Monthly Archives: July 2010

How many days left?

As I write this, August is right around the corner–and that means the start of college in Ithaca isn’t too far off either!

July at Treman State Park in Ithaca

July at Treman State Park in Ithaca

Thanks to Lisa at the Office of Web Communications (OWC), Candid at Cornell is now visible on the Cornell websiteTwitter feed, and on Facebook.  I have to say, something that I really find awesome is the amount of e-mails, comments, and Facebook messages that I’ve been getting from upperclassmen and alumni, filled with encouraging words and advice; it’s so cool. For such a huge university that’s diverse in every sense of the word (I mean…where else can you find people studying hotel administration and engineering across the road from each other?), it’s amazing that there’s such a strong overall Cornell community that so many people have been reaching out to wish me well. Haha, if so many Cornellians are this eager to talk now…I imagine that the blow will be softened when I try to enter the job market in a couple of years, knowing that there are 250,000 living alumni (among them Bill Nye the Science Guy…for the record).Cornell University - Student Life - Life on the Hill

As I have less than a month before I’m out of the Nutmeg State and the town I’ve lived in for 18 years, I’m not quite sure what I’m thinking. I’m not really fixated about the big picture–finally moving out and being on my own; Instead, I’m kind of thinking about the buildup of small changes that I’ll have to make in my life. I’ve been going to the same Supercuts to get my haircut for $14.95 for as long as I remember…so I guess I’ll have to find a new place in Ithaca (recommendations would be great, haha). Also, I had my appendix out in April of this year at the UCONN hospital in Connecticut…where would I have gone if I was at Cornell? Most importantly…does the Wegmans supermarket in Ithaca stock Dr. Pepper? Okay, it’s obviously not most important…but I’d like to know.

Let me talk about housing for a second. I was placed (randomly) into a double in Mary Donlon hall. I’m really psyched, as I know it’s going to be great. It’s known to be the “social dorm,” if you will; I guess due to its’ layout it’s more conducive to meeting other people and socializing. Do I wish that the dorms were newer, like the ones in Court-Kay-Bauer? Ehh, probably. But I really don’t mind that much, and I think Donlon was renovated in 2003.

5 bars everywhere!

5 bars everywhere!

One other plus of Donlon: there are cell towers on the roof. That means I’ll be able to get cell service practically anywhere in my dorm, and probably everywhere on Cornell’s campus. Yeah, I know…it’s not that big of a deal, but it’s nice to know that AT&T has me covered (like on those commercials). Hopefully there’ll be no radiation or anything…

Also, among the many things that Cornell requires all incoming freshman to complete is Alcohol-Wise, an online alcohol education course. I think I’m the only one of my friends that had to do something like this, so I guess Cornell really feels we should really be knowledgeable about alcohol/drinking. It was definitely pretty interesting…at least I can tell people that I passed my first Cornell test.

Oh, and for all those that read earlier posts, my final report was finally received by Cornell! I’m sure you lost a lot of sleep over it worrying (not), but everything is all set in that regard and I’m good to go!

Looking over some of the Cornell Life on the Hill blogs from the graduating seniors, I’m realizing that I kind of have big shoes to fill. Matt, Tim, and Alex‘s blogs were, to say the least, phenomenal, and I hope I’ll be able to contribute as much to the Life on the Hill project as they did.

A Little About Me…

At the risk of sounding egotistical, I figure I should tell you a little about me. Not that I’m the most exciting person in the world–I haven’t cured any diseases, been on a game show, or played in the World Cup (which actually might be a blessing in disguise, as those vuvuzelas would have driven me insane). But, since many of you don’t have much of a clue who I am, I’ll give some sort of introduction.

I’ve lived my whole life in West Hartford, Connecticut–a town which has recently garnered some attention by being named one of the top 10 cities in the country by Kiplinger’s magazine (yeah!). If anything, I can wear a badge of honor showing that I’ve endured 18 tough New England winters. Ithaca shouldn’t be too much of a change for the worse…and I guess it will be an easier adjustment than those coming from sunny Southern California, right?

