Monday, July 4, 2011

Ithaca Truly Is Gorges

Remember how I said that the student-run tours were the deciding factor in making me love Northwestern and plan on applying there? Well, I found Cornell's.
The gorges.

Today was the swimmin trip to Buttermilk Falls National Park. Not only did I enjoy being able to cool off and swim, which is one of my favorite pastimes, but my eyes gorged (haha) themselves upon the feast of beautiful scenery around me. The waterfalls and small running gulleys down through the mountainside glimmered in the sun, inviting wearied hikers to take a darin plunge of the side of the path into a protected pool with water cascading down into it. Don't worry mom, the water was deep and perfectly safe! :)

I can definitely picture myself spending weekends here in college, just relaxing down at the main swimming hole and getting some strokes in, or the more thrilling leaps into emerald enclaves after a trek up steep rocky steps.

Nothing out of the ordinary occurred today in honor of the fourth of July except for some loud noises as I tried to write the first draft of my essay and got to have an extra day in my weekend. However, that means tomorrow will be doubly long in order to make up for it- as well as being the last day before my pre-lim! Off to get some sleep now, happy Independence day everyone.

(My apologies for the layout of the photos, blogspot would not let me manipulate their placement or even cut and paste them) Hopefully their beauty is far from lost upon you either way.

No Independence on Independence Day

It was literally no independence on Independence Day for the Hotelies. The plan was to wake up bright and early, dress in our finest business wear, and convene at Statler Hall at 8:00 to prep for the series of presentations. Sitting in the room for 8 hours, while all our friends were enjoying the beautiful Fourth at Buttermilk Falls could have been excruciating, but instead I learned a lot.

The lineup covered 10 different hotel companies, each of which had two different group presentations, exposing us to varying viewpoints and helping us gin a thorough understanding of each company.

My group, Interstate Hotels & Resorts A was third to present. After all was said and done, we were all so glad to get it over with early. While I definitely took away from the presentation a better idea of the to-dos and what-not-to-dos, the fumbles and jumbles are all in the past. It was great to be able to just breathe again afterwards.

Out of the hot seat, I was able to take some good notes, ask questions, and take in what all the other groups were saying. I have to say that sitting next to Mark in the audience was such a boon for my note-taking ad learning experience in general. His presence somehow helped me stay focused and gave me the confidence to raise my hand to speak out during question time. And I stayed awake (not that any of our class presentations were uninteresting in any way, but a long day of 20 presentations drags on anyone).

That was most of our day. I crashed with Terilyn afterwards, went back to my dorm in an effort to study, but ended up taking long, long nap. I dreamed of fireworks, which uunfortunately I didn't have the chance to see tonight. I hope you all had a great celebration at home.

Happy Birthday, America and good night!

From the Stove to the Frying Pan

So, I presented today.  That turned out to be a very interesting experience.  The Hyatt Corporation is a very large, very interesting, but flat company to be covering.

It was also peculiar in that our counterpart group had practically the same presentation, with the disclaimer that their presentation may be a tad better.  But that's alright, I think we presented ourselves completely fine.

As of right now, the work never ends.  As soon as class ended we were told that we had a quiz tomorrow on the material we covered during the presentations.

That leads to where I am right now -- studying online quizzes on hotel brands and details to make sure that I do well on the quiz.  My memo grade was a B, alright, but not great.  I am determined to make sure this quiz does better than that.  So that is why I am currently here studying like no tomorrow.

On a side note, I found out that there are no fireworks on the day of July 4 around here -- that was a bit of a bummer.  Apparently it was last night -- while we were working on our presentations.

Home Of The Free And The Brave

Happy 4th of July to all the American’s reading my blog out there. I am spending the day being a typical American student. How you might ask, well I have an essay to write so I am doing my homework today. What is fitting about my essay coinciding with the holiday is that the essay is on Plato’s critique of Democracy. I know I blogged about my essay yesterday so I will refrain from blogging about the same thing twice. Instead I wanted to talk about this holiday and it’s connection, you might say, to my class.

Next week we move from the topic of Justice to the topic of Freedom. How better to start off our week of Freedom than with the celebration of our independence. Last week we had to write our first paper, not graded, about what freedom means to us and I wrote about our founding fathers who we dedicate today to. It is really amazing that we had such brave and intelligent leaders. I mean imagine if those men (and women who supported them) chose not to fight against the British, what/where would we be today? I’m not a “GO AMERICA” kind of person but I do think that it is amazing that we fought for our independence and won it. I also think it is impressive that we went from being tiny inferior country to the powerhouse we are today.

I also would like to say I miss my family. Not in a ‘I am home sick’ way, but it is always just nice to be home on a day like today. I guess what I am trying to say is I really wish I was home to see the fireworks from my rock. The view I have from my dorm just does not compare to the whole view of the bay that I get from my rock. I have also heard rumors that there will be no fireworks tonight that we can see here from Cornell. Though I am not sure if that is true.

Well I must continue writing my essay. Until tomorrow, Over and Out blog readers.

A Refreshing 4th of July

I now have extreme sympathy for our Hotel cohorts. My Jordanian roommate, Sami, happens to be a Hotellie, and when his alarm went off at 7 in the morning my first thought was to yell at him for forgetting to turn off his alarm on the 4th of July. I quickly realized however, that that was no mistake. Unfortunately for these Hotellies, they happened to be the only kids who actually had class today. I went back to sleep feeling bad for every Hotellie I knew, and then was able to sleep for another 4 hours. When I woke up at 11 I felt fully refreshed, and headed over for another nice brunch.

