Last Course Enroll Ever + Best Class Schedule Yet

By this point in the semester, students in all years at Cornell have (or were at least supposed to) pick a tentative class schedule for next semester and bBecause I’m a senior I got to pick my classes before pretty much anyone else (other than some of the grad students of course).

I set my alarm for 6:50am the morning of Course Enroll and had all of the classes I wanted prepared in list form from most important to least important (to make sure I signed up for the ones that are hardest to get into first).

So around 6:55am I logged into the website and spent the last 5 minutes refreshing the website before my enrollment time slot started, until finally, at 7am sharp I got in. I quickly selected the first two classes that would fill up the fastest… success. I then added the other classes that I knew would have plenty of room…  done.

I checked the clock… 7:03am. Ummm, really? That’s it? I logged onto Facebook before going back to sleep and saw the status updates from my other senior friends, it seems we all though the same thing: we’ve come a long way from Freshman year when everyone freaked out for Course Enroll, the server couldn’t handle all the people logging on to the system so it took an hour and a half to add all your classes and in the end you had 8:40 sections every day because you didn’t get into most of the classes you wanted.

So now let’s do a recap of how awesome being a second semester senior is going to be for me:

Fridays off? Check.
Mondays off??? Yep, check that one too.
Classes before noon only twice a week? Check.
Finally taking the Wines class? Check!

I’m also going to get to take classes with two of my favorite professors and got into a seminar on ADD/ADHD (sounds dorky but I’m really excited)! Anyway, I can’t wait. But really, I can, because it will be my last semester at Cornell. Sigh.

A Pretty Cool Cornell Alum (and friend!)

I just want to take a minute to talk about a friend of mine who is doing something pretty cool this “semster”.

My friend Brandon Imp, who I know through the Schwartz Centre, (he started the semesterly “24 Hour Playfests” at Cornell  and I met him when I participated in the first one my freshman spring semester – I’ll talk more about this in another entry) graduated a semester early this December.

Brandon is one of the (many) students who took advantage of the open theatre department that Cornell offers as he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences but still got to participate in theatre classes and productions. Right now though, (before he eventually makes his way to medical school) instead of sitting around for the semester he is hiking the Appalaichan Trail! I think that’s a pretty awesome reason to graduate early.

He’s currently keeping a blog about his adventures, along with two other friends, and I wanted to point you all toward the link:

Check out what he’s doing for the spring and let him know that I sent you!

Brandon, the adventurer himself.
Brandon, the adventurer himself.

Rush Week

I just wanted to do a quick post to kind of debrief my first year on the other side of formal sorority recruitment. I could go on about my schedule for each day, but that might be kind of boring for both of us,  haha.

Overall… I had fun! I really did. Everyone says that recruitment is more fun for boys and “pledging” (which we call the “new member period”) is more fun for girls. The week did seem pretty long, and it was exhausting since there were several days we didn’t get out until after 11pm but it was  great to get to spend so much time with my sisters.


1) I LOVE dancing. I’ll dance to anything. So obviously I was pretty excited when we were supposed to rock out everytime a group of “potential new members” (also known as PNMs – some recruitment lingo for you) entered or exited our house. On average you get about 6-7 groups a day, so we danced a lot! We got huge speakers and set them up in the foyer, making sure we were loud enough to wake up the boys who live in the fraternity across the street… and next door… and two doors down.

2) I also got to put the skills I learned in directing class to excellent use and got to direct our skit for skit round! I think we definitely produced some quality theatre, the Tony nomination should come anytime now. Acutally, this may not be the highlight of my career, but it was so much fun to work on. And I’m pretty sure I’ll never have to work with someone on the impression of the guy from “The Hangover” again.


1) When you live in a house with 40+ girls getting ready in the morning can be interesting. Fortunately during classes we all have different schedules, so I’ve never had to wait for a shower. Rush week is a different case… we all need to be ready and downstairs at the same time. We learned early in the week that if you wake up a few minutes later than everyone else, you’re going to have a COLD shower. This meant that we all kept trying to wake up earlier than everyone else to get some of the hot water.

2) We also had very long days. Very. The first round of each day started around 9 or 10 o’clock. The last round usually ended around dinner time. By the time we were done everything we needed to do to get ready for the next day, it was pretty late.

