Candid at Cornell

One Big Red Adventure in Ithaca

Candid at Cornell

Cornell Plantations: How Have I NEVER Been Here Before?

April 22, 2014 · No Comments · Uncategorized

As a second semester senior, I like to think that I know my way around the campus like the back of my hand. But, I gotta admit, this semester has still been a learning experience! First, in late January, I didn’t know where my AEM strategy course was held–as I wasn’t familiar with Corson-Mudd Hall. And, most recently (with regards to my experience Sunday), I learned something new as well.cgardens03

Namely, last weekend I explored, in-depth, the Cornell Plantations!

For those that aren’t acutely familiar with the property, here’s the run-down. Cornell owns acres of botanical gardens on the east side of campus, with a specialty in native species to the state–and it is an absolutely beautiful area. There are ponds, woods, and all sorts of other natural features, and it is definitely a tourist attraction. Plus, as part of Cornell’s land grant mission, Cornell Plantations has a commitment to cultivation, preservation, and conservation.

As it was really nice out, my friend and I decided that visiting the property would be a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and definitely a great alternative to going to an indoors gym.plantations

I can’t exactly recall the exact path we took, as we were basically meandering–and we had to ask 2-3 people how to get to where we wanted to be. But I can say that we saw this awesome pond with a wooden deck on it (see photo) and I hit a really loud bell at the top of some lookout. Here’s a picture of me as we hit our destination, courtesy of my friend–all other pics were taken from Cornell.edu. (Please excuse the Chipotle t-shirt I was wearing.)

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In all honesty, I’m ashamed that I haven’t been here earlier. The Plantations are highly-renowned, and look like a great place to explore even further. It also makes me understand the advice that many have told me–that plantations-1spending a summer in Ithaca is a really positive experience. Exploring the region’s beauty in this amazing weather, the picturesque views have admittedly made me proud to call central New York my “other” home for the last 4 years. As I graduate in May, I think this was my last frontier, if you will, of the campus to explore; I think I’ve covered most everything else that I need to see. I also figured this would be an appropriate thing to write about on Earth Day, so there’s that…

I can’t believe it’s almost May!

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Cornell: The Land of Paradoxes

April 19, 2014 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Given that my last few posts have been pretty heavy–touching upon the fact that my college career is coming to an end–I figure I’ll write a post that’s a little lighter in content.

Over my last 4 years, I’ve realized that Cornell is definitely a place of paradoxes, in many ways. A lot of things that you observe here can definitely make you think, “hmm…”

Don’t believe me? Here are a few examples:

Cornell has one of the best facilities design programs in the world, where renowned ergonomic experts research all aspects of building planning and managementmvr pic

…yet the building that it’s in, Martha Van Rensselaer, is one of the most confusing buildings I have ever been in. EVER. My favorite part of MVR: taking the elevator from one third floor to another third floor. See this post, where I got lost in it 2 years ago.

Mann Library is doing renovations to move an academic department to the fourth floor of the library, which is an interesting spot for offices as the higher floors constitute a lot of the silent study space…Cornell_Mann_Library_Interior_5

…and guess what department it is? Communication. (Okay, I get that a lot of communication isn’t “spoken,” per se, but it seems interesting to put a department with course offerings like “oral communication” in a location that was previously silent.)

ILR’s huge lecture hall was generously donated by the PepsiCo company, hence the nameIVS305 of Ives 305 as the “PepsiCo Auditorium” portrayed on a large sign outside the classroom…

…except signs explicitly say that you can’t eat or drink in it. Not even Pepsi products, I assume.

Driving up to Ithaca, it’s clear from the miles and miles of farmland you pass that Cornell’s in an area with plenty of space and cornfields…

Yet, despite our “middle of nowhere” location, finding parking here is nearly impossible. I can’t even count the number of people I know that have told me about getting a parking ticket. Though our campus is large enough to have its own zip code, somehow, successful parking requires a combination of patience, prayer, and luck.

