When you say something stupid on a campus tour, 20 people hear it and are likely to forget about it when you deliver your next joke (not that my tour is like a Margaret Cho set or anything). One particular incident comes to mind: I was explaining to a lovely group of visitors that “the painted footprints running across the Arts Quad are there because, as legend has it, when a virgin crosses the quad at midnight, AD White and Ezra Cornell’s statues come to life. The two men, our founders, journey to the middle of the quad to congratulate each other on the chastity of Cornell’s students as the chimes ring from the clocktower.”
“…but that obviously doesn’t happen these days! Anyway, can anyone guess what the most popular major within the College of Arts and Sciences is?”
And…cue awkward stares from tour group.
What I really meant to say was that the chimes don’t go off anymore because there are sleepy students living down on West Campus who are in no mood to hear the Cornell Chimes after 9 pm, which I thought I had mentioned earlier in the tour. My bad.
They forgot about my little Janet Jackson slip once I started talking about how the whole quad gets hardcore toilet papered the day before spring break. No worries. But… now I’m saying things on the internet. What I say can be quoted anywhere, read by anyone, ripped apart by whichever critic decides to do so…and it’s tough to erase the kind of stuff that provokes negative criticism. I learned that I can’t please everyone in this thing, and that by putting myself in such a public arena, I should be careful how I represent myself. I am tempted to quote Christina Aguilera’s “Here to Stay” now, but I won’t. Ok, but this is a very Full House kind of moment I’m having with you here and it’s making me uncomfortable.
I will say, though, I shouldn’t have to censor myself. I am writing to represent an institution of higher learning…and one of the best and most progressive institutions in the world. Yet, if anyone read the entry I just wrote about a rather personal issue, you’ll notice it’s gone. It was censored.
Yes, that’s right: BIG SCANDALS, people. The allegedly “uncensored blog” was censored. Two people in particular contacted me directly and had some choice words for me about my last rather provocative entry and “suggested” kindly that I take it down.
Enraged yet? Ready to camp outside of Day Hall (the administration building) with the fervor of a Redbuddy?
No such campout necessary. The two disciplinarians were… Mark and Jutta Bromberg. My parents. The gentleman who pays my tuition and the lovely lady who gave me life. Those, friends, are two higher-ups you never, ever want to mess with. So sorry, mom and dad (especially about that Bursar bill). I will try to be a little less Dixie Chick with my personal rants next time.