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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

Student blogs

Marina

Lindenhurst, NY
Debate and Rhetoric, Session I
Debate and Rhetoric, Session II
Summer College 2016

Hello, My name is Marina. I was born in Alexandria, Egypt. When I was around two years old, my parents selflessly decided to move to America to provide a better education for me and my brother. We moved around the East Coast until we landed in a small village in New York called Lindenhurst. When I found out about Cornell University's Summer College, I did not hesitate to apply. I will be studying How to Win an Argument: An Introduction to Debate and Rhetoric with Sam Nelson at my dream college. I aspire to become a lawyer and advocate for the rights of African Americans. This summer, I hope to further my knowledge and learn how to make persuasive arguments, as I believe that is the key to becoming an outstanding attorney.

There is absolutely no place I'd rather be this summer. My experiences at Cornell this past week have been nothing less than spectacular. On my way to the Summer College, I was bombarded with a mixture of emotions. Those caused by nerves quickly disappeared when I walked through the door to my dorm. My roommate was so welcoming, and we became friends rather quickly. We were both able to make plenty of new friends within the first day of the program. We had an ice cream social the first night, which is where I met my closest friends and people from all over the world. My friends and I had plenty of free time to hang out and get to know each other that night. My nerves subsided and I became extremely excited as my adventures at Cornell continued. During my first weekend, I took advantage of the free time and explored the breathtaking campus. There are so many amazing places to visit. Going to bed on Sunday, I was very excited about starting class the next day.

7/5/2016

There is absolutely no place I'd rather be this summer. My experiences at Cornell this past week have been nothing less than spectacular. On my way to the Summer College, I was bombarded with a mixture of emotions. Those caused by nerves quickly disappeared when I walked through the door to my dorm. My roommate was so welcoming, and we became friends rather quickly. We were both able to make plenty of new friends within the first day of the program. We had an ice cream social the first night, which is where I met my closest friends and people from all over the world. My friends and I had plenty of free time to hang out and get to know each other that night. My nerves subsided and I became extremely excited as my adventures at Cornell continued. During my first weekend, I took advantage of the free time and explored the breathtaking campus. There are so many amazing places to visit. Going to bed on Sunday, I was very excited about starting class the next day.

On Monday, I woke up early and ate breakfast with my friends. Most of them have class at 9, but my class does not start until 12:30. I have plenty of time in the morning to relax and read some of my textbook before I head to class. On my first day, I arrived to class early and spoke with my fellow classmates. Everyone was so nice and welcoming. In order to reduce our anxiety my professor, Sam Nelson, told jokes while introducing himself. He described his life of debating and explained how he went from a farm life with no intention of attending college to attending college with a scholarship in debating. He then asked each of us to share a little bit about ourselves. Sam is one of the most caring professors I've ever met. He teaches in a very unorthodox manner, which makes the class enjoyable and allows his students to absorb the information more easily. He often tells ridiculous stories with the primary purpose of teaching us a key point in argumentation. I absolutely love going to class every day.

Although the assigned reading is lengthy some days, it is actually very interesting, and time passes rather quickly while reading. In addition to the lectures, we began debating—a very exhilarating experience. I have learned a lot about the art of persuasion and argumentation and also about the world and current events. I cannot wait to see what is in store for my next two weeks at Cornell.

7/13/2016

As I approach my last week at Cornell University, I am bombarded with a variety of feelings. Arriving at Cornell my first day, I was nervous and anxious. Although I am extremely excited to see my loved ones back at home, I am also very sad about leaving the dear friends I have made here at Cornell over the past three weeks. My second weekend at Cornell was nothing short of amazing. My friends and I traveled around the Cornell campus and Collegetown. We tried the famous Collegetown bagels, which met my expectations, and climbed 161 steps to the top of the Cornell clock tower. We even ventured out of our comfort zones and went to a Mediterranean restaurant for dinner.

During my second week at Summer College, I was constantly in my dorm room studying for my midterm. All my hard hours of studying paid off when I scored rather well on my midterm. I absolutely love Debate and Rhetoric. Every day with Sam is another adventure filled with ridiculous stories and hysterical jokes. I love going to class each day, because the thrill of debating is indescribable. Everyone in class works hard at proving their point and speaks with such enthusiasm, even if they do not technically agree with the resolution. I will truly miss this class.

Cornell University has been the perfect place to spend the past three weeks. I know that I will miss it greatly, and I cannot wait to apply to Cornell this fall. These past three weeks have taught me a lot about college life and the key to prioritization. I am definitely going to miss the friends I made here, but we have set up a group chat so that we can stay in contact for years to come. Even more, I am going to miss the ambiance of this university and cannot wait to see what the future holds.

7/25/2016

Looking back at my experiences this summer, I realize that I truly miss Cornell University. I loved my time there, and I wish I could go back to relive my experiences. Before attending I was nervous and wondered if I could really fit in at an Ivy League school. However, after a couple days I was able to forget about the pressure of it being an Ivy League school and felt at home.

My experience at Summer College was absolutely amazing. I miss the silly jokes Sam would tell throughout class to make lectures lively and interesting. I appreciate all that he has done for us. Sam even encouraged us to keep in contact with him in the years to come, which I definitely plan on doing. The people at Cornell are some of my favorite people ever. They always greet you with a smile. Aside from the people the classes, Cornell's ambiance is absolutely amazing.

Since completing my three-week journey, I view the world differently. Sam always said, "Your parents are going to hate me when you go home because you'll want to argue with them about anything." While that isn't exactly the case, my knowledge of argumentation has helped me win arguments between my family members and my closest friends. These arguments might be as silly as "what we are eating for dinner tonight?" In addition, I have an appreciation for the Cornell University Summer College program, which truly allows you to experience college life in a short amount of time. It was not until I left this program to attend another program in a nearby college that I realized how valuable my time at Cornell had been. For three weeks, I considered Cornell my home and I cannot wait to apply to this amazing university.

I can safely say that my dreams of becoming a civil rights lawyer have only intensified after my experience at Cornell and I cannot wait for the future. To conclude, the Summer College program has so much to offer, and I highly recommend it.