In the end though, even though we were all exhausted by the last day, we got a group of amazing new girls who I’m so excited to get to know better.

I’ll leave you with a picture of our reaction to the end of recruitment 2010 🙂

More dancing!
More dancing!

Travel Stories Part II

But the travel stories don’t end yet. The trip back to campus was just as eventful.

It seems the weather doesn’t want winter break to end either, because there has been a snow storm or some type of weird weather every year just at the time I’m trying to get back to Cornell.

This year my flight from home was delayed. Not a big surprise, I have bad luck with flights. Normally this isn’t a big deal, but this time I had to catch a connecting flight in Ottawa.

Just before landing, the flight attendant announce that I would have 42 minutes to make my flight. I ran off the plane as soon as the door opened at the gate and tried my best to follow the American flags that were supposed to take me to the American connections.

After some wrong turns I made it to the second security gates, but didn’t realize I had passed the area where I was supposed to pick up my bags. Some airport employees pointed me in the right direction and I ended up in another line. (Cool sidepoint: The line next to mine was reserved just for the Ottawa Senators hockey team! They weren’t flying that day though :P)

When I got to the front of the line I told the lady behind the desk which flight I was on and how many bags I had. She told me I was cutting it close with time and called the gate to tell them I would be there soon. Then she took me into this little room by myself where my bags were magically waiting for me.

Next I lugged my bags through security again and dropped them off before customs.

After chatting to the customs officer about her niece that went to Cornell I finally made it to the main terminal just in time to hear them calling my name over the PA system.

I ran to the gate and made it just in time to walk on the plane before they shut the doors.

But it doesn’t end there… After arriving in New York City, I missed the bus from Port Authority to Ithaca by FIVE MINUTES and had to wait two hours for the next bus. Ahhhh.

But my long day of travelling was made so much better when I was greeted at the bus stop with big hugs from two of my sorority sisters 🙂

It’s good to be back!

Travel Stories

As an international student at Cornell, it can sometimes be an adventure just trying to get to or from campus when it’s time to go home. Unfortunately, the adventures usually aren’t very much fun and they more often than not end up with me having to take several forms of transportation just to get to the airport so I can wait for a plane that’s been delayed for two hours.

Winter break wasn’t an exception.

To current and future Cornell students, a word of advice: if you need to take the bus to leave campus for break… don’t wait at the Collegetown stop. Instead, go to the North Campus [first] stop, (even if you have to take a taxi,) and wait there. I learned this the hard way.

I need to explain to you my regular route home to Eastern Canada…

Step 1: 4.5 hour Shortline bus from Ithaca to NYC.

Step 2: Airport shuttle from Port Authority to whatever airport in the NYC area I’m flying out of.

Step 3: Flight home (if I’m lucky I’ll get a direct flight, but I usually end up going through Toronto or Montreal).

Step 4: My parents pick me up at the airport and I finally make it home.

To recap, that’s a bus, a shuttle, a plane and a car. Sometimes there’ll be a taxi in there too and I even added a train once.

This last time I made the mistake of waiting for the bus in Collegetown. My flight was supposed to leave Newark at noonish on Saturday after my last exam, so I calculated that to get there on time (international flight = 90 minutes beforehand) I needed to catch the 1:30am Shortline bus to New York.

So I waited for the bus in front of the Schwartz Centre with about 100 other people who needed to catch flights. When it finally came, the drivers came out and said they had no room for luggage and only a few seats left so they could only take a couple people who had carry-on luggage. Looking down at my wheelie suitcase that is more than half my size… this was definitely not me. I waited in the cold, hoping that another bus would come, but I was out of luck. There were no buses coming anytime soon.

After awhile I went back to my friends Collegetown house and stayed there until the next bus was supposed to come. I could probably still get there to make my flight if the bus wasn’t too delayed, but I wasn’t really expecting to have to change my plans.

At 2:50 in the morning I took a taxi to North Campus and saw the bus already waiting there with plenty of room for me. I learned my lesson.

The trip after that was pretty smooth actually and I got on my [direct!] flight without much trouble. Luckily for me, I got home just before the airports were shut down and flights cancelled due to a major snow storm in the Eastern States.


