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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

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Student blogs

Aashish

My name is Aashish, and I am going to be a senior this September. I live in Dubai, UAE. Residing in this amazing city has been a fantastic learning experience as I get to wake up every morning to the diverse culture and architecture right outside my doorstep.

Ever since I visited Cornell, it has been my dream to be enrolled as a full-time student. This summer program will propel me to my desired profession and prepare me for college life. I love photography and creative-design projects, and, being home-schooled, I have the liberty to freely indulge in all these, umm, activities. I also play the classical and electric guitar.

I am SERIOUSLY looking forward to this fun experience. However, I have been warned that my six-week course in architecture is going to be, umm, strenuous. :) Rest assured, if I survive this, you will hear from me soon…

6/30/2014

WOW!! If I can sum up my experience so far, that would be the word.

Opening day was fun… First, I checked in and dropped my stuff off at my room, which, by the way, is quite nice. Later, we went over to the Cornell Store to get the materials for the my architecture course. After lugging the enormous box all the way back to the dorm, we went to the dining hall for lunch. The food over there was MUCH better than I had initially anticipated. After settling in, I bade an emotional farewell to my family, and set up my room. In the evening, there was a pretty neat ice cream social, where I met several amazing people.. One guy is a fantastic guitarist and also a student featured on this blog.

The day went by quickly. At night, I walked back to Jameson for the check-in and played some intense ping-pong with a couple of other residents. By the end of this *ahem* serious play-off, we started smashing the balls at each other and checking who could deliver the most hits. SO SERIOUS RIGHT?!?

On the following day, Sunday, I actually woke up extremely early. Since breakfast was not available just yet, I checked out the Billiards Hall in the building right next to mine. It was pretty neat, and now I go there almost every other day… At breakfast, I met some more people, who now are some of my closest friends on campus. The story of how we got tight is actually pretty interesting. We had a 2.5 hour long debate on history and politics. I am perfectly serious!! After breakfast, we hung out in Balch Hall, which is about a 5-7 minute walk from my building.

MONDAY WAS D-DAY... It wasn't really D-Day, but this was when my course had officially started. Finishing a quick breakfast, I walked for ten minutes to the orientation class. After this, the 80 or so students taking architecture were split into sections. These sections were assigned to some pretty cool TA's and then escorted to the MAGIC ROOM (Aka, the studio). The studio is amazing!! I mean, it never fails to blow me away. The building is quite large and, truly, is an impressive work of architecture. Once I picked my table, my section and I had an *ahem* interesting introduction… Studio culture is exciting. We are given a lot of freedom, and the atmosphere is very relaxed. The assignments we are given may be grueling, but they most certainly are fun.

To relax at the studio, this BRILLIANT kid invented a new game called Archi-pong (pronounced: ar-chee pong). THIS IS SO MUCH FUN!! What basically happens is, we put two work tables together, and place a net (a 2.5 foot long piece of cardboard) where they join. We then play the game with a ping-pong ball and makeshift paddles (made up of square pieces of chipboard and wood). The students and TA's love it!!!

The Summer College program has been a blast! I've seriously been enjoying myself. The people here are great, the activities are great, the studies are great, and the food, again, has been great. I truly am looking forward to the remainder of my experience. The program has done nothing but intensify my desire to become a full-time student at this prestigious university.

That's all folks!!! I'll write more on my experiences in the times to come, but, for now, it's ciao.

7/24/2014

Arrgggghhhh!!!!! I cannot believe that the course is coming to an end. It is SO upsetting.:(((((

The entire program has been such a marvelous experience and adventure for me. I did not expect to make so many friends nor live such a busy life.

Well, life as an architecture student has been really tough and grueling.. It is very rare to meet one of us and not hear about the next projects due and the weird things we do in studio *cough*lines*cough*cough*. However, though its been hard, I'm actually enjoying this course. I've learned a lot about the true meaning of architecture and also discovered many of my hidden qualities. Studio life has been going well… Everyone is on the edge of their seats, anxious about the final projects and only awake because of a gazillion energy drinks.

The professors and visiting lecturers here are nice. They are all very experienced in the field and have good answers for any question that may be asked. The atmosphere is generally relaxed and calm. There is an open connection between the professors and the students. THAT is something I really appreciate. In my opinion, the entire learning process has been great.

My section's T.A., Erin, is AMAZING!!! She is a fashionista-type person and always dresses impressively… She is always able to help out and connect with every single one of her students. Her advice and criticism are well founded and always helpful. Unlike others, she doesn't try to change a student's style of working but rather moves with it and develops it.

Right now, we are all preparing for the final exhibition.. It's so hard to believe that, in a matter of few days, I'm going to leave my new home. I actually feel like its gonna be strange going back.

Anyway, got to get back to work… Talk to you soon…

8/5/2014

BANANA!!!

Now, I've got your attention. I cannot believe that it's ALMOST over. Everybody is upset and confused. Part of me wants to go back home and the other part doesn't want to leave my friends. No one was prepared for what Summer College had to offer. I will really miss everything and everybody so much. I am afraid of waking up now because the bustle preparing for lecture will soon be nonexistent. I'll have to get used to going to sleep without the noise of the late-nighters chilling in the lounge. I don't think I'll be able to get used to the fact that I don't have to walk quite a while to get to my class…





Sorry, I had to go to the bathroom *sniff* and weep *sniff*.

The last week is passing by too fast… I can't chill with my friends because all the architecture students are working their faces off for the final project… I end up skipping my meals until after night check when we finally order some pizza for late night delivery.

It sucks because the architecture students are among those who will leave early.

I cannot describe how sad I'll be when its all over.

Talk to you soon…

8/9/2014

Home. Now I've got mixed feelings.. I am SO HAPPY to finally have come back, but, sitting on my bed, contemplating the complexities of life, I realize that I am homesick. Cornell became a new home to me, and I miss it ever so much. Cliché "Home away from home." Anyway, here's what happened last week:

Thursday was the final review. This was really tiring but went pretty well. On Friday, we had to clean up the enormous mess we'd made. We had to pick up after the tornado… On this day, we got these pretty cool t-shirts from the TA's.

On the front, there is a collage containing 15-second sketches of all the tools that the students in the arch program had to work with for most of the program. I think that the idea was pretty cool and unique. I got a few TA's, a professor, and many architecture friends to sign it. It's something I will forever cherish.

For us, checkout was on Saturday. Packing up and leaving was the hardest thing… a few of my friends cried, and I was really, really sad.. Such great connections were made here at Summer College, and I really am going to miss everyone. In addition to friends, I am going to miss this beautiful campus and the surrounding townships. I've grown really attached to it. In addition to that, THEY DON'T SELL INSOMNIA COOKIES IN DUBAI… Now what am I gonna do?? XD

Jokes aside, I would really like to thank Cornell for being a great host. I've experienced a whole new life from the first day here. I've enjoyed every moment of my stay and now, even more than ever before, I hope to be a full-time student at this prestigious university.