Monthly Archives: October 2011

Getting Lost!

This is embarrassing.

Getting lost around campus or in a building is acceptable, say, your first semester of college. Maybe it’s okay if you’ve only been at the school for one year, tops. But losing your way as a sophomore, when you’re weathered, knowledgeable and experienced? Nahh, that shouldn’t happen! That’s why my experience today was just downright awful.

Here’s the story:

So it’s around 3 in the afternoon, and I had just conducted an interview for my business frat. After having three 75 minute classes today I was hungry, tired, and looking to get off of my feet to recharge. As I was on the agriculture quad, I figured Martha’s wouldMarthas2_2 be a great place to go as they have the best damn corned beef sandwich in all of Tompkins County…so I walked over to the Human Ecology building, Martha Van Rensselaer Hall thinking it would be a breeze getting there. Nu-uh; after walking into MVR’s front doors and passing assorted offices, I got sidetracked and started strolling down hallways. Luckily, I spotted a sign for Martha’s, and found the eatery (which unfortunately  had just closed…so no corned beef for me).

mvr

Here’s where the fun starts.

Okay, I figure, I’ll just leave the building and find another place to eat. I don’t remember exactly what happened at that point, but I rememberThe new Human Ecology Building, HEB, Cornell walking up some stairs, which essentially turned into a long hallway, which turned into another long hallway. Soon enough, I had absolutely no idea where I was. I remember passing the DEA department office (Design and Environmental Analysis) a few times, then found myself walking through three different courtyards (I didn’t even know HumEc had that many!). Mayhem ensued as I tried to find for exits where there weren’t any, and actually found long hallways which appeared out of nowhere. I believe along the way, I accidentally toured the new Human Ecology building too. It’s a nice place, but I’m sure I would have appreciated it more had I actually known where I was headed.

Here’s a map of the route I believe I took:

Cornell University - Maps - Campus Map…but here’s a rendition of what it felt like as I was walking:

PhotoshopAnd so ends the saga of me getting lost in the Human Ecology building complex.

Declared!

It’s official.

As of yesterday, I am an Economics major. Yep, you read that right–I walked into the 4th floor of Uris Hall, declaration form and transcript in hand, and sat down with with the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Economics Department to officiallyuris-hall.jpeg declare my major.

I’m excited about the Econ major, and think I’m making the right decision academically. As someone that wants to go into business (management, maybe?), I feel like this will give me enough flexibility to do whatever I’d like after college. Plus, I feel like my minor in Information Science–a subject which genuinely interests me–will serve me well in the future too.

Walking out of Uris after I was accepted into the major, something weird hit me. I stopped for a second, and realized how far I had come since arriving at Cornell as a young, intimidated freshman. The fact that I had just declared my major means that I’m not exactly a “young” Cornellian anymore…and through my now-confirmedCornell University Economics-1 major, my involvement with clubs and social activities, and overall familiarity with the campus I realized I’m slowly beginning to carve my niche at Cornell. Whoa, creepy. I’ll stop with the sentimentality. (But it really does feel like forever ago since I wrote this post.)

Anyways, by me being an Econ major, I’m joining the ranks of several famous economics majors; among them Arnold Schwartzenegger and Tiger Woods.

schwartz

(Note that I was going to write a funny saying I heard in the bubble– “Economists do it with Models”–but I decided to keep the picture relatively clean.)

Also, the structure of the major gives me a lot of flexibility–so I will have ample room to take more business-centered classes, such as those offered in the Hotel School, AEM, ILR, or PAM. (If those three acronyms just sound like alphabet soup to you, click on each one to learn more).

So…yeah! That’s my big news of the week. Econ course suggestions or professor recommendations, anyone?

Visitors in College

Here’s a fact: When you go to school in Ithaca, a town not exactly centrally-located, you won’t have a lot of friends/family stopping by. Sure, I’ve hosted prospective students and the occasional friend traveling through the region…but overall, I know that if I had opted for a school in NYC or Boston, I might be seeing a little bit more of my loved ones.

Google Maps

I guess this does make the occasion all the more special when people you know do stop by–and that recently happened!

That’s right–a few of my cousins decided to venture up to Ithaca,Untitled-1 to see me and take in the attractions around town. I definitely am glad they did; I love when people come up, because it’s very easy to get trapped in the “Cornell bubble,” and not be kept up to date on happenings outside of Ithaca. Because I don’t have a car on campus, I’ll definitely jump at any chance to break out of my daily grind–and that includes seeing people I wouldn’t regularly see, talking about things that are happening–GASP–in the outside world, venturing to off-campus eateries, exploring the area, and doing all sorts of fun things I wouldn’t be doing otherwise.

So, you ask…

What did I do with my visitors?

In no particular order:

1) Wegman’s (obviously!)

I’ve mentioned Wegmans over and over…and over, but for those of you who aren’t in the know, be advised that Wegman’s is paradise–plain and simple. Any loyal Ithacan will sing the praises of this chain supermarket, as its selection is incredible and offerings are delicious. (No, Wegman’s isn’t paying me to say this.) After wandering through what some might describe as “heaven” for 45 minutes, my cousins generously paid for some dorm essentials (read: Tostitos, Dr. Pepper, etc.) and we were on our way.

Preview-1

I'm thinking this should be their tagline.

