April 18, 2011
Sometimes it’s nice to get off campus and out of the pervasive Cornell bubble. This weekend I made it off campus a couple times for two field trips— one academic, the other for fun. For the former, I went with 30 of my classmates from my Civil War class for a day trip to visit the battlefield at Gettysburg. I woke up at 6:00 on Friday (seeing as my earliest class in the past three years has been at 10:10, I wasn’t even entirely sure that the world existed before nine prior to Friday) to catch the bus that would take us on the five hour journey each way.
I’d never been to any battlefield, and was struck by how the site of such a bloody battle now seems more like a hikers’ destination than a reminder of the carnage that once was.
Then there’s the amount of money that is now being made off of the historic conflict— on the drive down I feel like I saw more Gettysburg souvenir shops than houses.
This was one of very few field trips I’ve taken in recent years, and it reminded me of pre-college school trips— complete with counting off and boxed lunches.
Saturday my field trip was of a distinctly different nature. After attending the Indian club’s celebration of Holi, a Hindu holiday marking the coming of spring that is observed in part by flinging colored powdered paint at one another, my friends and I drove about 30 minutes from campus for a tour of a few of the Cayuga Lake wineries.
Thanks to my enrollment in Food Science 4300: Understanding Wine and Beer, I am basically a pro in all things alcohol related, and I relished the opportunity to swirl and sniff my wine with the rest of the viticultural elite.
Although, to be fair, the rest of said viticultural elite probably make it a point to wash the multi-colored paint off their faces before the swirling and sniffing begin.