Archive for the “Cornell” Category
My boss called me out (via Twitter of all places) for having never written from the arts quad. What follows is a play-by-play for some of the time I sat on the quad, observing one of the most central parts of Cornell’s campus.
11:38am- I sit down next to the statue of the first president of the University: Andrew White. Why someone would rather be the president of the University, as opposed to its namesake, is completely beyond me.
11:39am- Legend has it when a virgin walks by the Arts quad late at night, the statues of Ezra Cornell and Andrew White walk to the center of the quad and shake hands. When I was a little kid, my father used to tell me that this occurred when a pretty girl walked past the quad. My mother always used to laugh when he said this and it took me 13 years, including my freshman year to imagine why she found this so amusing. Needless to say I did not find it as amusing.
11:42am- It’s been four minutes, and all I can think about are these damn statues. A girl I used to see and I were walking home from Collegetown freshman year, and she mentioned the story to me. I slyly asked if we should be watching the statues cross. She slyly slapped me and told me to mind my own business…I wonder what she is doing tonight…
11:43am- I text her, immediately regret it and don’t expect to hear back.
11:44am- Still haven’t heard back. Maybe she lives on the west coast
11:45am-A tour is coming through the quad. They round the corner between Olin and Uris libraries, walk backwards towards Goldwin-Smith and Stimson and fill in prospective students and curious parents about the demographics and qulities of two of the most defining schools at Cornell that reside on this particular quad: The College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning. I applied to be a tour guide twice, and it was the only on-campus job I applied to that I didn’t get. I think I would be perfect for it, and although I have never actually been on a university tour, I give them in my head when I walk to class every once in a while. Just in case they need to call me up from the minors one day.
11:50am- She probably lives on the west coast
11:51am- Rumor goes that there are three tunnels on campus. Two of them lie on the Arts quad: one exists between Uris and Olin libraries and is only open on Slope Day. This is only partly true, it is not officially open on Slope Day, but sophomore year, one of my roommates and I decided to check it out and had a wonderful custodian escort us to the door that leads between the two, but wouldn’t let us all the way through. The second tunnel I have heard whispers of on the Arts quad lies between the administrative building (Day Hall) and Goldwin Smith. This one was built after the race riots of the 1960s and allows the President to escape his office in the event of students taking over the building. I can’t confirm this, but only because Skorton still can’t find time to get on my schedule.
11:56am- She totally lives on the west coast right? Or maybe she isn’t like me, and has a job. “Funemployment”, as I keep telling people, doesn’t pay as well as you would hope…
11:57am- I start looking through old pictures I have on my computer and find a few that I meant to post and write about that occurred here on the Arts quad. I have a few journals, countless memos and texts, and an array of pictures, post-its, etc. methods of reminding me about potential blog posts. Frankly, it’s a busy life being Cullen B. Harwood…
NOON- time does seem to pass pretty quickly. I look at Day Hall and wonder if Skorton has this same problem. I’ve mentioned our illustreous president in the blog plenty of times–usually in jest. The truth is, a roommate met him sophomore year and I am very jealous. I sent him an email freshman year. He responded too, and even though it took him a month, I was impressed, shocked, and soon learned that he is much better than some of his Professors at responding to emails. Professor Pedro Perez, who isn’t a very good Professor as it was, took 9 months to respond to an email from me. I forgot I had sent it and had to look back to figure out what he was talking about.
12:09pm- A little Facebook stalking doesn’t confirm if she lives on the west coast, or is employed.
12:11pm-Never should have sent that text. It is confirmed
12:13pm-I’ll proofread this tomorrow. Off to CTB for a sandwich. Note to self, tweet this post at my boss too…
I always wanted to jump in these leaf pilesPeople get creative with their snow sculptures
This girl climbs to the top and screams "I can do whatever I want!" It was far too early in the morning, and far too late in the season for there to be snow, but I still smiled
3 Comments »
Posted by cbh58 in Cornell
Every freshman across the country has that fear of their roommate situation when they first get assigned sometime in June or July. I was no different; I spent weeks checking the Cornell Class of 2011 website to see what the prognosis would be. By no means did I want a single– this is college, you should have a roommate– but I also didn’t really want a quad or really even a triple. I got lucky enough to get just one roommate.