Entering as a freshman, you’ll notice quickly that most people call RPCC’s Bear Necessities food location “Nasties“…

Except the food there isn’t nasty at all. It’s actually fantastic, and definitely was worth justifying to my tumblr_min01zgyGA1s17hwuo1_1280parents why I was out of BRB’s early in the semester… despite a generous meal plan.

If you could imagine a campus building that did not have windows, you’d assume it’d possibly house a department that’s related to a social science, or maybe something quantitative…right?

Then help me figure out why Bradfield houses the Atmospheric Sciences and meteorology offerings.  You’d think that out of all academic options, the one which has a specialty in weather forecasting would at least include darn windows outside. Bradfield’sdisplayImage website says its because the rooms are climate controlled, but why this building-and this department’s location in it-over all others? Fun fact: CNN recently ranked it one of the nation’s most spectacular campus buildings. Just saying, I’d love to hear the author’s thought processes behind that one…  

With its unique “any person…any study” mantra, its commitment to diversity, and the flexible curricula across colleges, Cornell prides itself on accommodating students with all sorts of varying academic and extracurricular talents…

…as long as they can pass a rigorous swim test (which constitutes numerous laps in an Olympic-sized pool). There are some exemptions-if you’re a transfer student, you don’t have to take it, and if you fail the test or just flat out don’t know how toskorton-1.jpg swim, you can enroll in PE 1100: Beginning Swimming. You may find it quirky, but I’ve known students that genuinely cannot swim and were worried about passing to graduate.

Here’s one that I began to appreciate after taking The First American University, aka #AMST2001 (current students, do yourself a favor and take the class).cornell Take a look at the Cornell seal and tell me…

…why, out of all the Ivy League schools to have a picture of a sun on it, is it the one that’s located in one of the cloudiest places I know…  Ithaca, New York? Okay, Brown has a sun on its seal, too…but the point remains.

Finally… there’s been one man on national television that has consistently perpetuated stereotypes of Cornell alums as being cocky, egotistical jerks. The university would probably6a00d8341c51c053ef01310f84cd3e970c want to distance themselves from him as much as possible, right?

…Nah, we ask him to speak at graduation instead. In all seriousness, though, I couldn’t be more excited that Ed Helms (!!!) is speaking at my commencement ceremony.

Cue the disclaimer: While all these are true to the best of my knowledge, no… I don’t actually harbor any resentment towards any of these things. (Except the 2 third floors in MVR thing…come on.)

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Things I (May Not) Miss: Ithaca Weather

April 15, 2014 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

I don’t think I’ve ever written a post this short in my 4 years as a Cornell blogger. But, sometimes, to get a point across, pictures work so much better than words. This, my friends, is mid-April. In Ithaca. (Taken from the Statler Library, where I’m working on a business ethics paper, and where everyone seems to be staring outside.) Full context: It was t-shirt and shorts weather yesterday…

InstagramAnd here was a picture I posted on Facebook on April 23 of my sophomore year:

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So, prospective students, Cornell offers an amazing college experience and unlimited opportunities…but know what you’re getting into with the weather.

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The Final Stretch of my College Career

April 12, 2014 · No Comments · Uncategorized

As I write this, I’m sitting here in Mann Lobby, relaxing after walking around the campus for a bit. It’s absolutely beautiful out–just in time for the prospective students to get a distorted perception of Ithaca’s weather. I’m realizing that this year, and my college experience, is slowly winding down. To be frank, this is nuts. I can’t believe that it’s almost over!

Here are a few thoughts that’ve been on my mind:

1. Perspectives are a funny thing. Remember your first day of high school, when you were nervous about how much bigger everyone seemed than you? Or, [if you're touring college campuses,] remember agquad03what it felt like when you realized everyone on a campus was so grown up? I can’t believe I once felt that college students were so old…because when I look around campus, all I see is a population of undergraduates, roughly 75% of which are younger than me. I just want to yell at these darn youngin’s to get off my lawn (okay, maybe I don’t feel that old).

