Category Archives: Junior Year – I’m Getting Old

It’s Over!

The school year is done. I officially finished my last final (economics of health policy) at 3:15pm est. I am now a senior, which I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing. This will be my last post until August when school starts back up. Thank you to all of those who have read on my blog as well as commented on my posts. I appreciate the statements you made as well as the disagreements that you put forth. High school seniors: have a great rest of the school year (if you’re not done yet) and look forward to coming to Cornell in the fall. Freshman year will be a great time! To all those juniors: when the college selection process is finished it will be smooth sailing. And if you come to Cornell it’ll be that much sweeter. Have a great summer! Peace!

The Final Turn

The school year’s coming down the home stretch. It’s the final week. A handful of students have already left after finishing their last final exams. For the rest of us (myself included) we are still slaving away at the books. For the very few of us (myself included), finals week technically hasn’t even started since my first test, and second test, are on Tuesday. Distractions run abundant seeing that the first days of summer are getting ever closer. Worry is also seeping in after the realization that senior year is only a couple months away, and the question of what am I going to do with my life is actually relevant. Hopefully I don’t cross the finish line in second and then break both of my ankles and have the doctor decide to put me to sleep for eternity (too soon?).

Study Week … Again

Study week (Monday-Wednesday before finals start) is always the most difficult time for me because it’s never used for studying. There are always so many activities going on (eg: Habitat for Humanity dodgeball tournament last night) that it’s nearly impossible to study. Add to that, that my first final is not until a week from tomorrow! What am I supposed to do? If I study now, I’ll forget it 5 days from now. If I start studying later it’s so close to summer, that’s all that my mind can focus on.

My solution would be to have 0 finals. Make each class have a “comprehensive evaluation”. For example, I’m taking this risk management class. So my comprehensive evaluation would be writing a page, single-spaced, on how my use of two daily/weekly planners instead of one is an example of risk spreading. For instance, if I lose one I’ll still have the other so I won’t be completely aloof to what I have to do. Just half aloof. I’ve spread my risk across two planners. That’s it. Add a couple more sentences to make it a page and then bam! I get an A. This can be done for every class. So if you were taking a government course you could apply the Obama-Clinton primaries tomorrow to some principle that you learned in your Campaigns and Elections class (a real class at Cornell). Of course that would be a page, single-spaced as well. If you’re in a math class you’d make your own math problem instead of solving one. This is just an idea. Obviously, I don’t see it happening anytime soon so I’ll just go and watch Countdown with Keith Olbermann and then House after that. Studying will be left for tomorrow, one week before my pre-lims start.

Slope Day the Third

I had originally planned on using a column about athletic director Andrew Noel’s destructive actions towards Cornell hockey fans that was published in the Cornell Daily Sun as the basis for this post, but taking into that it’s slope day (the last day of classes) I figured now would be a good time for a more light hearted post. AD Noel’s authoritative rule against Cornell hockey fans can be discussed next semester as the hockey season roles around seeing that nothing is going to change.

Last night was the 16th annual Cornell Hangover’s Happy Hour which is a concert put on by one of Cornell’s a capella groups, the Hangovers. It’s consistently a great, entertaining performance. What was interesting this time around, however, was not the fun-filled, quality atmosphere that they brought to the stage, but the guest appearance made by another student group during intermission – Yamatai Japanese Drum Team. The team plays the art of taiko, a form of traditional Japanese drumming.

Their performance was so united, emotional, and jaw-dropping that the entire crowd gave a standing ovation. The point that needs to come across though is not their ridiculously sick performance, but the fact that at an a capella concert a Japanese drum team can be invited to perform and bring the house down…speaks for diversity. Similarly at Pao Bhangra, Absolute Zero (Cornell’s break dancing team) was just as much a hit as the headliner group. This just goes to show that when you pay for one concert you’re never going to get just one group from one social construct.

Two Satirical Quotes from the Satirical Kings

While tonight’s Pennsylvanian primary might be a trying time for the Obama and Clinton campaigns, it seems to be a good time to lighten the mood a little with two funny political quotes from the two best political comedians.

“Sir I can tell you what the real concern is. If you [Sen. Obama] are fortunate enough to get the democratic nomination and fortunate enough to become president of the United States, will you pull a bait-and-switch sir and enslave the white race?”     — Jon Stewart while interviewing Barack Obama

Obama’s response: That’s not our plan Jon, but your paranoia might make you suitable as a debate moderator.


“Have you ever heard of the dribble down economic theory? We give everything to the super rich, they gobble everything up, and then some of it trickles down into their beard and the poor get to climb up their chest and suck the nutrition of what’s left over in the rich guy’s beard. Is that too complicated for you?”     –Stephen Colbert’s take on supply side economics while interviewing Senator Bernard Sanders.*

*Sen. Sanders is one of two independent senators and considers himself a socialist. He caucuses with the Democrats.