Okay, I’m not a huge fan of Hallowe’en. I usually try to participate, but it doesn’t really make the short list of my favorite holidays.

The main reason I don’t really like Hallowe’en is that I’m not very good at it. Some people are awesome at Hallowe’en. You’ve seen these people. They start brainstorming ideas for costumes in April, design them over the summer, buy supplies in early September and then spend two months perfecting the costume until the last week of October. I’m not one of those people. I’m not even one of those people who picks a costume a few weeks before Hallowe’en and orders one off the internet.

Nope, I’m one of the people running out to Target or the costume supply store in the mall on the Wednesday before Hallowe’en night… sometimes I’m pulling things out of my closet or gluing paper together two hours before I’m supposed to go out.

This weekend was no exception. I did have a lot of fun though.

Some of the frats on campus put together haunted houses to support their philanthropies. I hadn’t gone to any of them before, but this year I ended up at the Pi Kappa Phi haunted house, with proceeds going to support their national philanthropy Push America.

I walked in with two friends, not really expecting much, and walked out at the end thinking it was awesome! It was actually scary too. The whole set-up was very impressive. I think I’m a haunted house convert, I’ll definitely be going back next year.

The actual Hallowe’en nights (Friday and Saturday) were pretty typical for Halloween. I love seeing all the costume ideas while people are walking between parties in Collegetown. I saw some pretty good ones this year, haha. Favourite was probably, umm, the Moustache Faerie at my friend’s party. He was handing out moustaches all night. Great idea.

Catching Up

Don’t worry, I haven’t disappeared! Well, not really. I’ve been in prelim land for the past few weeks. I’ve pretty much had almost as many prelims, assignments, projects and presentations as there have been school days but I’m on the other side of that now. Thank goodness! I actually only have one more prelim this semester, so I’m sailing from now ’til December… kind of, I guess.

Well so much has happened in the last little while, so I’m going to write a little blurb about each.

Fall Break: I stayed at school during Fall Break for the first time ever. This was a little weird, because I’ve gone home the past two years (Fall Break falls – ha – on Canadian Thanksgiving) and campus gets pretty quiet. It’s kind of eerie actually. I had the house almost to myself though, which was cool, and I got a ton of work done. I did drive  out one day with some friends to a winery on Seneca Lake for lunch. It was a little cold, but the food was good and the leaves were changing so it was so pretty.

Homecoming: So much fun! My day started early, really early, with a 9:30am mixer with one of the fraternities on campus. Next they drove us to the Greek tailgate. It was my first time ever tailgating and I’m kind of addicted, I loved it. I love a barbeque anyway, but now I can’t wait for next year to do it again! The football game itself I’d rather not talk about. In fact, it was a little embarrasing. By the end of the first quarter everyone was standing up to yell at the field. the friend I was sitting next to, and I kind of didn’t want to watch so we stayed in our seats. This is what I saw for most of the game:

My view of the Homecoming football game.
My view of the Homecoming football game.

The weekend after homecoming my sorority had our crush party. The idea behind a crush party is that you can invite your “crush” since invitations are supposed to be anonymous. Most people just bring their friends now though, and I’m not really sure how invitations could be anonymous (unless you had a friend deliver your invitation) because you need a paper inviation to get into the party. However, I do know someone who was invited to a crush party last year and still doesn’t know who invited him, so I guess it’s possible.

Good News

There’s a blog written by a Cornell student that I like to check once in awhile. He usually researches and writes about the history of some buildings on campus or in the Cornell area, but once in awhile he’ll have some news updates on what’s going on around here that we may not have heard about in the Sun. If you’re interested in checking it out it’s called: Ithacating in Cornell Heights. I recommend it; he’s got the background for most of the Greek houses on campus and recently wrote and interesting entry on Willard Strait.

Anyway, I’m not bringing this up because I like his blog… the other day he gave us good news to make the fast approaching winter a little less depressing. Apparently 2009-2010 is an El Nino year. I’m no meteorologist, but from what this blogger writes, that means the Northeast (including Ithaca) will probably have a warmer winter than average this year! Other El Nino years seem to have been an average of around 5 degrees warmer.

