules: The Golden Rule, Platinum Rule and Double Platinum Rule.
The Luxury Touch explains how good service is the most important factor that determines whether a company is luxurious or not. Good service cannot be a quarterly or monthly initiative; it must be built into the very culture of the company.
From Three Service Rules, I learned
The Golden Rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated.
The Platinum Rule: Treat others the way they want to be treated.
The Double Platinum Rule: Treat others the way they don't even know they want to be treated.
Superior service is about all of these things. To paraphrase from Three Service Rules, a service provider must be able to empathize with the customer (The Golden Rule), focus on the specific customer's individual and special needs (Platinum Rule ), and to always work on how to surpass the customer's expectations (Double Platinum Rule).
Studying made me hungry and that, of course, led me to the Robert Purcell Dining Hall, where I met up with some Hotelies and a new friend from the course Body, Mind and Health.
We had fun joking about "service with a glare" instead of "service with a smile" and pouncing on warm peanut butter cookies.
My friend Margot and I proceeded after dinner to explore the campus. We went to the Physics and Chemistry buildings and had mini photo shoots everywhere.
After this I had some alone time relaxing on what is called "The Slope." It's literally a huge sloped, grassy area. I laid down and called my parents before Jobel showed up.
We ended up watching the sunset on The Slope. Today was a day perfectly balanced with school work and fun time and with new friends and old friends. It was a long day in the best possible way, and have I mentioned that I don't want to leave?