His name was Chris and he was from Ringwood NJ. His Facebook profile said he liked frisbee, friends, and games. He took a few weeks to respond to my emails, and when he did, he used an awful lot of emoticons. I figured he couldn’t be too bad, right?
Your first impression is absolutely a lasting one, and I am not sure I made the best first impressions. Having been a day student at a Boarding School for high school, I kind of knew what stuff I should bring. Being a life-long pack-rat and survivalist, I brought way too much stuff. I moved in first and immediately took over “my” half of the room. A few hours later, after my mom and I had already lofted my bed, organized shelves, drawers and desks, Chris, his twin brother, and his loving parents showed up. He had one suitcase, his backpack, and one bin of odds and ends. My usurpation of the room would go unchallenged. As if that wasn’t enough of a first impression, there were two conversations that probably (and rightfully) freaked out Chris and his parents
The first was about a street sign I had “acquired” over the summer in some remote town in Illinois. It read “Cornell Ct” and Chris’ twin asked me where I got it. I replied I had found it in a yard…come on, who finds a street sign in a yard? That lie didn’t fool anyone, and I distinctly remember Mrs. Fleischl giving me a “who is this kleptomaniac that my son is rooming with” look.
The second conversation was in regards to a hammer. My father bought me my first hammer and said “Son, I want you to sleep with this hammer”. I did so, and since he has never told me to stop sleeping with said hammer, it still resides next to my bed (former girlfriends have decided that under my pillow was too literal…). When my mom pulled the hammer out of its box and asked where I wanted it to be put, “next to my bed” did little else to impress the Fleischls.
Despite the rocky start, Chris and I got along well enough over the rest of the year. He was a Packers fan, and I liked the Bears. We both would procrastinate until no end. We had similar enough music tastes and sleep habits (although the kid could sleep through a bomb going off). We had a few little disagreements, that I was most likely completely responsible for, but all in all he was a very good roommie. We parted ways for the summer, me to go and work at a factory, and him to go and work for Schindler Elevator company. Only he didn’t come back.
Chris took a semester off. We would text, Facebook, email, etc when the Bears and Packers played or saw something worth mentioning to each other. I saw him on campus once or twice when he returned from his semester off. But then, he stopped responding to texts. And calls. And shut down his Facebook wall. None of our friends have seen nor heard from him in well over a year…
This is very unfortunate to me as he was a decent friend of mine (at least I think he was). If anyone knows where in the world Carmen, er, Chris is, they should holler at me.
3 Comments »
Posted by cbh58 in Cornell
The Wines class at Cornell is one of the signature senior “electives”. I don’t even like Wine that much, but I enrolled because that was what most of the other seniors that I know were doing. And I wanted to have the wine case that becomes a status symbol on campus.
The class isn’t too bad. A lot of people complain about the assigned seating, but I was lucky enough to sit next to my buddy Tom. Our row is pretty laid back too. The people around us, not so much. But I will not apologize for the fact that we are having a great deal more fun than the rest of you.
So as the stories go, the Wines class at Cornell has been given special recognition in the charter of New York State that hotel students under the age of 21 are eligible for the class, but that is the only exception to the drinking age in New York State. Doesn’t affect me that much since I am 22…
One thing that is particularly funny about the class is how the demeanor changes from the start to the end. You’re invited to spit out the wines we taste, but also invited to drink them. Well the girls in the row frequently out Frat me, and drink even the wines that taste awful. But this means that a great many of them are pretty buzzed by the time the last 20 minutes of class roll around and the classroom seems to get much louder than it has been all class.
Our midterm is on Tuesday. In all four years at Cornell, I haven’t seen so many people stressed out about something so menial. Wines can only be taken pass/fail, which means it has no impact on anyone’s GPA. And as long as you can accumulate 251 points all semester, you pass the class. But for some reason, everyone is going NUTS studying for it.
The professor posted study questions to consider, so of course a friend of mine sent me a study guide. Then another friend did. And soon, a friend who took the class two semesters ago sent me the same study guide. I think someone who took the class 15 years ago probably made one study guide and everyone else has just been grateful ever since.