2. I can’t mess up all these “end of college” tasks and decisions. You may think I’m crazy, but I actually have a lot stuff to do. Examples? CALS post-graduate surveys. Get a cap and gown. Decide on a yearbook. Look at diploma frames and rings. Coordinate graduation weekend. Plan my Senior Days schedule. On a related note, I have no idea if people really get class rings…

3. Update on academics: As much fun as it’d be to write that I’m taking it easy, it  wouldn’t be like me to slack off–especially given the fact that I’ve worked hard for 7 semesters and want to end strong. I’ve been busy IMG_6746with problem sets, papers, projects, etc…but I can’t complain too much. My schedule this semester isn’t too stressful.

4. The “wow” factor on this campus never goes away. You’d think that almost as an alum, I’d get used to seeing the sights around the campus…but a lot of the views still amaze me. Case in point: walking around the footbridge area behind MVR and seeing the waterfalls under sunny blue skies…I couldn’t help but stop and gaze at it.

That’s about it for now…congrats to all the newly admitted students!

 

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What Truly Makes Cornell Unique

March 25, 2014 · 8 Comments · Uncategorized

As a Life on the Hill blogger, I love getting emails from prospective Cornellians…they keep me on my toes and remind me what was on my mind as a senior in high school. The other day, I got this email, which was pretty darn thought-provoking for me:

Hi David,

Why is Cornell someone’s dream school? Do you know some reasons why, esp. given that so many apply for ED at Cornell?

Thank you,
[Redacted]

It’s a great question, and, talking in terms of the undergraduate experience, it’s harder to answer than you would think–even given my years spent at this school. ithaca_campus-1hdvls6Putting aside the notion of college admissions strategy (e.g. applying to the highest-ranked school you can get into) makes it more difficult to answer.

Why? Well, if we’re comparing the campus itself, Cornell’s campus is beautiful in my biased eye…but so is Stanford’s, Yale’s, UVA’s, and so on (as well as a plethora of small liberal arts schools). Going off of academics/faculty, Cornell has had 41 Nobel Prize winners affiliated with the school, and maintains a community of absolutely brilliant professors…but so do many other similarly-ranked schools. And, if you’re going off of prestige and name itself, well again–there are a few other colleges that fit the bill too (you might’ve heard of a few of ‘em in towns like Cambridge, Hanover, or New Haven). 

So what makes Cornell different?

My answer: Diversity and opportunity. In, almost literallyevery possible sense of the word.

Let me explain…

Diversity in terms of students: I’ve met aspiring winemakers,  hotel managers, landscape architects, policymakers, interior designers, financiers, astronomers, and fiber experts (yes, like the clothing material)–allAdmissions-17yi4st actively pursuing their passions. Everyone from pre-professional I-Bankers to theoretical physicists. People from Hawaii to Ghana. People from Alaska and people who had never seen snow before getting here. Left wingers (politically speaking) and right wingersI just can’t imagine that at any other point in my life, I will be surrounded with such diversity–in the best meaning of the word.

Opportunity in terms of discovering your passions off-campus: Almost limitless opportunities exist here. Interested in government or policy? Check out the legit Cornell in Washington program, or the Capital Semester program. Aspire to99 be a filmmaker? Cornell in Hollywood is up your alley. The tech scene interests you? Cornell Silicon Valley and Cornell NYC Tech ensure opportunities for connections and events. Have a deep passion for marine biology? Spend a few months on Cornell’s own island, Shoals Marine Lab, off the coast of Maine. If architecture is your “dig,” you’ll enjoy Cornell in Rome. Labor relations/HR students benefit from ILR’s connections with places likes-logo Disney World, GE, and the International Labour Organization to spend a semester putting theory into practice.

