Matt’s blog enlightened me to the fact that I missed doing my time in the line for season hockey tickets. At least now I won’t have an opportunity to have them revoked for cursing like last year. I guess that’s one of the downsides of studying “abroad” during the fall semester, that and not seeing Stephen Colbert. Forget that the Dalai Lama is coming, I’m missing Stephen Colbert!
Though you can sense my extreme disappointment about this Colbert mishap seeing that I’ve mentioned this twice in previous blogs, don’t get the impression that studying away from Cornell isn’t fun or an enlightening experience; I’m in DC and I enjoy the experience that I am obtaining from my internship as well as the infinite activities around the city. Now imagine, for those that want to venture further from Ithaca, what places like Tibet, Australia, sub-Saharan Africa, Italy, Greece, (as an ode to my sophomore year roommate) Barbados, etc. will have in store. Traveling abroad is something to think about once in college, or even beforehand, and what makes Cornell great is that the programs they offer span the spectrum of studying abroad but not leaving the state (Capital semester- aka Albany and Urban semester- aka NY City) to leaving the state but not the country (Cornell in Washington) to traversing the globe (pretty much pick a place and you can go there…seriously, as long as there is some sort of educational opportunity: classes, research, peace corps style community service, etc.). Or if studying abroad isn’t for you, you can enjoy Cornell in Ithaca and the experience that comes with it: sacrificing a weekend to prove yourself worthy of hockey tickets, listening to the Dalai Lama, or laughing at Stephen Colbert.
Today was the first of five art tours given to Cornell students in Washington by the art historian at the National Gallery of Art and Cornell professor, Eric Denker. The tour lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes and covered five paintings, but changed the way the 20+ people that went will ever look at an artist’s work again. We didn’t go over the typical study of lines, colors, and positionings (that’ll be dedicated for the four other tours with Mr. Denker) but rather the little details that get passed over by the casual art observer, and what the artist means when he/she paints certain images, animals, or clothes. For instance, with “Masked Ball at the Opera” by Manet we compared the painting to the title, found Manet in his painting, the ticket that he dropped, the political statement that the jester made, and through this learned about some of his impressionist principles but deciphered why he wasn’t an impressionist artist. That was an example with one painting and similar practices went on with others from the Renaissance, Reformation, and Dutch periods. It was extremely enjoyable (the Gallery was beautiful) minus the ketchup stain on my shorts thanks to the Polish sausage I ate. I will be sure to go on the following four tours sans the food on my clothes.
I write this post out of sheer loyalty despite the fact that the season for the Giants looks ruined from the outset though there’s always hope. I shall however stray away from what happened this past weekend as there is no need to dwell on it and focus on what the Giants did the week before this past one, sign offensive lineman Kevin Boothe. Boothe was cut by the Raiders this year after being drafted by them in the ‘06 NFL Draft in the sixth round. The Giants promptly picked him up for the obvious reasons that he graduated from Cornell and know he is intelligent. Now Boothe will attempt (or try not to) to follow previous Cornell grad turned NFL’er Seth Payne (no relation) who was drafted by the Texans but now plays for the Jaguars and has enjoyed a 10 year career, seven of which have been as an unknown backup. And if Boothe reads this let me just tell him, as long as you play for the Giants you won’t be an unknown NFL player in my book.
Yesterday marked only my second class of History of the Senate taught by Dr. Betty Koed and I know it will be one of my favorite classes at Cornell. Out of Dr. Koed’s mouth spews loads of information that I wish I could absorb all of it but am relegated to the fact that unlike Webster, Clay, and Calhoun (The Great Triumvirate as we learned) I am a mere mortal. Nonetheless, I try my mortal best to obtain as much knowledge as possible, which is how I came to the conclusion, with the help of Betty of course, that the Senate is the most powerful part of our government though throughout history their influence waxes and wanes (somewhat obvious but it’s the second day). Aside from the actual class Betty is like your friend’s mom who is so nice she always serves you dinner whenever you come over (Cesar this is you–you’re the friend). Not only did we get chocolate before class because she knew we’d be tired after a long day at work but she took the effort to know our names by heart (second day of class mind you), know our research paper topic (which is for a separate class), where we’re working, our major, where we’re from, and what year we are. She wrote all this down on three pages of paper. This wasn’t a casual ice breaker conversation. Afterwards, she proceeded to tell us if she comes across any information that might help us with our paper she would lend it to us and knowing how stressed we were, she announced two of our four readings would be for skimming purposes only. How thoughtful is that!? She reminds me of that favorite high school teacher and/or counselor who wanted nothing more than for you to get into your top choice college.
Friday night in Washington, DC – What did I do? Being the sports fan that I am, I decided to complete the 4th installment of the 32 part series, “Better Know a Ballpark” in which I visit all 32 baseball stadiums sometime during my life just like Stephen Colbert interviews all 400+ Congressmen/women in the United States (Why can’t he come in the spring????!!!!). Anyway, off to the ovular RFK, whose wooden seats in the upper tier of the upper deck surprisingly cost $14, to watch the last place Nationals compete against the last place Giants sans Barry Bonds. 10 or so other CIW friends tagged along and enjoyed an interesting game (a 3-2 win for the Giants) considering two last place teams were playing each other. Considering two last place teams were playing each other there was plenty of quality bonding time amongst those of us who went including taking photos with the Nationals mascot, watching famous presidents race around the ballpark (think Milwaukee sausages, just presidents instead), and trying to guess which face down card was the black Ace of Diamonds (???????? I didn’t get it either, since when was the Ace of Diamonds black…maybe that’s why the Nats are in last). All in all, it was a good night capped off with the realization that the deadline for my first assignment in regards to my semester long paper is due in 5 days.