|Delivering the news.|
Monday, July 11, 2011
Today we got to hear a “conservative’s” thoughts on government, rather than the liberals’ ideas we had read earlier, such as John Locke’s concept of private property. I say conservative in quotes because Edmund Burke, despite being considered the founder of conservatism, actually was completely different type of conservative, just as Locke is separate from today’s liberals. Since this class has been mostly liberal-based, it was interesting to hear an opposing viewpoint, albeit one I completely disagreed with.
After the lecture, we discussed Professor Kramnick’s lecture as usual. After that, we finally got our mid-terms back, which had been causing a great deal of stress to pretty much the entire class. I am proud to say that I got an A-, which isn’t half bad considering the fact that out of my section of 15, only 2 got a straight A, and only one other person got an A-, with the remainder of the class receiving grades of B+ or lower. We then did a peer review session of each other’s Plato essays, and a friend from Texas gave me some very useful feedback that I will be sure to use for my final draft.
We also started reading Karl Marx today, who is always a fascinating (but long) read. I look forward to Professor Kramnick’s ideas of Marx’s teachings, but need to get a bit of sleep since I have a pretty awful headache right now.
Today, we commenced fierce editing of our returned business report. Personally, I was not happy with the grade I earned, but am sure that the hard work I’m spending in revision will mean a sharper final product: the infamous culmination group CHESS analysis report.
This morning, the class touched on our weekend service projects. It was a discussion that grew into what it means and how it feels to have a service mindset, to possess the skill of engaging people and serving their needs to the best of one’s abilities. This deeper significance (which I had meticulously detailed in my previous entry deleted by Blogger on a glitch) revealed itself in the form of a pop quiz.
With the help of the Statler Hotel's Director of Food & Beverages, we diagrammed the entire corporate structure of the typical hotel.
We also hosted another guest speaker, Lisa Schaffer, an Assistant Dean at the Cornell Hotel School. She dished the details on the application process to this college in particular out of the many on Cornell University’s campus. Her information was very tailored and helpful for the individuals who expressed their deep interest in the hospitality industry by fiercely jotting down the Hotel School’s student median SAT & ACT scores, as well as SAT II Chemistry & Math requirements.
Yet simultaneously, I felt some of her advice would be applicable to anyone applying to any university. She talked about the interviewing process, whether it be with one of the members of a global network of alumni, in-school, or via Skype. Colleges really want to make sure they’re a good fit for you and vice versa, so laying it all on the table can be a deciding factor. Having work experience in the area of study certainly helps, and possessing that genuine passion, personality, and determination (which they can sense a mile away) to pursue it dramatically increases your chances.
One message that will stick with me is: if you know what you want to do, what field you want to pursue, what to study to get there, or all of the above, then go for it. But, keep in mind that you’ll make many new discoveries along the way, wherever you end up, so it’s important to have an open mind.
It’s busy days like these which keep my mind off the tragedy that all things come to an end.
Our day, for the most part, consisted of guest speakers going in to talk to the class. The first one was Greg Mazzi, the Food & Beverage Director at the connected Statler Hotel. He assisted Mark McCarthy in organizing a layout of how leadeship and division of tasks are separated and organized within a hotel's employee base. While this was mostly based on the organization of the Statler Hotel, which is a 100-something room property, the final diagram looked incredibly intimidating and I will admit that I sometimes got lost, mixed up, and confused at times. After learning so much about the industry in the past two weeks, I almost felt I was ready to operate a hotel for myself!
How wrong I was.
After lunch, Lisa Schafer, the Assistant Dean of the Hospitality School at Cornell, came to talk about admittance into the institution. Because of the many resources we have had throughout this trip including admissions officer meetings, campus tours, and presentations, she re-inforced many ideas that people before her have shared about applying to a college. I now know that the pool of resources is expected to repeat the same things over and over again, and many friends that have done college tours and similar ventures in the past tend to get the same impression each time. However, that doesn't go without saying that without that repetition, you will never be able to find out the things that stand out or that makes the school absolutely unique. For instance, I was shocked to hear that the number of students in the 2014 class is less than 200! While the hotel school makes up a small portion of Cornell, I was surprised to hear that the admissions office actually allocates how many freshmen can be accepted into which schools. When I first heard about that, a whirlwind of questions and ideas swished through my mind as I can imagine that conflicts and frustrations can or have possibly brewed from this particular idea. It would be interesting to research this bit a little more as I am sure that other schools have run into a similar concept before and I would like to know how staff and students have managed and been impacted by this.
The one final hurdle that everyone in class knows is lurking behind everyone's backs is the final group report. This report will analyze data in a similar way we performed our individual report, but we will be managing the hotel as a single entity and turn in the assignment as a single group. From the beginning of office hours, I knew we would have differences of opinion as we had separate ideas for how we wanted to cover our expenses. Then again, we all managed to pull through it and reaches a consensus, and after doing a small test run, we discovered that minor tweaks can make this an extremely profitable simulation property that may actually reach our original goal of income! While it feels like we have so much time to finish this, I know that the pressure will hit us in a few days to come.
In class, we were lectured on Burke. Due to his flowery prose, he is a bit hard to follow, but a few of his main points I found very interesting. Being a conservative, he discusses liberalism and the differences in how they view democracy. These are alien even more though in accordance with our reading material for the night; Karl Marx.
Tonight I went out for dinner with, as Taylor calls it, "the crew." (Minus Carrie- who's birthday it is tomorrow!) The 9s pizza was delicious, and just added another layer of appeal that Ithaca holds for me. This trip is honestly one I will remember for the rest of my life.
Today the count down begins. There are officially 5 days until I am home and in my own bed. 5 days until I can have a quality burrito. 5 days until I get to see my little brother :).
Monday marks the beginning of a new week, in school terms. So today we started our final week of class and our new topic of equality, although today we talked about inequality.
We started off the week with a lecture on Burke, who is the founder (I almost wrote father of but then my feminist side got control) of Conservatism. Again, as when we talked about Liberalism, Professor Kramnick made sure we understood that the way we use conservatism or conservative is not entirely the same as the meaning it had when Burke ‘invented’ it. For me, it was very difficult to understand what Burke meant or how he could even support the idea of inequality. I guess I would follow Locke over Burke because I believe that the government should grow from the people, not that government was given to us from previous generations and thus we must do what they did. I just cannot believe in a monarchical system and I think that is because I have grown up in a democracy.
After lecture we, like we do every day, went to our discussion groups to talk about Burke and our midterms. In discussion we more or less just wrote down what Professor Kramnick had talked about but a little more in depth, and with Simon (my TA’s) additional opinions. Then it was that heart stopping moment—tests were given back. I as actually very content with my grade on the midterm, although there are a couple things I wish my TA would have graded a little differently but that is okay it just means that next time I have to be more clear. I am very glad we have our midterms to look back on and see what the final might look like.
Academics aside I think I am going to go for a run, even though the weather here is not really my ideal running weather. I am not sure I like 90-degree heat. Oh well it will just make me appreciate the fog ten million times more than I already do.
Until tomorrow, Over and Out blog readers.