I woke up this morning to a room I couldn’t recognize. There were zipped up bags laying across the floor. The shelves were cleared off of candy wrappers and shampoo bottles. The closet no longer held a week’s worth of rotting laundry and hanging sweatshirts. The tables no longer held mountains of wires and cables. It was certainly a room I recognize, but it’s no longer mine.
I rose out of bed bright an early letting my roommate sleep in one last time. I’ve gotten used to
|Meet Maddie, my roommate!|
waking up earlier than she did, and she’s gotten used to my blaring alarm and gushing water from my morning routine. She got up a little later and we finished taking the trash and linen down to the basement. Most of the packing happened yesterday, but there were still some drawers to clean out. She took out a bag of detergent from the fridge and the two of us stared melancholy at the bag. Dierdra came in at 8:15 for room check, and then I was on my way.
I left my bags in my room and went down for breakfast. Maddie, Elana and Daniella had gone while I waited for my room check, so I saw her on my way to RPCC. We both knew this would be the end. Elana came forward, refusing to utter the forbidden words. We hugged and expressed ourselves through restrained sniffs and went on our way. Behind her was Maddie, the best roommate anyone could ask for. We hugged, the both of us reliving our jokes and shielding our eyes from one another. Then, we went our opposite ways, Maddie continuing to the dorms and me heading to RPCC.
After breakfast with Katie, Barry and a few other dorm members, I went to meet with Thao, Shanti and Helen in front of Balch to take a cab to the Hotel graduation ceremony. I went back to my dorm for the last time, taking in the empty feeling. I was the first to arrive and the last to leave. Maddie
We dropped our bags off in the hotel building. Mark and Reneta ran through the program, mapping out where everyone should be sitting and walking through the ceremony. At 10, the curtains parted, and we were in the orientation room, except it wasn’t an orientation room. It was a graduation hall. The same people were in the crowd, but they weren’t the same people. Three weeks later, we’ve grown and matured. Parents watched as their child walked up and around to the front of the room and into their seats.
Mark began the evening, warming up the audience and introducing the occasion, but the show was focused on the students tonight. Our peer, Sean taught our first lesson to the audience; group 1B gave their Marriott hotel presentation; Ricky and Matt discussed the CHESS hotel simulation; and Remi and Katie went over our three-week long agenda. After the student speakers, Mark and Reneta returned to the stage. There was an endless roar of applause as the names were called, one by one. Each person who reached the front was greeted by a copy of the final report, a diploma and a handshake from Reneta. Once all the names were called, a slideshow of our three weeks played on the screen. Everything from lectures to jokes to computing to napping was relived through pictures of the three weeks.
|Reneta, Julie and Mark. A picture with the|
finest and the funniest teachers.
After the ceremony, everyone met outside for our last goodbyes. I promised myself I would save the tears for the plane ride, but I broke that rule. After a series of camera snaps and hugs with friends, our cohort approached Mark and Reneta for a thank you for the three weeks they provided us.
The rest of the day was filled with activity similar to that of the first week. Everyone brought back their skill of one minute packing and got ready for the rides back home. After eating our last Ithaca at College Town Bagles, our cohort took a shuttle bus to the Syracuse airport. The flight was delayed, leaving everyone anxious about the schedule to come.
During our wait, I bumped into Daniella and Ann at the airport. Her flight to Canada wasn’t due until half an hour later, so we spent the time chatting and reminiscing about Summer College. That was the last goodbye.
The plane ride to Chicago was only about two hours. We rushed across the airport to meet our next plane and made it with three minutes to spare. It was a cloudy day, but nonetheless a
|Goodbye New York!|
After a long airplane ride and a worrysome waiting period regarding the whereabouts of the plane, our cohort arrived in San Francisco. Everyone was eager to get back to bed, considering the three hour time difference and the tiresome day lugging around our packed goods. Chan-Law announced that our ride had arrived, and everyone followed his command. When we saw the white limousine parked outside, we rolled our eyes at the prank, except Chan-Law entered the vehicle and handed his bags off to the chauffeur. The energy levels surged at that moment and everyone giddily hopped into the vehicle, stuffing luggage and boddies in all at once. It was time to go home.