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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

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Student blogs


Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Body, Mind, and Health
Summer College 2008
Hi, my name is Kaitlin and I just finished up my junior year at St. Thomas-Aquinas High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I am 16 years old and this summer I will be attending the three-week medical course named Body, Mind, and Health. Medicine has always been my career path and I hope to major in chemistry and become a forensic pathologist. I enjoy refereeing soccer, backpacking, traveling, and photography. Everything about the world fascinates me and you can generally find me with my camera in hand. Heading to Cornell this summer will be my first plane trip alone! So, it's been a little nerve-racking and getting packed has certainly been an ordeal. Presently, I am in a hotel in New York City and have only 28 hours in between Manhattan and Ithaca. I am looking forward to an awesome summer at Cornell and I will be keeping you posted.

Well, it’s been almost a week since I got to the beautiful Cornell campus and I must say that I love every moment here. I got into the Ithaca airport Saturday around noon and the entire airport was as big as our grocery store. My flight was packed with Cornell students so the hour from Philadelphia to Ithaca flew by while I got a head start on meeting friends. All of the Body, Mind, and Health students are being housed in Risley Hall, which is a work of art in and of itself. From the outside it looks like a castle and the inside walls are covered in student art painted right on the walls. I have a single dorm there but with the entire hall in my room all of the time, I feel like I have several roommates. It’s been incredible weather and I truly enjoy the walk across campus every single day. There’s a reason that they say “Ithaca is Gorges” and I pass over it every morning. Our class has been wonderful so far but a bit stressful. Every morning we have lecture with our professor to discuss anything in the history of medicine. So far we’ve discussed tuberculosis, the biography of diseases, medieval medicine and so many other things. After that, we head to a discussion section with our TAs in groups of about fifteen students. I thoroughly enjoy our discussion sections. The other students bring up points that make me think about my own views and Heather, my TA, always shows us the flip side and plays devil’s advocate. Everyone certainly brings their own ideas and character to the discussions, which make them so interesting for me. We have huge amounts of reading each night and we even had to turn in our first college paper this week. The paper frazzled a lot of us so thankfully help was there for us every night between 7:30 and 9:00 pm to go over anything we missed. College life has been more than I ever dreamed of. It’s fast-paced and exhausting but it also teaches you who you are and it pushes you. I am looking forward to the next two weeks here--to classes as well as meeting new friends. I can’t wait to see what Cornell has in store for me.

Wow, I cannot believe how fast my time at Cornell is going by. This past week the stress level got kicked up with our first six-page paper due on Monday. I really enjoyed the assignment because the topic was so interesting. Who knew there was so much that impacts medicine or even about how much difference there is between Eastern and Western medicine? Of course, office hours come in handy with a paper like that. We finished a book on diseases and have now started one on the Tuskegee study. Walking into this course, I thought I would enjoy it but not any where near this much. Still, though, this course is not for the faint-hearted. Even though it’s summer, we are definitely in full-on work mode.

The best part of the second week was the long weekend. A group of my friends and I headed down to the North Campus block party barbeque on July 4th and then caught a cab to Buttermilk Falls. Being from Florida, I have never had to experience 60-degree water (even in December), so it was a first for me. The falls are gorgeous and we spent hours there. It feels so nice to have the freedom to go wherever you want whenever you want and learning how to balance your time. Friday night we spent a while getting all dressed up for the dance party at Robert Purcell and we had a wonderful time while we were there. Saturday we explored downtown Ithaca and Collegetown. The really neat thing about Ithaca and Cornell is the difference a few blocks makes. The Commons downtown has a totally different feel than the Cornell campus and has lots of indie stores that have some great finds if you look hard enough.

I am sad to only have a little bit of time left but I look forward to taking every opportunity given to me in the next few days.