3 Comments »
One of the worst things that has happened to me during my time at Cornell occurred today. It wasn’t that there was too much snow, or that I forgot to turn in an assignment, and my alarm didn’t go off a few hours early. No, this was much much worst.
All of my napping spots were taken.
Catherwood Library, by the window seats? Full. Couches in A.D. White? Occupied. Pale Fire Lounge in Goldwin-Smith? Not happening. A girl looked like I had stabbed her puppy when I asked if she wouldn’t mind me moving her books so that I might nap in one of the comfy chairs…
This has never happened to me before, where ALL of my prime napping spots were taken. Take note Skorton, we need to cut admissions. There are too many people here.
No Comments »
Cornell is a Pepsi campus, probably due to the bottling facility located in upstate New York and correlated with things like the “Pepsico auditorium” in ILR. But I wish we were a coca-cola campus. I like the taste better and it is tough to find Coke in most of the dining halls.
3 Comments »
Posted by cbh58 in Cornell
As a new student on campus, I had plenty of firsts. First time to the Hot Truck, first Roommate fight, first A, first F, and so on. I thought that after three and a half years, I’d be all out of them. Then this week occurred a brand new first: I went into Rand Hall.
Rand is home to the architects and can be found full of people at, literally, any time of the day. I choose to go during normal people hours.
There were four architects in my pledge class, and when they used to do projects, the rest of us would joke around, believing that they didn’t do any real work so much as just go to a magic cabinet, close their eyes, and think of what they wanted to make really really hard. Unfortunately, I found no such cabinet.
I wasn’t expecting this cabinet to exist. I also wasn’t expecting Rand to be the way it was. I don’t know what I thought I would find there, but it definately wasn’t that. Lots of fake walls and a lot of mess. Also, it is really hot.
1 Comment »
I am dangerously close to graduating. When I started this year, I was short a swim test (check), a PE (next weekend, check), a labor history class (Radicals, Reformers, and Reactionaries with the wonderful Prof. Berger. check), and a “Cultural Perspectives” class, mandated by ILR. (huh??)
Because I am considering a December graduation (someone hire me, please!) I had to knock all of these requirements off so that the option of graduation was available. I asked the few fellow ILR-ies that I know to receive the following advice: “Whatever you do, don’t take Anthro/Intro to Japan/Archeology/etc”. Thus I ended up in Architecture 3402, The Architecture of Cultural Systems.
The class is interesting enough, easy, engaging, and so on, the one flaw being that it is almost entirely architecture students. I am the outcast of the class, and this becomes apparent when the teacher asks us to draw a representation of space, based on an article we just read. I gave my best effort, but someone asked me why I was drawing a duck on fire…
I hold my own pretty decently and contribute pretty well to discussion, even if some people roll their eyes when I refer to buildings as the most obvious form of architecture. To me, this class had sounded like a discussion based class (which it is) for kids who liked buildings but didn’t know enough about architecture (which it isn’t). The TA looks at me today and goes “Why the hell are you in this class?”
My favorite thing about the class though isn’t the material, nor the cute girl I get to sit next to sometimes, nor my fraternity brother who has bailed me out on more than one occasion, but that I can take the class and get credit for it. ILR is, I feel, singularly unique in that not only do they encourage us to take classes outside of the school, it is practically demanded of us. Ezra Cornell founded this University as a place “where any student could find instruction in any study”, and ILR lives up to that completely.
After the TA asked why I was in this class, the oddball amongst a sea of third-year architects, I replied candidly and told him that it fulfilled a requirement. I realized almost instantly that there is so much more to it than that. I am in this class because it is cool, because I truly love to learn, and because I am a Cornellian. My brother is looking at colleges right now, with a focus on very technical and engineering based schools. My advice to him the whole time has been to look at broader universities that allow for diversity in learning. I’ve taken Beekeeping, Oral Communication, Labor History, multiple Psych classes, and so on. I have been in classes I have had no business being in, and classes that served little purpose other than to boost my abysmal GPA.
This well-rounded education means I have pushed myself, and it has been reflected numerically out of 4.0. But I am not sure I would have done it that much differently.