The Honorable Governor from Arkansas

Cornell was fortunate to welcome former governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee to campus for a talk on religion in politics. Of all the social conservatives out there, I respect him for 1) his defense of Reverend Jeremiah Wright 2) his social policies that deal with the poor and underprivileged. Too often social conservatives talk about stem cell research, gay marriage, and abortion without paying any attention to the underrepresented on this world. Sure, go ahead and argue for the life of those yet to be born, but don’t forget about the right of those on death row. Don’t forget about the starving and homeless struggling to live or all of those who have and who will lose their life in Iraq and Afghanistan. If you’re going to make a religious argument against gay marriage and abortion because it’s morally and religiously correct, then also argue for the poor and defenseless citizens as well as the environment because that is also a moral argument. This is where my respect for Mike Huckabee comes in. He is out there fighting for social programs that democrats support as well as social issues that republicans place on their pedestal. He’s taken his moralities and transcended them across party lines. Whereas fellow Catholic and Senator of Kansas, Sam Brownback stands in front of Congress and shows pictures of stem cells his daughter drew.

While Huckabee was still in the running for the republican nomination I came to respect him for his unwavering views though I disagreed with several and for his respect of all beliefs and viewpoints. He also showed his humor on the Colbert Report. What I came to believe about him from watching his presence on tv did not fall short to what I saw on stage last night at Bailey Hall. He was funny, genuine, honest, and open. He wasn’t afraid to make statements that he knew many in the building would disagree with (after all Cornell is a pretty liberal campus). He poked fun at himself, made a joke about John McCain being old, and made sure people knew that he wasn’t talking to promote his political agenda. The sense in that building was one of mutual respect between the audience and the speaker.

He explained what made him a republican, and it wasn’t his family seeing that all of them are democrats. His main reason was a belief in small government, though he made sure to state that government can only become small when people choose to be morally upstanding. His argument was that how people act directly affects the size of government, not the other way around. I was able to follow the reasoning, but got lost as soon as he tried to bring it to why he became a republican. I think the pitfall was the simplicity of his argument.

Nonetheless, the Cornell Republicans could not have picked a better speaker to represent the social conservative viewpoint in politics. Huckabee isn’t a Robertson or a Fallwell and that is for the better. He presented his point humanely and respectfully, which, from the chatting of the departing audience, I could tell was received very well.

The Sport with a Horse

This post is long overdue. Our polo team came second in the nation at the NCAA tournament with a 20-10 loss to Texas A&M.  Just think of them as the Memphis Tigers of college polo. Of all the sports I know, which include cricket, rugby, and squash, polo is not one of them. All I know is that their national sports emblem should be the Ralph Lauren logo, similar to how Jerry West is the silhouette for the NBA.

Nonetheless, my point is that even though you don’t see Cornell on the national football stage and the only appearances the nation sees of Cornell is when our men’s basketball team lost to Stanford by 25+ points and women’s lost to Connecticut by 30+ points since hockey, lacrosse, and wrestling aren’t as highly televised as the big two (football and basketball) we’re dominant in many sports. When I was looking at colleges, I took each institution’s “athletic atmosphere” into consideration. During that time Cornell ranked at the bottom of my list as did every other Ivy I was applying to because of the figurative blinders that were covering my eyes. Now that I’ve been here for three years I appreciate the presence of Cornell sports whether it be both basketball teams making it to the tournament or a polo team that I’ve never seen because they play off campus ranking second in the nation. Don’t make the same mistake I did, we might lose to Michigan in football, but we’ll beat them in lacrosse as well as several other sports…including hockey (though not this year).

The Beginning of the End

Today was the first day of my senior year experiences. It began with my senior portrait. 5 minutes of sitting down and smiling and holding a fake cap and wearing a fake gown. It will end with me holding a real cap and wearing a real gown in another year and a month. We’ll see how the road between the two points goes. I have a feeling it will be fun. Graduating and leaving college, not so much.

Pao Bhangra!

Cornell’s most attended student show (not including sporting events) ocurred last night in Barton Hall. A couple thousand students and families made the trek up the hill to watch Cornell’s Bhangra team as well as other teams from around the region dance the night away.

Pao means to do, and bhangra is an Indian and Pakistani dance that includes up-tempo bass lines. The dances can be more modern in style or leaning towards the traditional. Whatever the style, the music is as lively as one could imagine. Usually, modern Indian music is the prime choice, but there are instances where Rihanna, Fort Minor, and Justin Timberlake make a cameo in the musical selections, though it isn’t for long.

It’s extremely entertaining. No performer is ever seen by the audience not smiling. In fact the stage looks so cheerful with the smiling dancers and bright, beautiful costumes that those who attend the event are guaranteed to be happy for the next week. If you fail a test, are rejected for a job, or break up with your girl/boyfriend, have no fear for if you went to last night’s Bhangra show you’ll be too happy to even notice.

Congratulations Class of 2012!

First off, congrats! Second, it’s scary in my shoes to write 2012 seeing my year is 2009…not even in double digits. As you decide whether to come to Cornell or Harvard (the former is the better choice), choose which meal plan to subscribe to ( my preference: 14 meals a week, $500 big red bucks), read all about the different housing options (Mews 1st floor!), decide whether to get a gym pass (the walking takes care of the freshman 15), and brag to your friends about where you’ll be spending the next 4 years of your life (or 5 for the architects) I am fretting about the next 4 years of my life, which classes to take as a senior, graduate programs to look into, how the heck the new just the facts works, etc. Enjoy your time in high school where school work is irrelevant. Your four years in college will be challenging, fun, and most of all, quick. It truly does fly by.

Congratulations again. And don’t forget, Hail all hail Cornell!