…and discovering them on campus: Think of (just about) anything you’ve ever been interested in, and realize that Cornell likely offers an outlet to pursue it…or the opportunity is there (maybe thats why the Squirrel Club exists).Want to work on a racecar? Join Cornell Racing. Like media? Join The Sun, the Social Media Club, Slope Media, or any of the otherpic1 many on-campus publications. Scientists can join the Entomology Club or the Herpetological Society. Musicians can join the pep band, play the chimes, or join CU Winds, and business-oriented people can select from 4-5 business frats and countless finance clubs. Not to mention, if you affiliate with a specific ethnicity/religion/nationality, chances are that there’s stuff for you. Cornell Hillel is booming…butHome - Cornell University Hillel so is the Cornell Filipino Association. Don’t believe me? Take a look at last year’s comprehensive list of 800+ student organizations (warning:PDF) to appreciate the variety.

(The amazing thing is when people combinecheese_club.jpg (430×292) their interests–for example, I TA’ed a business class with many bio majors. But that’s an aside.)

Academically: Again, any person any study rings true. With over 4000+ courses across 7 undergraduate colleges, you can take a class in almost anything. Casino Operations to Beer. Human-Environment Relations to the Ethics of Eating. Korean to iPhone App Development. History of Terrorism to Psychology of Entertainment Media. tree1Digital Business Strategy to Stardom. For (your required) PE classes: Anything from Juggling to Tree Climbing, SCUBA to Birding, and Thai Massage to Handgun Safety. (Heck, You can even do a themed semester.)

And when you graduate? Well, I still have 1-2 months to go (!!!), but when that day does come, I know I’ll find comfort knowing that the comprehensive Cornell network spans globally. Don’t believe me? Check out theCornell Silicon Valley | Alumni | Cornell University websites for the Cornell Clubs of New YorkFrance, Boston, Beijing, Oregon, Los Angeles, D.C., and so on. I’d love to be proven wrong, and I know alumni clubs exist at other schools, but I can’t imagine finding any other place with such established and diverse post-graduate connections and events. 

Coming to Cornell won’t be easy–you’ll be essentially given a list of classes that used to fill a phone book-sized text and are expected to be responsible enough to navigate yourCornell-in-Washington-q8i2k4 way through it all. But if you are up to the task, you can create a 4 year college experience that provides you with unparalleled opportunities to pursue what you want to.

..and that‘s what sets Cornell apart. Hopefully I didn’t sound like too much of an advertisement here…as I’ve said, Cornell isn’t right for everyone. It’s just that, after 4 years, I finally grasp the unlimited opportunities Cornell provides.

 [Here is where I step off my podium]

*Images/logos courtesy of their respective organizations.

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Not to Brag, But…

March 19, 2014 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

I like to think of myself, in general, as a fairly humble person to others–I self-deprecate myself very regularly and am my own toughest critic. Believe me, I’m not perfect. After all these years at Cornell, though, there are a few insanely bizarre things that I’m proud of97-1kfaouq myself for…and I can’t help but share ‘em. So here goes:

1. I have not lost my Cornell ID for good yet…and am still using the one given to me my first day of orientation. I gotta say, I’m pretty darn proud of this one, as I know a few people that are on number 2 or 3. For all the usage that it’s gotten–swiping me into dining halls and helping me pay for meals, being checked at exams, in addition to letting me gain access to a lot of places–I’m just shocked that this original one is still kicking around. (There was the time I was separated from it temporarily, though).

2. By graduation, I will have taken a class in 6 out of the 7 undergraduate colleges at Cornell (AAP, thanks for ruining my track record). Yep, that’s right;  I’ve enrolled in courses from the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Human Ecology, Industrial and Labor Relations, Engineering (if CS/INFO 1300 counts), Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Hotel Administration. I was this close to completing them all! Unfortunately, for the sake of grades, I think it’s for the best that I didn’t enroll in anaap01 AAP class…my art skills have gone downhill since I passed third grade. Though, I did sit near AAP Dean Kent Kleinman on a Campus to Campus bus once…does that count?

