The Four Seasons Revisited

Ithaca isn’t actually awful all of the time.  And we do really have fall and spring.  [Of course, shortly after I wrote that, we had a day of temperatures in the high 70s (in Fahrenheit) immediately followed by a day that started out with rain that turned into hail/sleet that turned into snow. . . . Incidentally, that sounds a lot like post-winter.]

Anyway, I’m going to pretend it’s not 23°F outside and that it’s not snowing and that the weather is occasionally not terrible.

In fact, sometimes it’s even nice enough to do things like go hiking (though I would like to try winter hiking some time).  The following picture from last fall proves that the leaves on the deciduous trees in Ithaca do lose their chlorophyll* around October and that is indeed sun in the upper right corner.

Hiking at Buttermilk Falls

I know I’ve already posted the next picture (and, actually, the one above . . . multiple times), but last semester there were a couple of the best sunsets I have ever seen.  Here’s one of them:

And I looked for a picture of spring in Ithaca, but all my pictures from this semester either have 1) snow, 2) a grey sky, or 3) both, so I had to find a picture from last year.  AAIV (the Christian fellowship I participate in) had an event at a nearby state park and the weather was fantastic.  In fact, some people may even have thought it was too hot.  But seriously, I would take too hot over the snow that’s currently flying past my window.

Treman State Park

To finish this post, my freshman year, I would frequently walk past the lake on North Campus to get to class.  I decided to create a series of photos that can be appropriately called “The Four Seasons.”

*The loss of chlorophyll, a green pigment, allows the red/orange/yellow pigments, which are present in lesser amounts than chlorophyll, to be seen during fall.  This is the phenomenon known colloquially as the leaves “changing colors,” i.e., normal people don’t usually see yellow leaves and think “chlorophyll loss.”

The Four Seasons

Now that Ithaca finally seems to be moving past winter, I thought I would celebrate by doing a photographic representation of the four seasons of Cornell.

When the academic year starts, Cornell is experiencing the season known as pre-winter.  Pre-winter is characterized by grey skies and rain.  Somewhere in the middle of pre-winter there will be a week of nonstop rain.


As fall semester winds down, the next season, winter, approaches.  In winter, temperatures at Cornell drop well below freezing, with windchills in the negative region of the Fahrenheit temperature scale.  There is also snow, accumulation of which can range from dustings to over a foot, and the sky is grey in winter.


After returning from winter break, Cornell students endure more winter until about early/mid-March, when post-winter begins.  Post-winter can be recognized by its grey skies and absurd weather, which includes rain that turns into sleet that turns into hail that turns into snow, all within four hours or so.


The last season, summer, arrives shortly after spring semester finals end.  Summer lasts until shortly before fall semester starts.  I seem to be unable to locate a picture of this elusive season.

Alligator Bites

So on Friday, I got my finger bitten by an alligator.  Just a little one.

After classes ended on Friday, spring break unofficially started for me.  I took the afternoon off to do nothing, then met some friends for dinner followed by hanging out in one of their rooms for a couple hours.  My friends all had work to do so I ended up playing with a knockoff LEGO set.  I was originally supposed to build the Google Android logo, but some of the design choices made the android kind of fragile.  So I made an alligator instead.  Its mouth moves.

That’s how I started spring break.  I have very few plans, but I’m hoping to finally catch up on sleep.  I don’t know if that will happen or not, but I made to bed before midnight for the first time in a week on Friday night.

I’m currently working on a new photography project  (hint: it involves penguins), so I hope to post about that soon.  No promises though.

In other news, between recent rain/snow and melting, here’s what the waterfall on North Campus looked like yesterday:


Are you a Cornell student?

Can you write moderately good well in mostly coherent English?

Have you ever wondered if you would ever find a job that you could do while sitting underneath your desk wearing a sock on your left foot but not on your right foot?

Do you just want me to stop asking semi-rhetorical questions?

If you answered yes to at least the first question, consider joining the ranks of Cornell’s Life on the Hill bloggers.  Applications can be found at and are due by 4 pm on April 12th.


Or, if you prefer, here’s the announcement as it was given to me to post (Spoiler alert: It’s actually informative and contains only one not-rhetorical question.):

Want to tell your Cornell story? Apply to the Life on the Hill blogging program at Applications due April 12th.


Infinite Loop

So for the past two weeks month semester I have been stuck in what I have termed the infinite problem set loop.  It goes something like this:

Friday evening/Saturday morning: Problem sets are assigned for Fluid Mechanics and Physical Chemistry.  Every other week I also have a Biomolecular Engineering problem set assigned the previous Wednesday that I may or may not have started on by the weekend.

Saturday/Sunday: Attempt to start on problem sets so as not to start the next week off behind on everything.  Depending on the week and what got covered in class, this has varying degrees of success.  I also usually get reminded by one of my friends in Introductory Microeconomics that I have an online quiz due for Introductory Macroeconomics.

Monday/Tuesday: Continue to slowly slog through problem sets for fluids and p-chem.  Possibly start on my lab report for Physical Chemistry Lab, i.e., find out how bad my data from last week was.  If I have a bio problem set, continue working start on that.  I also have the option to attend office hours for bio and/or fluids.

Wednesday: After my seven and a half almost-straight hours of class (I have a lunch break), I have house dinner, then usually work on homework for anywhere from three to six hours.  I have to get my p-chem lab report written and do the pre-lab for the lab the next day.  I also typically start compiling answers for p-chem, fluids, and bio at this point in the week.

Thursday: On Thursdays I have six and a half hours of class with a lunch break.  That is followed by p-chem office hours for around two hours, followed by a half hour dinner, followed by somewhere between three to five hours of fluids office hours.  This is also the day I have lab, so I have new data to analyze for next week.

Friday morning: Turn in problem sets.

Friday afternoon: Three hour break.

Friday evening: Receive an email that reads like this: “Problem set (#) has been posted and will be due next Friday at (time).”

Go back to the top and repeat until the semester ends.

Note for anyone who’s done programming before: No, Ctrl+c does not work.  Unfortunately, neither does ‘break’ or interrupting or quitting the kernel.