The Last Two Weeks and Prelim Woes

Since my last post, I’ve taken my final three prelims of the semester, (mostly) completed the last two experiments for orgo lab, and turned in three problem sets and two critiques in the two days before Thanksgiving break.  I managed to take six out of my seven prelims on left-handed desks, but for the final prelim of the semester, we were kicked out of our own building by a CS class (CS 3110).  Not cool.  The class had to split up into two smaller rooms with a shortage (though not a complete and utter lack) of left-handed desks and by the time I got to the prelim room, there were people sitting next to all the left-handed desks.

It wasn’t the worst room I’ve taken a prelim in; that honor goes to Call Auditorium.  The desks are approximately the size of four postage stamps and at any given time someone is lunging for their test because their desk has fallen down.  Again.  I mean, why would anyone even think about making a desk that stays horizontal?  That’s so 1950s.  Now we have hover paper and mind outlets where you don’t need to write with your hands; you just think and the words appear on the paper.  Oh, wait.  We don’t.

I do have a funny story about another prelim in a large auditorium.  I think it was my first differential equations prelim and I had settled in and was waiting for the test to be passed out.  As it got nearer to the start time for the prelim, people were still coming in and having trouble finding seats.  Since the prelim was scheduled to start in just a few minutes, the TAs started handing out exam booklets.  Some people near the front started to get confused, which was when the mystery of the missing seats was solved.  There were students from two different classes in the auditorium.  Either Cornell double booked the auditorium or someone made a mistake.  And I don’t think it was the engineers, because we actually needed a room that size.  The other class was an ILR class with three a few dozen people in it.

And now that I’ve discussed just a few of the horrible things that can happen during a prelim (I’ve got plenty more, including the time we listened to pipes clanking and hissing for ninety minutes straight and the time we were sent to the wrong prelim room.) here are some pictures of the current snow:

That’s the same waterfall from my last post.

Winter is Coming

I walked to my fifth prelim of the semester in snow last night, and this morning, the slope had turned white.  Ithaca’s twelve five months of winter are beginning.

But I’m actually not going to complain about the weather right now.  Last Tuesday it was over 60 degrees and I went for a walk in shorts and a t-shirt.  I was actually just going to Collegetown on an errand but as I was heading back to West, I decided it was so nice out that I should check out a trail that I walked past a few times a week all summer.  It turns out there’s a short trail-like path behind the engineering quad that loops around a section of the creek.

After walking back to the start of the trail, I decided the weather really was too nice to waste, so I then went up to North Campus and walked the entire way around Beebe Lake.  A lot of the leaves had already fallen, but the sun was out, and the walk was totally worth it.

And then I got back to my room and had an organic chemistry problem set and quiz, pre-lab, a lab report, and creative writing critiques to complete, as well as the first of three prelims in eight days to study for.

161 Things Every Cornellian Should Do, #31

31. Spend a summer at Cornell and enjoy Ithaca’s few months of warm weather.

I spent upwards of thirty-five hours a week in Olin for the entire summer, but when I wasn’t working in a windowless basement room, I had the weekends and evenings free to explore Ithaca.  Here’s the summer in pictures and commentary:

On average, I had one peanut butter and jam sandwich a day.  Over the course of the summer, I consumed four and a half pounds of peanut butter, between three and four dozen eggs, three pounds of cheese, and five and a half gallons of milk, among other things.

There was construction everywhere all summer, including a project right in front of Olin Hall that I had to navigate every day to get to work.

I’m on a quest to see how many things I can bake in a muffin tin.  So far I’ve done apple pies (shown above), bread pudding, eggs, brownies, and chocolate cupcakes.  I cooked for myself made sandwiches all summer so I tried out a bread pudding recipe with the end slices.  I also successfully cooked chicken and managed to make dinner every night using only a single pot and frying pan.

I went hiking a couple times when I could find someone to drive me.

There was reading for fun.  [Books shown: Our Town, Thornton Wilder; Lucky Jim, Kingsley Amis; 2061: Odyssey Three, Arthur C. Clarke; Animal Farm, George Orwell.]

And trips to the farmer’s market.

Peach picking.  I haven’t been apple picking in years, and this was my first time picking peaches.

And finally, expeditions to the Plantations.  Besides the pouring rain that deluged us every time we tried to leave Olin, summer was great.  There were no problem sets, which meant that after leaving Olin for the day, I had nothing to do.  Ironically enough, even after being outside for decent portions of the summer, the closest I got to being sunburned was during a field hockey game after classes started.  The sun was out for once and the band was in prime roasting position on the metal bleachers . . .