3. I’m excellent at snagging seats in StudentCenter. During the pre-enrollment and add/drop periods, there’s always stress amongst students as many classes become full–and you see the dreaded blue square, meaning you can’t enroll in the course due to capacity. In very large classes, though, the second that 1 kid drops the class and the green circle appears, you’re good to enroll (unless someone else snatches it before you).  Here’s a pro-tip: if you’re really desperate to get into a class, check StudentCenter during odd hours–like a Sunday night at 11pm.

4. I’m this close to getting rewarded at Manndibles, CTB, and Hot Truck (and was really close at Yogurt Crazy, too). Lots of eateries around here have those cards where, if you get x amount of stamps/punches, you get a free coffee/sandwich/etc. blog1While I’ve definitely redeemed a card at Hot Truck, the 2nd closest I’ve gotten was at Yogurt Crazy…which now has conveniently gone out of business.

5. If my I-Clicker track record means anything, I’d be a helluva game show contestant. I seem to have a knack for answering I-Clicker questions correctly. (These are the little 5 button devices that some professorsMessages-1 use to have you answer multiple choice questions in class, shown at right.) I can’t really explain why, though…

6. I proudly took an 8:00am intermediate French class that met 3 days a week freshman year. Hours before half of my hall was awake, I was on the Arts quad speaking French. Truth be told, though, I honestly don’t mind early morning classes–you get a great feeling of productivity early on in the day (and that’s why I’m not ashamed to admit that, even as a second semester senior, I still have an 8:40 on Tuesdays and Thursdays).

Are these all things to genuinely be proud of? Eh, I’ll leave it up to you. While they may not be suitable accomplishments for my resume or LinkedIn profile, and this blog post is kind of written in jest, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at least a little proud of ‘em.

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7 Graphs You Should Understand If You Attend Cornell

March 10, 2014 · No Comments · Uncategorized

As a business major at Cornell, I love graphs. They’re an excellent way to explain concepts, visualize data, or to get a point across. And, as a Cornell student, and Cornell.edu Life on the Hill blogger that’s spent years here and had countless experiences in and out of the classroom, there are a couple concepts and lessons that need to be explained…and graphs do the trick!clocktowerx300-qvdiob

(And before I begin… yes, I know these are poorly drawn–I’m not an AAP student! Thanks to Skitch software, they were easy to draw.)

So let’s go:

1. How much it’s okay to talk in your Freshman Writing Seminar course (or any small discussion based course, for that matter):

Cornell Freshman Writing Seminars should be an educational sociologist’s dream case study. Here’s an idea: take 15 ambitious students that excelled in high school…and in their first semester of college, plop them in a room together to make them participate a course where their grade is  dependent on discussion and participation (as well as, obviously, papers). If you talk too much, as evidenced by the graph, you come off as overachieving. Talk too little, and you get a poor participation grade…and remain an awkward (wo)man of mystery to the rest of the class. There is an optimal though, and it varies based on individual circumstance. Examine the graph below. See the arrow? Aim for that peak!!

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2. When you’ll find TA’s useful: As a teaching assistant, nothing gives me greater pleasure than helping students out with assignments and explaining concepts. I’m available in office hours, by email, and by appointment. The only time that you’re probably not gonna get a response is if you email me, say, past 1am on the day that an assignment is due or there’s an exam. The phrase “poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part” sums this idea up pretty nicely. As this graph shows:

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3. Going off of a previous post, here’s a graph that shows when the Terrace line for salads at Statler doesn’t stretch to Cortland on a weekday basis (time of day is on the x-axis):

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4. Appropriate time to show up to an apartment for a social event: This one I can already foresee getting flack for, but here goes: if you show up to a Cornell social event precisely on the dot…you’re gonna have a bad time. I don’t make the rules, and heck, I wish it wasn’t like this, but if you’re attending a semi-large gathering, in my experiences it’s your best bet to show up at least 30 mins-1 hour late (from when you’re told, or it’s listed on Facebook). This, of course, is speaking from numerous occasions where I’ve been awkwardly early to things because people don’t show up on time. Unless you’re excellent friends with the host or just that cordial, sitting around and waiting for other people to come may not be your idea of a good time.

