Finally, I have returned to the greatest land known to man… or to the handful of college students that go here… Rochester, New York. After weeks of longing for this beauty, my plane has landed. As quickly as my sabbatical in Jamaica had ended, my first meeting as a Pre-College Counselor had begun. Ahh, summertime in Rochester. It’s quiet, calm, wondrously beautiful, yet there is something in the air. A something that is missing from the normally bustling campus scenery.
After a week of training and bonding with my fellow counselors, a tiny little family is formed, complete with our “grandparents,” Aaron & Dee. With the decreased campus population, there is more time with a lot fewer people to make friends. As such, the 17 other counselors that I saw every day, by rule of some math law, naturally became my friends. After staff bonding activities such as endless ice-breakers, the much-famed Escape Room and a disaster taco night, it really felt like we were growing into a big family.
Then here comes the Taste of College students. They are a lively little bunch, all living on my floor. Most of the students are international who want to kick start their US-learning experience with some summer college credits. While staying the US for the six-week duration of the program, we wanted to show them what some typical American traditions were. Luckily, Uncle Sam was there to help out and we carried them to a Rochester Red Wings baseball game on the 4th of July.
We chowed down on burgers and hotdogs, sang “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “This Land is Your Land,” and many other songs of American pride. As an international student myself, I thought it was very interesting the various emotions different Americans had and felt on this day. It was truly a perfect way to get the students adjusted to their home for the next couple of weeks.
4th of July was just the beginning of the fun. We went to the Corn Hill Art Festival and the Strong Museum. Watching the students play games and discover the charms of Rochester makes my job as a Pre-College Counselor even more rewarding.
After a week of fun with Taste of College, it was time for the “The Big-One.” Rochester Scholars were ready to make their mark on the Hoeing residential hall and begin their Meliora experience.
From Mini Medical School to Business Bootcamp to the various session A and B classes, we saw hundreds of students from different parts of the country experience the world of Rochester.
While there were many new adventures for the students, somewhere along the line I too experienced something that could have only happened during this program.
A game of Dandy Shandy in Rochester. For context, Dandy Shandy is an old time Jamaican game played during lunch breaks in elementary school. I loved being able to share my culture to students without this program would have never experienced it. Other activities would include making smores, movie nights, FIFA nights, and even some Fibbage.
I’ve found it! What this suburban campus missed was the students. It’s those new and fresh faces running around and discovering this campus that truly give this land its Meliora look. Summer is a wonderful time to make friendships and experience something different, something new, something beautiful.
There is a lot to be done in the summertime in Rochester. I hope to delve into all the things I miss and love about Rochester in this summer series.