Fun Classes at Cornell

This has been a good semester so far. I’m performing research that I enjoy, and I’m taking classes that are both fun and relaxing. There is so much to talk about for a first blog post, and after much thought I decided to discuss some of the many fun classes at Cornell.

Cornell has a great variety of courses, and I highly recommend exploring the course catalog and seeing what’s out there. In 2011 I took the famous Wines course through the hotel school, and it really impressed me in two ways: it was enjoyable to sample a wide variety of wines from around the world, and from a technical standpoint it was impressive to observe the TAs’ (was that proper apostrophe positioning?) ability to serve three 1-oz portions of wine to 760 students each week. The Hotel wines course focused on the wines rather than the chemistry behind them, and although I enjoyed it very much I felt that I wanted to know more. In response to this, I am currently enrolled in the “Understanding Wine & Beer”, which is taught by the Department of Food Science. This course discusses the science behind wine and beer making, from selection of raw materials to the different technologies for long-term preservation and storage. Today’s lecture was spent debunking the pseudoscience of wine aerators and the use of magnetic fields to “rapidly age” wine (I’m looking at you, Skymall). Plus, we usually sample 8 wines or beers per class, which is nice.

I’m also in an “introduction to Handgun safety” course (which is BEFORE the wine & beer course!). I don’t plan to ever purchase a gun, but I am thoroughly enjoying the experience. I’m a pretty good shot from 25 feet, but still have some work to do at 75 feet. Next semester I plan to take “Principles of Dairy Cattle”, which as I understand it involves working with cows. I don’t usually get to be around cows during my research (in fact, it has been 0 days so far), so this will be a fun experience. I was also recommended by friends to take a sheep class (seriously, the course is literally called “Sheep”), which I understand involves playing with sheep once a week for the semester, but unfortunately that course won’t be offered again until Fall 2014. I am counting the days.

Until next time,

Nick

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