Impossible-to-Prove Cornell Hypotheses

Warning: If you’re looking for an extremely intelligent, substantiative, and well-evidenced post, you might want to scroll further down. (Or, heck, visit a different Life on the Hill blog.)

Over the last 3 years at Cornell, I’ve definitely gotten accustomed to a certain way of life; the more time you spend in the 607, the more you observe and pick up on the “intricacies” of life in Ithaca, and, well…you begin to see the same kind of patterns occur. What I’m going to do in this post is lay out some arguably stupid hypotheses I have regarding the Big Red, which I have absolutely no way of proving. Some of these are serious, and some are incredibly stupid. I’ll let you be the judge.

So, let’s begin:

  1. People are much more outgoing in Mann Library than Olin and Uris. I’m not sure what explains this–maybe the quality of air? The brightness of the lights? The nature of the furniture setup? The quality of Manndibles food? But I can tell you, there’s something about Mann that makes the people on it happier and more social than in any other library. (Of course, I’m in AEM and that’s where I see the majority of people I know, so there’s bias for you.) I also only really use the first floor of Mann, where it’s more “socially okay” to talk, than some of the other floors…so what do I know?
  2. The prospective student weather transformation. During Cornell Days, the period in the spring semester when accepted prospective students visit the campus, the weather goes from cloudy, freezing, and snowy for 5 months straight to clear skies, warm, and sunny. I kid you not, this has happened over quite a few years that I’ve encountered. I’m actually convinced that the Cornell administration has state of the art weather-changing machinery that they use to alter the weather during various week-long periods in March…to assist with enrollment yield!
  3. My NetPrint fees to the University over the last 3 years have given Cornell the financial stability to go ahead with the NYC Tech Campus. Okay, this isn’t true–we can thank philanthropist Chuck Feeney for the multi-million dollar donation. But, come on, I’d like to think I contributed to that; it costs 9 cents to print a piece of paper anywhere on campus, and I’ve printed way too much stuff since freshman year that’s been billed to my bursar account–papers, required readings, etc. The amount I’ve paid is absurd. At the very least, I should get a building with my name on it by graduation.
  4. Californians are awesome. Again, I can’t prove this. But for some reason, most Cornell students I’ve met from California have been extremely down to earth, friendly, and incredibly outgoing. That’s not to disparage other states–heck, I’m from Connecticut–but wow; maybe there is some truth to that west coast “chill” vibe people talk about. Also topping the anecdotally “awesome”  list: people from Upstate NY, I’ve found are super nice as well. (Cue the disclaimer: stereotypes aren’t true, there are plenty of awesome people at Cornell, etc.)
  5. Ives Hall and Martha Van Rensselaer Hall were deliberately designed for you never to be able to escape. Having been at Cornell for 3 years, I’ve walked through both of those buildings regularly, and it baffles me how absurdly confusing they are. (My favorite part of MVR? Taking an elevator on the third floor…that takes you to another third floor.) I’ve written about getting lost in them before, and since sophomore year my mental map of the buildings has gotten better, but not much. As one of my friends recently put it best on Facebook:

6. It’s literally impossible to have an empty e-mail inbox here. This one is as frustrating as it is true. Clearing out your email inbox, especially after you’re signed up for club email lists and are enrolled in BlackBoard for all your classes, is akin to using a bucket to try and remove water from a flowing river. Sure, you can try to archive ’em, and heck, you might get close, but come prelim time, you’re getting 5 emails a day from each class (“Exam review session moved!” “Reminder: Exam!” “Reminder: No graphing calculators for exam!” “Reminder: Exam grades will take a few days to process!” “Exam grades are up!” “Exam regrade policy: Please read!”). You just gotta take them all in, and come to terms with the fact that you won’t have an empty inbox here, ever.

So there you have it–6 of my impossible-to-prove hypotheses. Give me a shout if you disagree with ’em. I’m currently sitting here at a Starbucks in Washington D.C. (again, I’m participating the Cornell in Washington program)…and it’s about time I get back to my research paper!

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