2) Ithaca Farmers Market

I have something to confess. I’ve been living in Ithaca for more than an academic year, yet this was my first visit to the Farmer’s Market. The FM is a really popular Ithaca attraction where local farmers, vendors, etc. gather to showcaseIthaca Farmers Market their products…and it was definitely a neat experience (and an entirely different experience from Wegman’s). I’d definitely recommend going.

3) Applefest!

Despite the soggy weather, we decided to visit the annual Applefest event on the Ithaca Commons. Not too much is coming to my mind about it, as we were only there for a short time…but it seemed to be well attended by students and locals. Believe it or not, there was a highlight; I actually ran into Granny Smith herself! (I can hear you cringing at the awkwardness of this pun as I write it…)

4) Ithaca Brewery

Also on my cousins’ “to-do” list was to visit the Ithaca Brewery…where free factory tours and samples of locally-brewed beer were offered. No, I’m not 21 (and nor do I look it), so I wasn’t able to partake in the imbibing, but they were able to offer me some of the best darn root beer and ginger beer I’ve ever had.

Brewery-outside-image(Anyone else find it odd to see a picture on here that’s not covered with text or a big red arrow?)

5) Johnson Museum of Art

Look, I’m an Econ major. I just don’t have a very sophisticated taste in art, unless you count the macaroni noodle frame I made my dad for Father’s Day in 3rd grade. (Heck, coloring in between the lines is still hard for me.) So while you’d have to ask my fellow blogger and museum connoisseur Keely for insight on the exhibits I saw, I can tell you we had a great time wandering around the interestingly-shaped building–and got a great view of the Cornell campus from the top.

pasta-frame.png (212×297)

No, I didn't actually make this specific frame...but the point still remains: I am not an art connaisseur.

Showing my cousins around the Cornell campus certainly allowed me to put my extensive knowledge of the campus to use; take a peek:

Untitled-5

6) Apple picking!

While most of the apples I deal with on a daily basis have a touch-screen, we did spend a good portion of the day Sunday at a local orchard, enjoying the fall colors and picking apples. We had a good time, despite the not-great weather conditions.

(Looking over this list, I’m not sure whether to find it awesome or depressing that 5/6 things on this list involved food.)

Well, dear reader, my cousins are oneKODAK Gallery | Photo Merchandise-3 group of people that I can check off the “Love Me Enough to Visit Me” list. Other friends and family–know you have an open invite to come up anytime. Please? I might even make you a pasta-glued photo frame. I also specialize in stick-figured family portraits and hand-shaped Thanksgiving turkeys, if that’s your thing too.

As I sit here in the Statler’s Nestle library finishing up this post, I just realized that I have 9 minutes to make it to my programming lecture. So I’ll be wrapping this up now…

Thanks for reading!

Perhaps the BEST meal I’ve had at Cornell yet…

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I really enjoy living in the Alice Cook House. The walk to central campus(= classes) is much shorter than it was last year on Northlarge_020108-cornell-dorm.jpeg-1 (despite having to walk up that darn hill every day)…plus, it’s brand new, spacious and clean. Arguably my favorite part of living in Cook is the programming–I’m never bored, as there’s always something interesting going on. It definitely has a more “academic” feel than North, e.g. there’s a program where a few esteemed Cornell professors/administrators are nominated as “Cook House fellows,” which essentially means that they often stop by/play a role in fostering the collegiate environment.

Take last Wednesday night, for example. I came back from my classes that day around 4:30, to see the tables all set up very fancily in the dining hall. I remembered it was “invite a professor night” at the house dinner, and my friends and I were very curious/excited to find out which House Fellow we were going to be dining with.

As we waited in line to be swiped in to the dining hall, we spotted Cornell Vice President Susan Murphy interacting with residents…and thought it was really cool to see her. To our surprise, she eagerly came up to us and invited us to eat at her table–and we graciously accepted!!

As we sat down, we were all curious to the tone that the meal would take. Should we act professional fully-set_large.jpg (465×349)and serious, or act relaxed and casual? If I accidentally uttered the word ‘crap,’ would I be placed on academic probation? Nobody knew yet.

The short answer: VP MURPHY WAS AWESOME!! The second we started eating, she formed an instant bond with me and the 5 other students at the table. She was down-to-earth, and seemed genuinely curious about our lives–inquiring about our majors, hometowns, etc. We were curious about her life too–and she answered our questions about being a VP very casually. We all lingered around after dinner just to exchange funny Cornell anecdotes and jokes, and were sad to see the meal end.

I think it was halfway through the dinner, when I looked around the dining hall, that what was going on hit me–this was an UNBELIEVABLE OPPORTUNITY!! Here I was, sitting at a table with the VP of Cornell as she was talking/laughing with students like they were old friends. At the table next to me, one of the world’s leading spider biologists (Professor Linda Rayor) was doing the same thing with another group of students. At anotherlogo_alice_cook table, esteemed history Professor Mary Beth Norton was doing the same thing. These brilliant scholars were not only willing to converse with students in a laid-back environment, but genuinely seemed to love doing so!

Having dinner with a vice president was also eye-opening, in the sense that it’s not hard to think of Cornell as a bureaucracy. You always read in the Sun that “the Cornell administration did this…” or “did that,” but it’s difficult to see what’s going on behind the scenes (e.g. in terms of making legislation).  I learned first-hand that there are “real,” personable people working in Day Hall caring for students, and I’m not sure that’s something everyone gets to see. All in all, it was very enriching.

I’ve been told that sometimes the administration reads the Life on the Hill blogs…so VP Murphy, if you’re reading this, thanks for the great company!