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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

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Student blogs


Bronxville, NY
Veterinary Medicine: Small Animal Practice
Summer College 2015

Hello! My name is Ally, and I'm a rising senior at Bronxville High School. I was born and raised in Bronxville, New York, a one-square mile village, twenty miles outside of NYC. I love animals and hope to be a vet. I have two dogs, Max and Sammy, and have had a variety of pets, including a cat, a corn snake, a red-eyed tree frog, and a miniature shark. In my free time, I enjoy playing Sudoku, singing, and photography. I am the Vice President of the Creative Writing Club and the Environmental Club at my school. I have also participated in three high school musicals.

This summer, I will attend the Veterinary Medicine: Small Animal Practice course. I am very excited to spend three weeks at Cornell, exploring the campus, making friends, and diving into the wonderful academic and social experiences that Cornell Summer College provides!


This week was so incredible! I arrived a day late, and I was worried about settling in and meeting people. Even though I missed the ice cream social, I still met tons of people! Balch Hall, my residence, is beautiful. I love my room (I have my very own sink). My roommate is super sweet too!

My class is really awesome! I have always loved science and animals, but this course has certainly heightened my appreciation for veterinarians. I love the lectures. We learn so much information, but it is still nothing close to what vet school students need to know. Dr. Maza calls us pre-pre-vet students! The labs are amazing too! This week, I dissected the right forelimb of a dog and the head of a Brussels Griffon. I also toured the Vet School and hospital. It was incredible! My favorite thing by far was the lab with live dogs. They are so adorable! My group and I named our research dog Nala. She is such a sweetie!

There are so many wonderful places to eat here. For breakfast and dinner, I go to RPCC. They have fruit, pancakes, potatoes, eggs, and so much more. The burgers and fries are amazing, and I love the salad bar. For lunch, I go to Trillium. The mac and cheese there is my favorite! I've also gone to The Dairy Bar a few times. The lemon sorbet is so yummy, and I bought a cute cow pen there. One night, I ordered pizza from College Town Pizza with my friend, and we ate it while studying for our quiz. Also, this weekend, we ordered cookies from Insomnia Cookies, and they are so delicious! I am definitely ordering from them again!

The weather has been relatively nice. It is surprisingly hot—the last time I was in Ithaca, it was negative six degrees. I enjoy walking around and exploring the campus. My class is far away, but the walk is really enjoyable. I have been taking the bus in the morning and walking back to Balch in the afternoons. The campus is so beautiful. It doesn't feel like I am at a school because I am surrounded by so much nature. On Friday, I took a walk with my friend around Beebe Lake. I felt like the speaker of Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken.

I have been hanging out with a bunch of friends. Every night we have been meeting up in my room. It is like a perpetual sleepover! This weekend, we watched a bunch of movies together in the Mary Donlon Hall movie room. I went to the Toga Party at Donlon, as well. Also, I played Minute To Win It with my RCA and some other girls from my floor.

This week was truly wonderful! I cannot believe I arrived just a week ago. I feel like I have been here forever, but I also don't want it to end.


My second week at Cornell Summer College flew by. I can't believe it's almost over! I love my class and my life here at Cornell so much, and I really don't want it to end!

Class this week was a treat! I got to dissect lungs and a heart. Dr. Miller showed us a freshly cultivated lung and pumped air into it. I got to feel the lung as it moved! Also, we performed electrocardiograms on ourselves. My lab partner stuck stickers onto my arms and wrist and connected the appropriate wires to each sticker. When I stood still, the computer recorded the electrical signal of my heart. It was so cool, and now I know how to read ECGs! In our lab with live dogs, I worked with three Vet School students' dogs. I got to feel their femoral pulses and apex beats, and I used a stethoscope to hear their heartbeats and the air in their tracheas. The dogs were so calm and happy and so much fun to work with! On Wednesday, our TAs, Stephanie, Brian, and Gabby made us brownies for the Fourth of July and Canada Day! Also, we got cupcakes in tutor group before our quiz on Thursday! Tutor groups are so much fun—we analyze real cases and develop our own plans about how to treat the patients. This week, we learned about animal CPR and got to practice on mannequins. While waiting for the first group to finish the CPR demonstrations, Dr. Maza played Hotel for Dogs! I don't think I could love this class anymore than I already do!

There were so many fun activities this week. I watched Clueless during movie night on Monday, I went to dinner with my RCA and people from my floor, and I attended a game night, as well. At game night, I played Connect Four and Sorry with my friend. At arts and crafts club, I made sand art! Later this week, I visited the Johnson Museum. I only walked through two floors before the museum closed! There is so much to see, and everything is breathtaking. On Wednesday, there were fireworks for the Fourth of July. My friends and I went to Libe Slope to watch. The fireworks were so beautiful! On the Fourth of July, there was a barbeque on Kay Bauer Field. We had to play games to win tickets and then use the tickets to get prizes. I played a beanbag toss and picked out bubbles as my prize! This weekend, I went to Collegetown and ate brunch at CTB with my friends! Their food is so yummy! On Saturday night, we played capture the flag on Kay Bauer Field!

Although I did a lot this week, there is still so much left to do! Cornell is such a wonderful place to explore, and three weeks is certainly not enough time!


My last week at Cornell was wonderful! Earlier in the week, my friends and I had a water balloon fight with 250 water balloons! After getting drenched, we went to the pool in Helen Newman Hall. It was such a fun afternoon, and it was great to cool off in the water! I also went back to the museum and was pleased to find a Calder mobile and a Giacometti statue! In class, I practiced suturing on my very own banana, I dissected the GI tract of a dog, emptying the contents of its stomach as well as identifying the six liver lobes. I was also engaged in fascinating lectures about avian anatomy, pediatric and geriatric cats, and fish. We got to see videos of animals being spayed and neutered; it was incredibly remarkable! The funniest parts of our lectures were when our TA Brian demonstrated tail bopping, one of the signs of respiratory distress in birds, and Dr. Maza taught us how we should hug at our graduation ceremony. On the final day of class, our teachers brought in their pets for us to play with! We passed around three cats, and Murray, Dr. Maza's dog, wandered around our lecture hall.

On Saturday, we had a graduation ceremony. My class graduated with the other classes, so I was able to see my friends graduate, and I enjoyed hearing about their programs from their professors. It was a very nice way to end the program. As I was leaving the ceremony and the campus, I could hear Cornell's Alma Mater chiming from McGraw Tower. It was as if the campus was saying goodbye, and I couldn't have asked for a better three weeks.

My days at Cornell were so full and productive. I learned to utilize every moment of my time, waking up early and going to bed late. I never passed up an opportunity to hang out with my friends or spend time exploring the campus. Surrounded by incredible foliage, the mesmerizing Beebe Lake, and gorgeous gorges, I spent so much time outside. When I got home and drove through the only town I have ever lived in, I found myself appreciating the trees and plants that had always adorned the streets and the village so much more than I had before Summer College.

Summer College has me so excited for college! I feel like the world has opened up for me, and I can do anything. I am putting myself out into the world, and I am proud of what I have accomplished and what Cornell has pushed me to do.

While this program has fortified my desire to pursue veterinary medicine, it is just one of the paths I hope to follow. I plan to balance my passion for science with my passion for the arts. After dissecting a branching trachea, discovering a diverging trail along Beebe Lake, and travelling past ancient and contemporary art in the Johnson Museum, I realize that no matter what path I take, it will always be a fulfilling one at Cornell. Thank you to everyone who made my experience at Cornell University Summer College amazing!