High school was fun–I mean, it was as much fun as it could be. I had a solid group of friends, and I really liked most my teachers.

Tiananmen Square, in China!

Tiananmen Square, in China!

Academically, I really liked languages…I completed 4 years of French and 3 of Chinese (Dui, wo keyi shuo zhongwen. Wo hen xihuan!) One of the highlights of my high school career was actually going to China on a school trip for two weeks. It was awesome, because we were literally able to tour such a wide variety of places–we went to small resort towns (Yangshuo, anyone?) to the large, bustling cities of Shanghai and Beijing. I’d totally recommend it to anyone interested in seeing a completely different lifestyle from our American one; I mean, I doubt the happy Chinese farmers we met cared about how many people wrote on their Facebook walls, or if Jack Bauer was going to die in the season finale of 24. (Off topic, but it is definitely worth watching! I won’t give anything away.)

Me at graduation!

Me at graduation!

I definitely kept myself busy in high school. Besides the schoolwork, I was involved in writing for and editing the school newspaper, doing Model UN, being a teaching assistant/tutor, etc. It really shouldn’t be too hard to transform these activities into something I’d enjoy doing at the Big Red.

So…what do I plan on studying at Cornell? I know that I want to do something with business management in my future, so my current academic path is uncertain. As a student in the College of Arts and Sciences, I’d have the option of majoring in something like Econ or Information Science to prepare me for a business career. Alternatively, I’d say that I’m definitely interested in checking out other programs at Cornell. The Hotel School, for one, seems awesome…as does the Applied Economics and Management (AEM) program in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (which is now the Dyson School). Nothing is out of the question for me, at this point…so I’ll definitely keep all my options open. Also, as a student in CAS, I have the flexibility to take classes in all the other schools, so I’ll definitely experiment to see what interests me.

I think that’s about it for now–I’ll probably write a (more Cornell-related) update sometime soon, as now that I’ve finished work I don’t have too much on my plate. Actually, tomorrow I’m going into Manhattan to see a taping of David Letterman…so that should be pretty interesting.

Should I have some kind of sign off line? I mean, “See you later” seems kind of cliche and trite. I’ll work on it.

30 Days and Counting…

Ever since this whole “college” process began, the whole idea of going away from home seemed like such a far away thing–something that would come around eventually, of course, but not anytime in the near future. Now that I’ve been getting things like my housing assignment, orientation materials and Cornell e-mail, it’s finally beginning to hit me that hey…I’m going to be on my own very soon!

Orientation Materials!Orientation Materials!

I’ve definitely been keeping myself busy this summer. I’ve been working as a camp counselor at a local day camp every day, and while it’s a lot of fun, it’s really tiring. I’ve been coming home exhausted every day and have frequently just fallen asleep on the couch. I do love the work though, and get along with kids (in this case, 5 year olds!) well, so I’m glad that I’m doing it. Every day that I’m out there in the sun and find myself wishing that it was a little cooler temperature-wise, I keep thinking about how much I’m going to be begging for weather like this when I’m in Ithaca (where the snow, from what I’ve been told, starts in November and ends in late April). Ah well, good thing we get a good chunk of January off for break–maybe I can take that time to go somewhere nice and warm.

Cornell-wise, I’ve had a lot to do as well. For all attending students, Cornell has a website set up that tracks all your required documents that looks like this:

To Do List - First-Year - New Students - Cornell University-2

Where is my final report?!

Everything seems to be going well on my end, except for the fact I’m kind of stressed out about where my final report is. It was supposed to be sent from my school before the deadline, July 12, but Cornell doesn’t seem to have it. I guess I’m going to have to call the friendly people at admissions or something to ask about what I should do…unless it looks the same for everyone?

It is kind of fun making all these minor decisions about Cornell, I have to admit. Recently, for example, I had to choose between Meal Plans–something that would otherwise be kind of a dull thing. However, hearing all the good things about Cornell food (does the Ag school really grow all the fruit/vegetables on campus?!), gave me all the encouragement I needed to sign up for the Traditional Bear meal plan. To be honest, I completely forgot the perks of it at the moment but I do remember that it involved a good amount of food (something like 14, 15 meals a week maybe?). Ah well, it should all be worth it.