1 Comment »
I was reading an article in the Daily Sun that appears on alternating Thursdays which was almost as well written and entertaining as this column.
Yes, I did just compare my blog to the Sex Column.
The Sex column is written by a Cornell Senior that answers questions, shares insights, or just rambles on about all sorts of sexcapades. I would guess it is one of the most widely read articles in the Sun. Typically, the name of the columnist is published. I am sure that this results in a lot of free drinks for the girl columnist and many free numbers for the guy. This year is different though.
This year, they are anonymous
Now on a side note, I have never taken a girl on a date. Not that I don’t like girls, or haven’t had a girlfriend, I just haven’t taken someone who I only kinda know/ recently met (that i wasnt actively dating) on a date.
This is pathetic.
I don’t have a good answer why I haven’t done this, I mean, I’ve asked girls on dates, usually to never follow-up or create some sort of stupid excuse (so that everyone knows, being grounded only works in high school, not college. And I am sorry to both girls whom I told that I was grounded. One of them believed me. One of them didn’t…) It is just nervewracking! I don’t know what to say and is it okay to order a Shirley Temple? Do you kiss them at the end?? The whole scenario just sucks.
In-light of the fact that this is pathetic, and I was running out of material for my blog last week, I decided to ask one of the sex columnists out on a date. I happened to know who she was, so that made things easier. Imagine the by-line: “My Date with the Sex-Columnist”. Actually, you don’t have to imagine it, it is up there for the world to see. I composed an awesome email, sent it to her Daily Sun published address, waited for a response…
And the results?
What. A. Jerk.
So much for that idea…
Update: Since having written this post, I have indeed taken a girl on a date. It was a beautiful day. I got a sandwich. She got a salad. It went much easier than I imagined it could have, and was one of the highlights of my summer.
1 Comment »
Posted by cbh58 in Cornell
I have three of the coolest jobs on campus. First, I am paid to write (virtually) whatever I want here for many people, all over the world, to read. I am also a computer lab consultant for the ILR computer lab. In addition to having the cheapest printing on campus, the basement of Ives Hall is largely unoccupied between the hours of 7-11 on Thursday and Sunday nights, meaning I get a ton of work done with very few outside distractions.
My last job was the first job I got on campus. It is also probably the coolest job I have. It is also one of the creepier jobs at Cornell.
I am the varsity sports announcer. This job is sick. I am paid to watch Cornell’s sports teams and pick up a microphone every once in a while. I love it. The creepy part is that I know more about all of the athletes than is really socially acceptable. This is a problem when you meet an athlete in “the real world”. For example:
Tall gorgeous Woman’s Basketball Player: “Hi, my name is Susan”
Cullen: “Oh, I know who you are. Your name is Susan O’Callahan. You are from Nova Scotia, 5’10″, and set your career high scoring record last week.”
Tall gorgeous Woman’s Basketball Player: “You’re very creepy”
That particular party trick did not work the way I was hoping…
No Comments »
Posted by cbh58 in Cornell
We’re rapidly approaching that dreaded season for high school seniors; applications are starting to be filled, visits are being made, school activities are being fudged (I won’t lie about it, I told everyone that I was the founder of the boys a Capella group at my high school. Sure, I founded it, we just never actually sang anything…)
But if I may offer one little tid-bit of advice to the families making their way to our campus in the next few weeks, it is this: be careful when you drive across campus. Not because you may hit some unsuspecting pedestrian, or because University Ave is still closed and still so inconvenient, but because it is nigh impossible to drive across campus at certain times.
In the game of man versus car, the car always wins. Sure, pedestrians technically have the right of way, but tell that to any New York City taxi driver and they will laugh at you. If I drove at Brian Urlacher, or Chuck Norris for that matter, there is little to no way that I am loosing that battle. Except between 10:05 and 10:11 am on Cornell’s campus.
That time is when it seems like every single bleary-eyed student is heading to class. Trying to through campus then (or around the 1:25 and 2:55 slots) makes traffic in LA seem like a breeze.
So families, be forewarned. If you are staying at the Clarion and think that you are making that 10:15 tour with Alex or Mack (by far, the two best tour guides here), you are sorely mistaken.
No Comments »