I’m not usually one to complain about the weather in Ithaca (seriously, I’m Canadian), but a possibly warmer winter is definitely not a bad thing. He does, however, have a disclaimer at the end of his post: 5 degrees warmer in January is still pretty cold in Ithaca. Very true.

OK, I’m done thinking about the Winter right now though. The leaves have been starting to change around here and it’s really really pretty but I’m not completely ready to let go of the beautiful summer weather.

Love Songs

I made it through to the weekend! I feel like I can do anything now after I survived this week. Actually, it wasn’t that bad, the due dates for multiple things just ended up on the same days on top of other stuff I had to accomplish before the week was over.

However, instead of going right home to nap yesterday (Friday) after classes were over, I walked down to the Schwartz to see the black box show “Love Song”. One of the cool things about the theatre department here, is that sudents can apply to put on shows or do explorations as part of the black box series at the Schwartz Centre. If your proposal is accepted, you get to use the resources at the Schwartz to do your project plus a mentor who gives you any guidance you need. From my experience, the people who apply usually direct themselves, but it’s also good for playwrights looking to do a staged reading or just trying something new with a classic play.

This Friday I went to see a play directed my friend Kelly called “Love Song”. Pretty much everyone  (if not everyone) involved in the show was a student, from the lighting designer, to the costume designer and the stage manager. I’d heard a lot about the show from Kelly and my friends who were in it, but I didn’t know what to expect. I definitely didn’t expect it to be completely hilarious! AND the audience was packed! It was a great show, and we were all so proud & happy that Kelly’s first big directing project had turned out so well.

The Love Song Poster
The Love Song Poster

We went upstairs after the show to the green room (the room in the Schwartz where you could find theatre majors sleeping/working/hanging out probably anytime of the day) and had a little opening night party to congratulate everyone involved in the show. One of the Schwartz staff members also made a cake to look like the poster, it was pretty awesome (see the picture below).

The cake Terry made for the "Love Song" opening. I took this from her blog:
The cake Terry made for the "Love Song" opening. I took this from her blog:

In other news: I signed a lease this week for housing next year! I’ll be living in Collegetown less than 5 minutes from the Schwartz. Very excited : ) Not thinking about the fact it’ll be my senior year…

Prelims and Twister

Ok, the last week or so has been crazy. Prelims have started (which means I guess the semester has offically started too) on top of quizzes that shouldn’t really have been called quizzes and running around campus for everything else I have to do.

I did have my first project (scene) presentation for Directing I though and I think it went well! We had to direct a scene in the “region of silence” which means no talking or pantomime (harder than it sounds). I feel good about that class now though, so I’m exciting for our next project: directing a scene with a real script (that we didn’t write ourselves)!

In other news, I’ve been one of those annoying people promoting events on Ho Plaza (and Collegetown) for the past week and a bit becaause “The Servant of Two Masters” ran at the Schwartz Centre for the past two weekends, we need to get out there and make sure people know that stuff actually goes on in that building across from Collegetown Bagels, haha. (True story: one time our group was quartercarding in front of the Schwartz and someone said they didn’t know what/where the Schwartz Centre was. My friend had to point them to the building right behind them that they walk past everyday to get to class. Since we’re there everyday for theatre classes and rehearsal etc. we forget that not everyone practically lives there.)

I went to see the show yesterday though and loved it. I laughed so hard. Watch out for the next show of the season “Nice People Dancing to Good Country Music”  in a couple weeks and my friend’s blackbox project “Love Song” running this weekend!

Also… I’ve been out with my sisters promoting our annual Twister Tournament philanthropy event that was this afternoon! Ahh, this was my first Twister tournament, but it was definitely the most instense Twister I’ve ever seen. Actually, it was a bit more wrestling than Twister, but still, so much fun! At the end of the day it was a great success (even though we had to move it inside to RPCC because of rain) and combined with what the sisters have been raising on our own, we’re bringing over $2000 to a walk in Syracuse next weekend for our chapter’s national philanthropy Autism Speaks.

That’s it for now though, I should probably go get some work done. Sorry this was so long 😛

A Canadian's Adventures in Ithaca

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