Sunday, July 16, 2017

Ithaca, It's Been Real

Professor Deets and I. 
So I guess this is it, graduation day. I woke up bright and early to pack up the last of my things, clean up my dorm room, and give my luggage to Deven so I could check out with my RCA. The fifth floor of Balch felt oddly quiet today compared to others, some had moved out already, Bella left last night and the majority of rooms were already beginning to be cleared out. I was still getting ready after I dropped off my luggage with Deven who was waiting outside, I was going to graduate Cornell University Summer College later this morning. Javaria and Robson didn’t have one so it was just me who still had a little bit of a hectic morning.

I was saying the final goodbye to all my friends and the bet friends over the course of these past few weeks trying my best not to feel sad because I honestly don’t know when we will all see each other again. I know it will be soon, whether that means back at Cornell, or when we become the world leaders. I went to give some things to Javaria before I went back to Balch for the last time to drop my keys off in the lounge. I was going to call Uber to go to where my graduation was but they were running slow and at higher rates because people were both coming in and out of Ithaca so much. I decided walking would be just fine since I had time. I went to Statler Hall where Deven showed up right on time at eleven.

Josh to my left (works in the union) , and Nick to my
right (he's the firefighter!). 
This was more of a ‘family style’ ceremony as my professor called it. Last year the entire Summer College gathered on one room where every class came up and the instructors spoke about every class and what they did. Where we would sit and listen to every student’s name being called as they walked across the stage. We were in a lecture room which wasn’t too big but had enough to seat all the students who were able to make it for graduation as well as their family members. The TA’s were standing which made Mark talk a little faster about the class. He introduced himself and talked about what we covered in class discussions and the Ivy League standard we were held to with our lengthy essays and five books which we read. As he said, he took up some of our time.

Mark also acknowledged our TA’s, Nick and Josh for all their hard work and contributions to the class with leading the discussion sections as well as giving their own lectures the course about the leadership positions they held as a union leader and Coast Guard member. Then Mark played a video which he put together of pictures that we all sent him of things we did outside of the class like downtown or in the dorms. It was funny because I was in so many of them since I had a lot of pretty pictures from all the blogging I have been doing. It was really cute, and he said we would all have a copy of it, and it was just to show us as leaders, as family.

Then the time came, for our little ceremony. My name was the first one called and when I heard I had the biggest smile on my face. It felt so surreal as he handed me my certificate and I shook my course leaders’ hands, thanking them for changing my life and making me a better leader. Josh, of course, had to tease me about why I was in half the video. I clapped and cheered for my fellow leaders as they went up to receive their certificates which we all worked hard to deserve. We took some group pictures and had our sessions with Mark and the TA’s. Before Mark stopped everyone and stated that he realized he forgot to sign our certificates. I guess he was just as in a daze as the rest of us were. So we all lined up to ask for his ‘autograph’ before saying our goodbyes and taking the last pictures together. And that was it. I did it!
Deven and I met up with Robson and Javaria who were at the slope with some of their friends. We arrived to see them having a photo shoot so we decided to have one our own. After sufficiently embarrassing myself in of everyone staring at me, Deven suggested going to the Cascadilla Gorge Trail since we all went on our won, but not as a group and it was on our Cornell bucket list. We snapped some more pictures after walking down and back up the trail and walked to College town to grab some lunch before heading out to start our journey home.

You can see how I wanted to show it off. 
There are two halal certified restaurants in all of Ithaca. The only one I trusted was never open when I have ever tried to order from there but today it was! Finally, after eating vegetarian for so long I had lamb and it was the best last meal in Ithaca I could have asked for. We went over to Deven’s hotel where I was able to change and just freshen up and get my things together, we were able to sit in the lobby for a bit while Deven mailed off my books so I wouldn’t have to bring them as they were heavy and take up a great deal of space in my suitcase. Our shuttle came and it was a quick drive to the airport, and no problem checking in since the Ithaca Airport in uniquely small and our flight was the only one coming in for the rest of the day.

We waited for about two hours while Javaria and I were just about leadership work we had to do once we went back and texting friends. One hour in a plane and in the blink of an eye we were in Philadelphia. It was so great not having to run to the other terminal to catch our connected flight, we were just chilling and eating pretzels while the wait dragged on for our plane to begin boarding. Apparently, there was a missing flight attendant who we were all waiting on so in the mean I got my carry on checked since it was complementary.

Lamb, my love. 
Once we finally did get on the plane we pulled away from the terminal only to begin ‘driving’ for a while. The pilot came on over the intercom and was saying that they received some incorrect data and needed us to be patient while they worked on getting the correct numbers. I have no idea what that even meant but I appreciated the fact that they let us know what exactly was going on, as well as acknowledging that they were working on fixing it. While I texting don with updates on our adventure the pilot came on and said to be ready for take off. In maybe less than thirty seconds we were off the ground, they sure do work fast.

Outside of Ithaca airport. 
Waiting for so long in the plane and just in the airport in general, it had been a long day so I had a headache, so when the flight attendant brought me some water I took some medicine and knocked out, sleeping on and off for just about the whole flight. It was easy for me to curl up since I was so small but I can’t say the same for Deven and Robson. Finally, we arrived in San Francisco! Oh, how I missed the city and the bridge and the light pollution. There was luckily no traffic so we arrived relatively quickly. 

I was the last one to get picked up, but then again I didn’t expect my dad to be awake in the middle of the night. Don snapped some pictures of us as per usual before we all went home to sleep in our own beds, finally. I went to sleep a different person, in ways words cannot describe. Cornell: a chapter which is perhaps the most adventurous of my story so far. That's a wrap. 
Last one, I promise. 

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