So, when I was talking to Alex about his blog, I mentioned that it
would be fun to write an entry. Of course, in saying this I didn’t
think he would take me seriously! Then I find a lovely introduction
on his blog! (Thanks Alex!) So now I have no choice! I’ve been
thinking about what to write about for the past week while I drift
off into space because I can’t look at one more present value of an
annuity or another balanced chem equation.
Over the past week the libraries have been full to capacity because
of finals. I finished my exams on Monday night. (Thank goodness
that’s over!) And although I’m done and fully welcome the coming
winter break, I will be so ready to come back in January.
Our break here at Cornell is longer than most other colleges. A
whole six weeks! Winter break is the best break in my opinion.
It’s long enough to do anything you want, or absolutely nothing:
take a long trip, catch up with friends, or watch every episode of
Grey’s Anatomy that you’ve missed over the last semester. But,
it’s also the best because there isn’t all the pressure to get an
internship or an official job, unlike summer break. Why might you
ask? Because there are only 6 weeks!
After these six weeks are up, I know I will be ready to get back to
Cornell. While it will be nice to get in bed at a normal time and
watch my episodes of Grey’s, I am sure going to miss Cornell!
Cornell University was fortunate enough to have Shimon Peres, former prime minister of Israel, Nobel Peace prize winner, and a current senior statesman of Israel, talk on campus. The experience of sitting in front of such a prominent politician was amazing in and of itself. Add to that, the well-organized, methodical speech he gave and the well thought out responses to questions asked by the student body and this was a public presentation from which our President could take a lesson. It was nice to hear about viable solutions to the problem in the Middle East like using technology, wanting a peaceful Lebanon, and the difference between Israel and Iran (when/if they make one) having nuclear weapons. His reason was Israel has never and will never threaten anyone with them. They are there as a deterrence. There were two responses by Peres I was disappointed with. One was to a question by an Israeli native who has a Lebanese friend and asked Peres what he can say to his friend when Lebanese kids can’t go out and play in their backyard at the risk of being accidentally killed by Israeli soldiers and simply because they can’t due to the “occupation” (for the lack of a better word) in their area. Peres’ answer to that was basically it’s part of the conflict and Hezbollah should carry just as much of the blame, though he did say it in a more scholarly fashion. The other disappointment was to a response of his to a question that asked what Israel is doing to fix the damages done by the unintended consequences and damages of its bombing and its excursion into Lebanon. Peres simply said that unintended consequences are an unfortunate part of war. In my opinion, if you’re the civilized government you fix or at least put a band-aid on the problems that are affecting innocent people.
I sat in my Giants foldable chair stunned in disbelief. I had rushed my parents in getting me back to Cornell before 4:15pm on Sunday after my Thanksgiving break so I could watch the Giants play the Titans only to wind up extremely depressed for the entire night after the Giants blew a 21 point lead, giving up 24 points in the last 10 minutes of the 4th quarter. How did they lose? How could it happen? Eli Manning seems to get worse after the 8th game of every season. Plaxico Burress needs to take a page out of Reggie Wayne and Donald Driver’s book and actually make an effort at tackling someone after the ball is intercepted. This loss reminded me of the torture of uncertainty that came to define the Jim Fassel era. Coughlin, since 2004 when he took control of the Giants, to me has always been a coach whose teams never broke down or fell apart. They played well through the entire game. You expected Fassel teams to lose in the 4th quarter after holding a lead because that’s how it was for the seven years of his coaching tenure. Coughlin’s Giants always played their best in the fourth quarter…until this season. The Eagles game way back in the second week of the season is forgotten. During these last three games it’s like Jim Fassel is coach again. And that is torture.
I’ve realized I’ve neglected mentioning about Cornell food, maybe because I have it everyday and it’s easy to lose your appreciation for it, sort of like when you live at home and have home cooking then leave for college and love the food your parents make when you come back (not that you didn’t love it before, you just didn’t appreciate it as much). Anyway, last night a couple of friends and I ate at a dining hall on West Campus. That night’s theme was Hawaiian Luau. All the food cooked was prepared as best as the chefs possibly could to Hawaiian cuisine. And it was great. Now I’m a big seafood guy and they had fresh, raw salmon mixed with tomatoes in a salad, seafood chowder, shrimp (they actually still had their heads on them when they were served! Awesome!), lemon crusted chicken, pork, mahi mahi, duck with salad, and a whole pig like you see in the cartoons. They had these great desserts too including pineapple cake and real whole coconuts. There was also Hawaiian pizza even though that’s not Hawaiian at all. But all in all the food was great and is always great. Once a semester they also bring in chefs who have popular restaurants across the country. It’s awesome! The program is called Cross-country Gourmet. Last thing, just to throw out a fact: based on the 2006 Princeton Review Cornell food is ranked 4th in the nation, something to gnaw on while you wait for that turkey this Thursday or tofurkey if you’re vegetarian.
Being from New Jersey I’m having a hard time not talking about Rutgers football, especially on this blog. Now I know I go to Cornell (and I must say, the wins that Cornell has have been very impressive, but they’re not ranked in DI-AA football) but no one can escape their hometown pride, especially when The State University of New Jersey is only 40 minutes away from my house and my sister went to grad school there. Rutgers has been a joke to everyone who loves college football, and no one in NJ ever wanted to be spotted wearing a scarlet hat that had an R on it. Many people I know here didn’t even know where Rutgers was before I shoved their face in front of a computer and showed them on google maps where the 3 Rutgers’ campuses are. (One is in Camden, most dangerous city in the nation according to one of those scholarly reports.) Disrespect to NJ is not allowed, anywhere. Especially in front of me.
In this context at this point of the week big blue has two meanings. 1. The anticipation of what could be the biggest football game yet when the Giants host the Bears in the swamps of the Meadowlands. Hopefully a win will come out of it. I’ve been wearing my Giants hat everyday this week. So far this season they’re 6-1 when I’ve worn the hat at least once during the week.
The second meaning is a direct result of election day. I clapped when they called Missouri and Montana and then danced the next day when they called Virginia and said they didn’t even need a recount. Tester in for Burns…$500, Webb in for Allen…$1100, Casey in for Santorum, $2200, seeing Rumsfeld resigning and Cheney wiping that annoying smirk off his face…priceless. Gone is the agony from 2004…at least for now.