If September was full of classes, October was even more full of classes (and, spoiler alert: November was even worse). I took performance rock climbing just so that I would be forced to do something outside of Olin in the middle of the week. Plus, I like climbing. Actually, though, if you bring your meals, you can easily spend twelve hours in Olin between classes, office hours, and writing lab reports. If your research lab is also in Olin, it’s even easier to step outside at eleven at night and realize that you haven’t seen the sun or breathed fresh air since nine in the morning when you came to Olin.
So I spent a lot of time in Olin last semester. I had one weekend which I not only didn’t spend in Olin, but I wasn’t in Ithaca at all. It was fall break weekend, and I started it off with my junior year/summer roommate. In anticipation of cooler weather and in search of fall colors, we decided to hike the Six Mile Creek area. What we really wanted to do was hike the Cayuga Trail out and back, but I didn’t have time for a seventeen mile hike. Six Mile Creek was nice.
When I returned to my apartment, I had enough time to eat a peanut butter and jam sandwich before I headed out again to the band room. The band had been asked to play at a wedding, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to (kind of) attend a wedding. We played after the ceremony, and besides the Alma Mater, we also played the Muppets theme song and a few other selections. I mean, it’s in our folder, and they requested it, so we played it. After the wedding, I returned to my apartment, had dinner, did laundry, and packed my bags.
While my classmates went home to see family, or stayed in Ithaca to catch up on work and relax, I was headed off to a conference [Society of Rheology annual meeting, if anyone’s interested] with the research group I had worked in over the summer. We left early Sunday morning, then I spent the next three and a half days listening to talks about anything and everything involving liquids, suspensions, colloids, polymers, and bread dough. Yes, really.
Upon my return to Ithaca, I had two days to get together with my lab group and put together a lab report. We’d been working on our parts separately but we needed to edit and pull the parts together into a semi-coherent report. We met on Saturday morning at 9 in the morning and worked until 3 in the afternoon. After that, I ate a peanut butter and jam sandwich (I ate a lot of peanut butter and jam sandwiches last fall, okay?) and went to the red/white hockey game. The red/white game kicks off the hockey season, and features Cornell against . . . Cornell. The men’s and women’s teams split up into a red team and a white team, and the band splits as well (freshmen/seniors/grad students/alumni in the white band, sophomores/juniors in the red band). The band thinks it’s a whole lot of fun, and spends the week leading up to the game, not to mention the game itself, heckling anyone in the opposite band.
And with the next week came another lab, another lab report, and so on and so forth. Repeat until everyone passes out the semester ends.