Ok, and something else surprised me while filling out all these forms: we actually have to pay for a gym membership?! I figured it’d be included since, y’know, we’re paying $40-50 thousand a year to the Big Red…but I guess not. Anyways, I signed up for just the fall semester CFC (Cornell Fitness Center) membership because I figured I have no idea how everything will work out time-wise next year.

Since I’m only working for 4 weeks at camp and get off July 23rd, a lot of people have been asking me what I’m going to be doing the 3 or 4 weeks before I head up to Ithaca. The answer? Absolutely nothing, and I couldn’t be happier. It’s basically the last time when I can hang with my friends (some of which I’ve known since preschool) without any stresses or worries, and I can’t wait. Oh, and I’ll be reading the (required) book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? It looks pretty interesting; I’ll let you know what I think of it.

Today in West Hartford it’s supposed to be like 95 degrees, according to the Today Show. It’s apparently hotter here than in Miami today, so I’ll probably be going to the local pool. See you later for now…

And We’re Off!

Hey everyone!

I figure now’s as good a time as ever to introduce myself–I’m David Schatz, an incoming freshman to Cornell in the College of Arts and Sciences. This blog, Candid at Cornell, is a part of Life on the Hill: The Cornell student blogging project. As a jovial accepted student back in April, I was poking around the Cornell website and saw that there were openings for new bloggers to narrate their Cornell experiences. I remembered having read many other students’ Cornell blogs when I was looking at many colleges, and thought that they helped me to get an accurate glimpse into life at Cornell …so I figured, why not return the favor?!

So…what do I hope to accomplish?

  • Prospective Cornellians- I was in your shoes less than a year ago, and I remember being flooded with all sorts of messages from colleges: letters, e-mails, even phone calls. I remember all the college visits–such as the 5 hour long road trips, seeing how many liberal arts colleges in central Pennsylvania I could pack into one weekend. To be honest, I had NO CLUE for the longest time what I wanted in a college. I looked at huge state schools, small private colleges, the liberal arts education vs. a business-centered one, etc. I always walked away from campuses with the “yeah…I guess I could see myself here” kind of attitude, and it didn’t help me narrow down my list at all. What I realized is that, while the information sessions and campus tours were nice, what bugged me was that they didn’t always give a full picture of the school. I mean, I can understand why–what kind of admissions officer would start off a speech to parents talking about their ranking as the #3 party school? Or what kind of tour guide would tell students about the grueling coursework, unapproachable professors and hindered social life of students at their institution? That’s what I’m here for. I’ll regularly narrate many details about my life as a Cornellian–both the good and the not-so-good. Hopefully, the information that I provide will help you to make the best choice regarding where you’ll be spending the next 4 years of your life.
  • Cornellians (both past and present)- I hope you’ll be able to read this blog very similarly to how you would read a good book–it’s just something casual that you’d be able to pick up every now and then that you’d might find interesting or amusing, and that you could certainly relate to. Feel free to stop by every now and then to see what I’m up to or to see what one lowly freshman among 13,000 students (is that number right?) is thinking.
  • Everyone else-I’m going to try as best as I can to portray what life truly is like “on the hill” at Cornell, a vast, incredible place to study. Especially in light of the tragedies that took place on campus this year, where some peoples’ perceptions of Cornell could be…distorted, if you will, by the news coverage–I think that it is more important than ever to showcase what a phenomenal place Cornell is, and I’m glad that you’ll be able to view it through my eyes.

This blog is definitely a work in progress, and I’m still playing around with different logistics like the settings and format. That said, I’d certainly love feedback, comments, suggestions, questions, or anything of the like; feel free to comment on posts or catch me on Facebook. Really–send me whatever you’re thinking and I’ll reply sooner than later.

Thanks for coming along for the ride!!