Daily Archives: March 10, 2014

7 Graphs You Should Understand If You Attend Cornell

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!!


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:


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):


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.


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.)


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.


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.


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!