Sunday, July 17, 2011

Home Sweet Home?

I did not realize just how much I missed my own bed until I slept for an unbroken 11 hours today, getting more than enough REM sleep that is needed according to the crash course on college I attended my first weekend at Cornell. When I woke up this morning, my first thought was fear of my upcoming final. I saw that I woke up at 10, when the final was supposed to begin at Goldwin Smith Hall, and I sprinted out of bed to shower. I ran into the bathroom in a semi-daze, and when I realized I was in a private bathroom, the thought occurred to me that perhaps I wasn’t in Donlon anymore. I thought I deserved some additional shuteye and indulged myself in an hour-long nap.

I do miss everyone back at Summer College, and still have a strange feeling that I’m on vacation right now, staying with these nice people who decided to take me into their home, although I have had to deal with a rather large and drooling dog. One thing I don’t miss about Cornell is the humidity, and was ecstatic when I came home yesterday evening to cool clouds. I realized just how long I had been away when I forgot how to open my front door. It isn’t a very complicated front door, so I was eventually able to figure it out, but it did take a few more tries than one would expect for my own house.

After that long and arduous battle with the front door, we got inside and I gave my family their gifts. I gave my sister and dad presents from Cooperstown, my dad a Yaz shirt and my sister quite possibly the cutest Red Sox-based teddy bear/round ball I have ever seen (shown above). I also realized that I had completely forgotten to get my mom anything, but I was able to smoothly pass it off by handing her the Cornell sweatshirt I picked out “with her in mind”. My mom rewarded this kind gesture with question after question, seeing just how far she could ride my overall joy at being home. Let the clinginess begin!

My sister's photoshoot of said adorable teddy ball

Waking Up

Today, I woke up at 3:30 AM PDT, expecting to get dressed, walk out of my room into the air-conditioned 5th floor lounge, and wait to leave for breakfast at RPCC.

That is what I expected.

When I opened my door, I remembered where I was, what I had done the past three weeks, and how everything had finally finished.  And now, I was here, at home.

It is an incredibly weird transition to go from having a roommate and best friends down the hall to having parents and a bathroom all to yourself.  But I can't really say I don't like it.  Quite the contrary, it's nice to be back home with my parents and grandparents and all my friends living outside of the building.

The flight home was good, especially the last one (mini-TV screens!), and getting back and eating dinner was rather surreal, though I am very glad to have Chinese food that I enjoy.  Other than that, I am not sure that I can really think about what has been going on, besides the fact that I would like to say "Thank You" to all of us who got us to this point - the ILC, Don, Ms. Kronenberg, Mr. Ramsey, Ms. Neal, the doners, our teachers, and of course, my cohorts as well.

Well actually, there is one way I can sum up the past month.  So let's try that again - Today, I woke up and I felt like I woke up from a four-week long dream.

It's a dream I don't think I would want to wake up from.

All Good Things Must Come to an End

How strange it feels to finally wake up in my own bed, in the home I haven't seen in three weeks, to the cool California weather. There is no place like it. Then again, that's the way I felt about Cornell too.

Saturday morning I tried to put the teary goodbye hugs and moping of the previous night behind me. As our friends and classmates walked in their finery to Statler Hall one final time for graduation, we caught the flight to Detroit.

The journey back was smooth as I gradually let go of my Summer College withdrawal through sleep, in-flight movies, a Whopper and fries, and awe at the Detroit Airport.

I must say that the Metro is a piece of work. Even going up the escalator, I felt like the place was designed to hit you with its stark spot-clean impeccability and sweeping architecture. A beautiful fountain acts as a centerpiece, a giant tree grows in the airport, plus a tram runs through it. And a bird lives in it! The layover was a beautiful distraction.

Arriving in SFO with no problems, we said our final goodbyes, this time to each other and to Ms. Neal. The 2011 ILC Cornell crew will always have a place in my heart, right next to the rest of Summer College. Thanks to all of them, as well as the ILC, the WCCUSD school board, our chaperone Ms. Neal, the extraordinary Mark & Reneta McCarthy, our awesome TAs including Gorka, the incredibly helpful admissions at Northwestern, U of Chicago, & Cornell, our readers, all the wonderful supporters we’ve met in Chicago & Ithaca, and to those of you back home, for giving me the most unforgettable three weeks of my life.

Enjoy the rest of your summer everyone! Mine will have a hard time living up to unbelievable experience all of you have given me.


Woke up this morning in my own bed. It is so nice to be back in the Bay Area with weather reaching a max of only like 65 degrees.

I must say though that I do really miss waking up in Donlon and hearing Taylor Swift blasting down the hall. I do not miss the RPCC breakfast, but I did send the gang a ‘Breakfast?’ text, which was my job every morning for the last three weeks.

Thankfully the flights went swimmingly and we made it home right on time. It was really nice to see the hotelies again since I really hadn’t seen them during our time at Cornell. I am really going to miss my friends from summer college it is really odd to be home but I am kind of glad to be back. As much fun as summer college was, three weeks plus a couple extra days is a long time to be away from home.

I will never forget Cornell Summer College 2011.

Over and Out blog readers

In With the Old

Yesterday morning was a bittersweet one. Packing up the last remnants I had left with me, I knew that this journey was coming to a close. Seeing people rushing through the elevators and hallways, I sent the people I knew a final farewell.

While much of the day consisted of sitting on a plane, it doesn't mean that it wasn't full of adventure. Touching down in Detroit for our transfer flight was quite interesting! While airports are known to be large and gigantic, this was the first one I have ever seen that provides tram transportation between gates. While most of my cohorts walked through the airport, I fell into temptation, knowing that I would never be able to experience this ride again!

While every plane we have been on has been bare-bones and small, the one that arrived at SFO actually had one of those in-flight personal monitors that always seem to interest and fascinate me.

But the best part of the flight was actually being able to be in San Francisco and the Bay Area I have come to know and love. While it was nice to be away in a place completely foreign to me, I felt great comfort being where "everybody knows your name."

I don't know what the remaining days of summer will bring me at this point, but it certainly will not top the adventure I have experienced for the past three weeks!

Home Sweet Home

I am blogging for the first time from the comforts of my own home, about events that seem to have happened an eternity ago. Today I have left my home of three weeks and friends behind, rode planes for more hours than I can count- especially with time zones changing on me- and arrived home after almost a month of being away.

I want to express my thanks for this wonderful opportunity. Without the ILC, I never would have been enrolled in Freedom and Justice at Cornell, being educated both in political thought and college life at another level, looking ahead to what we WCCUSDers really can achieve when put to the test.

After packing up clothes and tears this morning, I am now getting ready to head off to Mexico, so farewell good ol' blogspot. On the road again I go.

Maybe someday if it I decide on going- and get accepted to- Cornell, I will be in Ithaca once more. But until then, I will always hold a fond place in my heart for the fantastic three weeks I spent there in upstate New York.

Thank you to all the readers who have been keeping up with our privileged journey, I hope you enjoyed reading about it a fraction of the amount I enjoyed partaking in it.

Genevieve Simmons