Athletic training student Jamie Wallace helps a wrestler stretch.
In addition to learning, dining, and sleeping on campus, 57 percent of Cornell’s 1,150 students also work for the college as part of their financial assistance package. The average annual work-study award is $1,000, and while the pay is modest (starting at $5.15/hour), the perks can be grand—such as a free lesson from a professional musician or an invitation to the operating room during an athlete’s surgery.
Jamie Wallace, athletic training student
Senior from Mount Vernon
Major: Biochemistry and molecular biology; minor in anthropology
I’m an ice bag maker, massage therapist, ankle taper,
practice supervisor, facilities preparer, pizza delivery person, map interpreter, golf cart driver, and injury assessor. Trainers are usually the first ones to arrive (an hour before practices, two hours before competitions) and the last to leave. I have sweated through long practices in the wrestling room and shivered through early baseball games in March. The phrase “regular hours” has no meaning when teams practice anytime from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
As an athlete and premed student, being an athletic training student has been a great way for me to combine these two passions and get paid to do it. I never want an injury to occur, but I have seen a lot of neat things as a student trainer, including dislocations, torn ligaments, spinal injuries, exposed bones, skin diseases, scrapes, bumps, and bruises. During my sophomore year an athlete tore her ACL early in the season. I was in the operating room to observe her surgery, and then helped her during the rehab process. It was a great opportunity to see a
broad spectrum of the medical field as well as connect with an athlete during all of the stages of the injury process.
Sometimes the days are long, the athletes whiny, and the tape just doesn’t seem to want to lie flat. But there’s always ESPN, country music, and bubble gum in the training room. My favorite advice for athletes on days like this? “Rub some dirt on it and take a suck-it-up pill.”
Musician Andrew Buck has introduced many guest performers to King Chapel in his role as stage manager.
Andrew Buck, King Chapel stage manager
Senior from Highland, Ill.
Major: Music education
It has been very interesting seeing all walks of life from the music world enter King Chapel for the first time and hear their reactions, not only to the chapel but to the way of life in the Midwest. Some are very friendly and want to learn more about One-Course-At-A-Time and life at Cornell. Others are less friendly and simply want to go about their business, perform,
and leave. The most interesting experience I have had was to host the Chicago Brass Quintet, featuring members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Being a French horn player, this was right up my alley. I started talking to the horn player, and after their rehearsal, he offered me a lesson free of charge—quite a deal for a musician of his stature as an hour lesson would probably cost $100. I ended up spending over three hours in a lesson with him. This was truly a valuable experience for me. After their concert, they invited some of us to Pizza Palace to have dinner with them. To experience a laid-back atmosphere with these professional musicians was incredible, as they were no longer performers but people who once were in college and only dreamed of playing music professionally.
Leslie Kung, peer consultant
in the Writing Studio
Junior from Lincolnshire, Ill.
Majors: English, philosophy; minor in art
Being a peer tutor is a lot more than just sitting in the Writing Studio waiting for an appointment to arrive. What I do is help people. It’s not about what I know or what I can tell them. It’s about what questions I can ask them to stimulate their minds in the right direction.
The challenges range from peers who are not very responsive, to rush papers due within the hour, to writers who don’t know what they want to write about. Mostly, the challenge is a personal one: Can I help someone in the way that they need to be helped?
I really like working with people and getting them excited about what they’re doing. I’ve been able to turn my high school experiences in poetry and writing workshops into a method that keeps people learning when they’re in the Writing Studio, more than just getting grammatical corrections handed back to them. I’ve learned that if you give the writer honest praise first, and then constructively criticize the work, he or she becomes more engaged and, in the end, learns something valuable.
While we do get some rushes of students toward the end of the block, we really don’t get nearly as many people as we would like prior to deadline rush hours. (The Writing Studio had 620 visits in 2003–2004.) That’s why we’re working on an ad campaign to generate more interest so we can help more people. We will go into first-year classrooms and demonstrate what we do and how we work, using skits and informational sessions.
Writing Studio peer consultants
Leslie Kung (center) and Chelsea
Yates (left) work with Jin Hyun.