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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

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Student blogs


Shanghai, China
Transmedia: Image Sound Motion
Summer College 2016

Hi, nice to meet everyone. I'm Zixin from Shanghai, China. I'm 17 years old and currently in 11th grade. This summer I will be studying Transmedia: Image Sound Motion. For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by art and ingenious design, ubiquitous in our daily life, and in my free time I immerse myself in different art forms like painting, drawing, filming with iMovie, and playing piano. In addition to art, I have a profound love of sports. At school I enjoy playing volleyball with my friends and play tennis often. I am thrilled about meeting new friends with different backgrounds, and I'm looking forward to this challenging and exciting summer experience on the Cornell campus.


After a 14-hour flight from Shanghai to Syracuse, and an hour drive from Syracuse Hancock Airport to Ithaca, I finally arrived at the Cornell campus. The rural setting of Cornell is distinct from the place I come from. Without annoying traffic jams and skyscrapers, the natural beauty here is refreshing, plus sunshine abounds here, and the sun doesn't go down until nine. I've adopted a healthier life style since arriving, spending a lot of time walking from Balch Hall and Sibley, where my Transmedia class is held, and exploring the gorgeous campus of Cornell where gorges and waterfalls are everywhere.

After a few days of class, I know that I am in the right program. Transmedia provides us with both individual and shared experiences. Morning group discussions about the reading material, where we share thoughts and bring up topics related to the history and development of media, are inspiring. During the first week we learned how to make our own macro lens and macro photo shooting and editing, learning exciting things both in and out of the classroom. What I enjoyed most was learning and producing my own stop animation videos of whatever topic I chose. Professor Grimm said, "Art is never finished," and he encouraged us to devote ourselves to the topics we are passionate about, to keep improving our projects, and to do our best.

Over the weekend I took the Cornell Campus-to-Campus bus to New York City to visit my friends at NYU. The Cornell C2C bus is fast and comfortable, and I had a great time throughout the weekend. On my way back to Cornell, I saw the most beautiful sunset on the bus, and I decided I will visit the waterfall near campus next weekend. My first week at Cornell has been very rewarding, and I have a list of things I am looking forward to over the next two weeks.


This week we started to look at basic programming, creating our own audio and video libraries, and editing them. On Thursday, Professor Grimm took us to the Johnson Art Museum, where a large collection of both ancient and contemporary art work is displayed. We had an amazing time exploring the art of different cultures. And we also watched and discussed art videos of Nam Jun Paik and Bruce Nauman.

One habit we've developed in the Transmedia program is capturing the beauty which abounds in everyday moments. My friends from Transmedia and I have learned that taking photographs and video is a good way to relieve pressure after doing work, and everything we're collecting randomly turns into amazing art through the techniques we've learned in the past two weeks.

My friends and I devoted ourselves to our art video projects this weekend, spending a whole day editing in the computer room. When we left the Sibley Hall after a tiring day, we saw a stunning sunset view from the bridge.

I really appreciate that everyone has opportunities to find their interests here at Cornell and in the surrounding areas. For example, I have always wanted to see the Harriet Tubman Museum in Auburn, NY and the Women's Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, where the Declaration of Sentiments was signed. This weekend, I had that opportunity and indulged myself in the historical atmosphere of the 1850s. Also, many of my friends have gone to the observatory to see stars, Saturn and other planets, and I am thrilled about going there next Friday night.


I cannot believe I've been home a week; everything and everyone I met at Cornell this summer are still on my mind all the time. Three weeks is a short time, and it was only after graduation ended and everybody was leaving that I realized how much I had grown attached to life at Cornell and to the people I'd met there.

The third week was so busy and exciting that I had no time to feel sad about the separation ahead. We were preparing for the Transmedia Gallery and using Makey Makey kits to build interaction between music, video, and users. We either created our own project individually or in groups and organized the display on the final day. All of the work we've done during the past two weeks, including abstract videos and stop animation, were displayed at the gallery.

The last night of the program was amazing. We all, except those who had left early, went to Collegetown together to celebrate the success of the final gallery show and enjoy our last few hours together. We ate at Hot Pot that night, sharing mixed feelings about goodbyes and going home, going so far away from each other, some halfway around the world: Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou, Dubai, Florida, New York, and Virginia. Maybe we will still visit each other in the future, or maybe not.

Besides farewells and celebrations, I truly started to feel prepared for college life at a diverse and challenging university. From dorm to cafeteria, classrooms, and studios, I had a taste of many aspects of the college experience. Thanks to everyone I got to know during this incredible summer, which I will always cherish deeply in my memories.