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5. Desirability of a car on campus after 4 years: Speaking as someone that doesn’t have a car here, this one hits close to home. The older you get here, the more you feel the lack of a car curtails your freedom (to go home, to run errands, to go to Chipotle, etc…..but mostly just to go to Chipotle.)

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6. On “winter break excitement levels”: The 5 or so weeks that we get off in December-January always results in the same cycle of feelings for me.

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In blue is the beginning of the break. This is the “I can’t wait!! I’m gonna visit friends in NYC, travel the country, relax, and catch up with old friends” mentality that you’ll have starting the moment you finish your last final, to the first week or so of break.

In green is where the excitement begins to fade. This is where you realize, a good chunk into break, that sitting on your couch and watching Netflix at 3 in the afternoon sounded a lot more enticing when you were cramming for things in Ithaca. Assuming you return home for break, this is where the days all kind of blend together and you just don’t do all that much.

In red is where you miss the social stimulation of Cornell and realize your hometown is very quiet. It’s characterized by 9pm bedtimes, a craving to walk to get food at night, and the like. Fortunately, in my case, this exacerbated state only happens at the end of break.

7. When it’s acceptable, freshman year, to come out of the blue and introduce yourself to others randomly. Note that I’m not saying you shouldn’t introduce yourself to people after this period–but I’m specifically talking about the giddy, “where are you from?” “what dorm are you in?” “What’s your major”-type line of questioning that usually stops a good couple of weeks into first semester.

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Well, that about wraps up this post…hopefully you either learned something, or I at least gave you food for thought. And always, if you agree with me or vehemently disagree, feel free to get in touch!

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What’s it like to take an Ivy League Class on…Wine?

February 26, 2014 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

One of the benefits of being a CALS and AEM student is the flexibility that the requirements provide–and that’s not something I’ve taken for granted at all. Case in point: As a second semester senior that was interested in experimenting with a new academic field, and knew very little about wine, I recently signed up for VIEN 1104: Introduction to Wines and VinesMessages(There is a Hotel wine class as well, which is generally larger.) Let me tell you about my experiences in the course, as it’s definitely been a unique experience!

I’ll start off by saying that if you think this is a course that students take simply to get drunk in class, you’d be sorely mistaken. If anything, students like that would be weeded out pretty quickly–as we’re only a few weeks in, and it’s been a pretty comprehensive introduction to wine principles and grapegrowing. In fact, many of the students in the class have experience in vineyard management! Topics covered so far have included the history of wine production, fermentation, and sensory evaluation. (Who knew there were so many ways that grapes could grow?)

And yes, there are regular wine tastings in class! And not an insignificant amount is being poured. As we bring 4 wine glasses to class every day, the TA’s come around a few times per lecture to fill each one up a little less than halfway. I’vewineslide really been surprised by the diversity of wine flavors and aromas that exist based on the type of winegrapes and how they’re grown–and have sampled firsthand beverages with aromas that students have described as fruity, bitter, spicy, and similar to “cat pee” (yes, that’s a thing). Those that aren’t 21, or those that aren’t in the mood to drink, don’t have to–it just improves the classroom experience. Additionally, there’s no shame in tasting then spitting. What you are not allowed to do, however, is wear excessive perfume/cologne: this understandably affects “your and your neighbors’ sensory perceptions of wines” (from the syllabus).

