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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

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Student blogs


New York City
Art as Experience
Summer College 2010
Greetings Cornellians, My name is Talia and I am from "the Big Apple." My family is from South Africa and I feel a very close connection to my South African roots. I visit there every December to reunite with my family and celebrate my birthday! I've just finished my sophomore year at Columbia Prep, and am eager to start the Art as Experience program and the Film program here at Cornell.

My true passion is a combination of art and film. I've been interested in film ever since middle school, and have been pursuing film through courses in school. Individually, I have made several short films and video installations, which include my quirky and zany designs. Two of my family members are professional artists who have inspired me to follow through with my own art projects. I am currently painting, drawing, and print making at home and at school.

I enjoy playing for my volleyball and basketball teams in school, and dedicate a lot of my time outside of school to dance, sing, and rollerblade around Central Park. At school, I have recently received my position as the vice president of the "Snail Santa Club" and became president of "World Issues Charity." My absolute favorite class in school is Music History taught by the world's best teacher—Mr. Davis and I plan on advancing in the subject. Although I do love my High School, I am planning on making this summer the best one yet!



I hope everyone's first week at Cornell has been amazing! To tell you all the truth… I think I may have been lost at least 10 times so far. It is actually quite sad. My teacher and graduate student helpers must be agitated with my constant lateness but hopefully that will end soon. Art class is so intense! So far, we have drawn in a greenhouse, on the path by the gorges, in a garden, and on our own. We have discussed modern artists, listened to an extremely interesting lecture, worked with scanning and Photoshop and have completed many beautiful projects. These first few days have inspired me to work hard on my own and have helped me see a bright future for myself. I feel that most of my peers feel the same way! Also, my professor is extremely kind and helpful, and I appreciate everything she has done for my class. Two graduate students have assisted my professor in helping everyone in class and I couldn't have imagined better people to work with everyday. Shout out to all of the Art as Experience Kids…You are all extremely kind, hard working, and entertaining! I am lucky to have you all as friends!

Not only has class been amazing, but Cornell and the students here have so much to offer. I have done too many activities to list, but I will give you a brief idea of what I have been doing around here. I have taken countless hikes, visited Collegetown, The Commons and the mall, explored every inch of campus, visited the astronomy observatory, played numerous games of volleyball, soccer, ultimate Frisbee, swam in Buttermilk Falls and more. Cornell campus is THE BEST PLACE TO ROLLERBLADE! Yes I am "that girl who rollerblades." When I meet someone new, that seems to be the question around here, so I am just confirming that for you all. Every single person I have met here is so friendly! I have the best roommate ever (<3 IRENA), and I am so glad that this diverse group has been getting along so well, and I am looking forward to reflecting back on another great week at Cornell! I hope everyone had a spectacular first couple of days and 4th of July weekend!

See you all next week!

At this very moment I am sitting outside by the gorges on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. I am so tempted to swim, but we all know that is against the rules.

Anyway, this week could not have been any better. Art class has been so interesting, and I never want to leave the studio. We are now making animated movies and learning about different video artists to broaden our perspective on video art, installations, and animation production. My favorite part of the class is when the class leaves at four and I have the studio to myself. I blast the music, dance, and get into the zone to make new paintings, write, draw, or anything else that involves getting messy. During this time when I’m in the studio, I always manage to distract the architecture students (sorry, guys!), embarrass myself when someone catches me dancing and singing through the window, and end up with paint all over my face and clothes.

I pretty much did the same activities as last week. I hiked, biked, rollerbladed, played sports, went shopping, swam, and visited the usual "Cornell spots." But the most exciting of my activities was watching the World Cup finale—GO, SPAIN! I am truly sorry for all of the Dutch fans.

I hope everyone enjoyed the second week at Cornell. See you all soon!


Hello Again!

As of this moment, I just finished a refreshing salad at Collegetown Bagels after my first film class and I’m reflecting on the past three weeks. The art show for Art as Experience was extremely successful and it was so nice to see my parent. SHOUT OUT: to all of my peers Renee, Ruth, and Ferade, wonderful job on the exhibition!!! I truly miss all of my old friends and art class and I never realized how much I would miss them. I can't believe how fast it went! We have had so many memories together such as singing under the stars in a guitar circle, or going dancing, and climbing random trees, going on adventures, and so much more. I made friends here who I know I will be friends with for a lifetime. Watching my best friends drive away was heart wrenching but THANK GOODNESS FOR THE BALCH KIDS! They made everything so much easier! I was so upset and they took me out for a really nice time and we went swimming, shopping, eating, etc. Also, many of my friends traveled to Buttermilk Falls yesterday to celebrate Lorenzo's 18th birthday. It was a beautiful day to swim and an all around wonderful day for him and for all of the people celebrating with him! (HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! and I hope you enjoyed your cookie cake! :-)) Film class is really intimidating! I really enjoyed analyzing scenes from movies, short films, and animation but I am so nervous about the amount of work we are going to have. Essays, and scriptwriting, and analyzing...OH MY! <-- Wizard of Oz if you didn't understand that! I have already met really nice new Mary Donlon kids and I’m looking forward to getting to know them more as soon as possible!

Have a wonderful first week everyone!

See you all next week!
<3 Talia



Work has been piling up and there is no more time to waste! After practicing film analysis and script critiquing for a week now, in-class discussion has become easier and flows more than before. The readings make more sense and the art of writing scripts has become less challenging. Even though the work load is high, I have had time to get to know the new three weekers. The new Donlon kids are extremely kind, and I really enjoy spending time with them. I have experienced new adventures here every day during my free time with my new friends. I am sorry this week’s post is so short but I’m looking forward to telling you all more next week!

See you all next week!
<3 Talia



I can't believe we only have one week left! This weekend was incredible! My best friend, Kira from the first three-week program, came to visit me. We went to the Farmers Market, The Commons, Collegetown, an outdoor concert, and on a boat trip with many friends. We took a trip to Seneca Lake on the perfect day for swimming, tubing, and spending our last weekend together. After that we all went to a party in Collgetown. It was so nice to see her again and it was absolutely the best weekend I have had at Summer College. Class is great and I really feel myself improving. I wish I had more time here.

See you all next week (for the last time :-( )
<3 Talia


Dear Cornell Summer College Students,

I am so sad to be writing my last blog for you all. My last week at Cornell was incredible. Now reflecting back on my experiences here, I know that I have come home a new person. Screen Writing class has given me a whole new perspective on story-telling writing. I have developed skills such as creating 3-dimensional characters, creating drama and conflict, affecting the viewer emotionally, and so much more. I can't thank my professor and TA enough for the skills I have fought to develop and for starting me on a path towards a bright future.

Summer College has given me some of the best experiences of my life. I have made friends who have changed my life and who I will never forget. The friends and experiences that I made, have helped me grow up and mature. I have come home with new ideas, morals, lessons, determination, confidence, and a new and expanding family. Thank you for the best summer of my life. I hope to see everyone in the future!

Good luck to you all and have a wonderful school year!
All my love,
<3 Talia