Then a large group of students were bused over to Buttermilk Falls, a short 20 minute drive away from Donlon. At first glance, Buttermilk Falls was nice, but not worth the 3 hour investment. Upon further investigation however, when Genevieve, Isabella (our new friend from Texas) and I headed up a mile-long trail along the falls, I learned just how beautiful Ithaca was. There were countless waterfalls beyond the main one, and I actually ended up feeling bad for those who only got to experience the main fall and the pool of sorts they could swim in. Further up the trail, there was a small but extremely deep pool right next to a waterfall that also happened to be next to a decent sized cliff. At first glance I wouldn’t have even considered diving in, but after seeing person after person dive in without even reaching the bottom, I decided I had to go in. By that time I was already pretty overheated, as we had to walk up a steep and windy trail just to get there, which just added even more incentive to jump in. I jumped in over and over and over, and it was just as refreshing each time. I didn’t get a chance to take a picture with my camera (it’s technically my mom’s so I didn’t want it to get wet) but some of my friends took a few nice ones with their own cameras.

I came back to the dorm, cranked out a pretty impressive rough draft for my Plato essay on his critiques of democracy, and then had a very successful power nap after dinner. Joe and I, along with a couple of friends from Long Island, headed out to a massive hill known as the slope to watch some fireworks. They weren’t much, but it was still nice to be able to celebrate the 4th in some way, although Buttermilk was definitely the highlight of my day. I need more sleep though (shockingly) to rest for tomorrow’s double lecture by Kramnick on Locke, who I will discuss in detail tomorrow.

My Day "Off"

First of all, HAPPY 4th OF JULY!!! I had the day "off" of class today, which I was really looking forward to, but I actually ended up doing more work than I do on a normal class day. We were assigned a paper over the weekend on Plato and his views on Athenian democracy, and I honestly had to do almost the whole thing today.

I began my writing at about 12:30PM, since I woke up and finished breakfast at around 12:15PM, and I finished my writing at about 9:45PM with a quick dinner break somewhere in between. Now, as terrible as that may sound, I have to say that I feel pretty confident about my paper. I felt like I really got in depth about Plato's beliefs and how they related to society, and I looked up a few fancy words on to make it sound nice, haha.

I always enjoy walking into class the day an assignment is due, knowing that my paper is going to be ok. I don't know if it's going to "wow" my TA, since he seems like a pretty tough guy to impress, but I definitely think that it's good enough to stand out in his pile of papers. Hopefully I'll get a good review, but if I don't, it's only the first draft... I guess it's just the sense of accomplishment that I choose to work so hard for. Even if most of that work occurs on the last possible day.

After my paper was finished though, I actually got to enjoy my 4th of July! My roommate and a few of our friends were out at the hill watching the fireworks and I scurried my way over there to try and catch a few sparks. After that I came back to the Dorm Lobby and joked with my friends until it was time to come upstairs and get my blog done.

Tomorrow will be our first day back in class and I am not necessarily looking forward to it. Professor Kramnick said that he would have to make up for lost time and give us two lectures in one day, in addition to the whole rest of the class, which includes discussion groups, writing workshops, and a guest speaker, who apparently is a lawyer that represents high school students. Usually I would enjoy all of these things, but in excess it could be a little much. More on that tomorrow though. Good night readers! Wish me luck getting up on time after my three-day-break! Happy 4th once again!

It happened.

I was extremely nervous and fidgety right until the presentation started, and then when I actually got up there, I wasn't nervous anymore. I think our group did well. I feel so accomplished! I definitely worked hard on this project and being able to stand in front of 80 people and actually enjoy presenting was very invigorating.

Something I noticed from today's presentations is that everyone did well. It wasn't like in high school, where there are the groups who excel, the groups who completely fail, and the groups who perform okay. Today, there was not one group that didn't score above a B-, and everyone was impressive.

All of the presentations were recorded, so hopefully I can get my hands on a copy and share it here. :)

On another note, today I did laundry for the first time at Cornell! Kelly kept me company while I did laundry in the basement. While I waited, I talked with my family on the phone and when I turned around, Kelly was in one of the machines. Of course, I took a picture:

We didn't have to go to lab hours today, so I folded clothes and reorganized my half of the room. Now I am ready to start anew. The big project is over, my room is extremely orderly, all of my clothes are folded and ready-to-wear, and I am ready for the "real" beginning of my second week at Cornell.

For homework, we read a few pages on the basics of yield management, which is basically controlling how many rooms to sell at specific rates, and who to sell those rooms to, to make the maximum revenue possible. Kelly and I studied outside on the grass for a bit until the insects started to get annoying.

Tomorrow we have a quiz on all of the hotel companies that were presented in class today: Hilton Worldwide, Interstate Hotels and Resorts, Best Western, Marriott International, Host Hotels and Resorts, Wyndham Hotel Group, Choice Hotels, InterContinental Hotels Group, Hyatt, and of course, Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

Before I get to studying some more, I just want to say Happy Fourth to everyone!

I Just Don't Care

You're standing there with over eighty faces staring right between your eyes. The professors are sitting right in the back scratching away on their papers and you're wondering what it is they're exactly writing. You think about every word you say one-by-one and pray that any slip up you make will go unnoticed.

And sometimes you just don't care.

You can be so committed to what you are doing that nothing but the job matters.

Today was a day of back-to-back presentations for each hotel group, and we went somewhere within the first-half. Even though I had doubts as to how much we were committed to doing a flawless presentation, I think we all proved that we were fully focused on the task at hand.

While today's post may seem short, it only emphasizes how speechlessly and indescribably proud I am of myself and of my group. While grades are important throughout academics, today was truly one of those days in which you need to let go of a tangible score or rubric and just let your heart do the talking. Many people can easily get freaked out over a C or even a B, but when you know that you did the best you could have possibly done, then you shouldn't be ashamed of the grade you get.

In fact, you should be proud of it.

The room during the one hour lunch break.