Something cool I’ve learned in Wines and Vines is that wine perception varies a fair amount based on the individual, due to the uniqueness of each person’s senses. Whenever we do a tasting, it’s usually followed by an I-Clicker Messages-1multiple choice survey question that asks what we thought of the beverage, or to compare it to another one. Seeing how the class reacted to a particular drink, compared to your own opinion, is pretty neat.

So how’s the experience been overall? Great. Despite being at night near the Vet School (quite the walk from Collegetown), This is the quintessentially great Cornell course. Why? Because it’s on a subject matter that I have no experience in, but thanks to the well-designed course and passionate professors, has sparked my interest in the field. Will I be an expert viticulturist one day? Probably not…but at least I’ll be able to carry with me an interest in viticulture and enology for the rest of my life.

One quite literal “take-away” from the class are some cool Cornell CALS wine glasses that we were able to buy (as pictured). Hopefully I’ll be able to put ‘em to use regularly after the course is over. Heck, maybe if my business career allows for it down the road, I’ll be able to move to Napa Valley, buy a few acres of land and apply what I’ve learned in the class!

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A Guide to Cornell’s Best On-Campus Lunches

February 9, 2014 · 13 Comments · Uncategorized

Some people attend Cornell for the rigorous academics, others attend for the intellectual atmosphere, and many come for the varied extracurricular experiences. I came here just for the food. Okay, that’s not true, but the point being…Cornell has some Messages-36pretty darn good dining options available, particularly during the lunch hours.

Since I’ve been back to school, just for you dear readers, I ate at as many of my favorite lunch spots on campus as I could, to snag pictures. Why? In part because I thought it’d be a fun topic, and in part because, having blogged for Cornell.edu for almost 4 years, I’m kinda running on exhaust here for post ideas (kidding…just a little bit). But regardless, here’s the fruit of my efforts: a guide to my favorite lunch options on campus. Also, I assume that because I did this for a blog post, I’ll get reimbursed by Cornell’s Office of Web Communications for all these lunches (right Emily/Lisa?).

So, here we go. In no particular order, here are my favorite lunches:

#1: Trillium’s Chicken Parmesan Meal (usually only available on Mondays): I don’t wanna overstate how good Trill’s chicken parm is, but let’s just say that if I was given the option of failing a required course this final semester just to enjoy another 4 monthsMessages of Trillium Chicken Parm…it wouldn’t be an easy choice to make (yes, this is a joke). The garlic bread it comes with is fantastic, as is the marinara sauce on the pasta. Pro-tip: make sure you get your free soda, which comes with the meal. Plus, Ernie is the guy that works behind the counter there, and you’re almost guaranteed a hearty “hello!” from him every time you order it.

#2: Goldie’s Chicken Panini: Just excellent. Ever since Goldie’s opened my freshman year, it’s been a quality place to get soups and sandwiches on the go. The chicken panini has an awesome taste, it’s nicely portioned, and you get a pickle with it. It Messages-2doesn’t get better than that. I will say, though, that mandatory with the meal, in my opinion, is a Yoohoo drink because they have ‘em at Goldies, and I haven’t figured out anywhere else on campus that stocks them. Yoohoo brings you back to your childhood, and nothing works better than nostalgia to help you get over that finance prelim.

#3: The Big Red Barn’s Pasta with Sausage: Sometimes when I want to pretend I’m a brilliant PhD student, I “sneak” into Messages-3the Big Red Barn, Cornell’s graduate student center, and grab lunch. The Pasta with sausage is excellent and it’s also a great atmosphere to eat in–very cozy, especially in the winter. I do wish it were a little more generously sized, but whatever.

#4: Synapsis Margarita Pizza: Not too much to say, besides the fact that it’s filling and great. The tomatoes, you can tell, are fresh…and it’s fun to watch it being cooked in the fire oven right in front of you. It’s definitely a nice alternative to a cheesier pizza, as I don’t feel bloated after eating it. Plus, Messages-9I dig the Cornell athletics memorabilia around the place. In general, though, I prefer eating there when it’s not raining inside.

#5: Libe Cafe’s Ham and Swiss sandwich (not pictured): If I’m on Central…I don’t normally stray far away from the Ag Quad, but when I do and am hungry, I try to head to Libe Cafe in Olin–the Ham and Cheese sandwich there is excellent. You also get to eat it in Libe Cafe, which has some of the most comfortable chairs on campus for dining. You gotta grab a Cornell Sun newspaper, score a red chair, and slowly eat it as you hear liberal arts majors having intellectual conversations in the background to get the full experience.

#6: Manndible’s Burrito Bar: It’s definitely a good choice if you’re around the Ag Quad, except they don’t take BRB’s. Everyone there is very friendly and it’s nice to support an Ithaca-owned business. I planned to show a picture of how nice their burritos were…but the plan backfired Messages-12when the burrito wrapper told me the bread was unusual today, and gave me my burrito with a gaping hole in it. Ah well, now you can at least see the inside; it’s not usually presented like this, I promise.

#7: Terrace Salads. I can’t praise enough the glory that is the Terrace lunchtime salad…and the fact that the line stretches out the door every day (almost to Cortland) speaks for itself. I love the orange dressing, lettuce, and meats they have–seriously, Messages9it’s worth trying. A bonus, too, is watching the salad bar employees masterfully put the ingredients together at the speed of light (or close enough). I guess you gotta be that efficient, though, when the line is that long…

So that about wraps up my favorite lunch options on campus. Honorable mentions include Trillium burgers, Cornell dairy (not really lunch, but should be mentioned anyways), and the new Thai wrap from Cafe Jennie in the Cornell Store. And, as always, comment here or message me if you have any feedback!

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Back in Action for my Last Semester of College!

January 29, 2014 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Well, the time has come. After 7 semesters of Cornell academics, I can’t believe it, but…I’m back to college after my final winter break, and my last semester as an undergraduate has started!

My schedule this term is definitely manageable, compared to semesters past in Ithaca. With 15-16  credits plus my normal AEM teaching assistant position, I shouldn’t be too overwhelmed. It’s always tough, because there are so many courses that I wanted to take to get as much as I can out of these last few months…but ultimately, the freedom Notification Center-2to attend lectures/events/social gatherings without having to worry about nighttime prelims or problem sets means a lot to me this last semester, especially living in a more mature, off-campus location.

What do I have to look forward to in the next few months? (Consider this a preview of possible blog posts to come.)

  • Introduction to Wines and Vines! Yep, I’ll be tasting and evaluating wines for academic credit. Though we’ve only had 2 classes so far, it’s been a blast and very educational. I’ll try to talk about this soon. While I’m not in the traditional “Hotelie” one, this one is definitely a unique, positive experience as well.
  • Living in Collegetown. It’s definitely been a unique experience thus far, and coming from a semester in Washington D.C. and a summer in Manhattan, I’d say it’s been quite a difference too.
  • Dealing with this final cold burst. I know I should be a veteran to the cold afterNotification Center 3 Ithaca winters already, but wow….it is freezing. Just taking this picture this morning on my phone (at right), my hands practically froze up.
  • More Senior-y reflections. Gear yourself up for more of these–but I’ll try to keep them entertaining.
  • Exploring and taking advantage of all the new stuff on campus. Since coming back from my semester in D.C., I’ve realized that so much has changed over the course of a few months! The new Dairy Bar has opened, as has the Cornell Store’s cafe, Gates Hall, and my personal favorite…the new home of the Dyson School in Warren Hall.
  • Events. I’m already excited for what’s to come. Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon will be here, as will the founder of Reddit, and Senator Scott Brown…and I’m sure many more events will take place that haven’t been announced yet. I’m going to try to get to as many of these things as I can.

So…yeah! These are a few of the things I have to look forward to in the coming months. Let me know if you want to hear more about anything in particular.

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