Slope Studio

Cornell is like a friendly, quaint, small neighborhood in the sense that sometimes, all it takes is a knock on the door and a smile to get to know someone or something new. This is exactly what happened last Saturday, when I made my way downstairs in Willard Straight Hall and decided to enter Slope Studio for the first time.

Slope Studio is a new addition to the Cornell community that gives students a space to create art and learn new skills. Located in the basement of Willard Straight Hall, off of a narrow hallway, it feels like an island. It is closed off from the busy hustling of the outside world and tucked away in its own colorful, cozy corner. When I stepped inside of the space with a friend of mine, I was greeted by some kind artists and a student/teacher pair working on a colored pencil drawing. My friend and I were immediately welcomed to use any of the materials or spaces provided, with the only requirement being that we signed our names onto a sheet. We were then shown the the Slope Studio closet, which was stacked high with a wide array of materials, including easels, canvas, acrylics, sketchbooks, cameras, watercolors, and pastels. After looking around, we decided to grab a sketchbook and join the duo we saw at the table to for some colored pencil drawing.

Seated on tall chairs at the wooden drawing table, my friend and I spent about an hour and half drawing. It was a peaceful, freeing experience. I got the impression that if we wanted advice from the teacher or artists there, we were welcome to ask questions. But, if we just wanted to draw alone or enjoy a private creative space, we were also welcome to do so. I felt completely comfortable, and that can be credited to both the space and the people there. It was also refreshing to be able to use high quality art materials in any form or way that we wished. The sink behind us held a cup filled with soaking brushes and a white palette with colorful, watery paint still flowing through its crevices. This tempted me to touch upon some painting, as well, but I knew that I could not stay there all day, no matter how much I wanted to.

I left the studio with a drawing of a flower, and my friend left with a drawing of various facial parts. We both agreed to return to the studio in the future, and felt very grateful for the members of the Cornell community that made this space possible. In the next few weeks, I’ll be attending some of the classes that the studio offers. I’ve already got my eye set upon a hand knitting class offered next week! It’s opportunities like these that make me feel like “Any Person, Any Study” extends far beyond its literal meaning, beyond the classroom, and beyond bureaucratic borders at Cornell. For that, I am also very thankful.

 

A Moment

A glimpse of the crisp and perfectly cool fall, before the occasional snow/hail/rain becomes frequent and Ithaca descends into its lasting winter. One of the most frequently heard advice I hear on campus is to enjoy the fall weather while it lasts. Some years, it lingers, and some, it disappears as abruptly as it appears. I certainly had that in mind as I took a moment to breathe and snap a few photos in this peaceful nook between the Campus store and the Statler. Regardless of the weather, Cornell is never lacking in beautiful spaces suited for taking a moment to rest, temporarily forgetting about hectic life movements, and appreciating the spacious and natural campus.fall ithaca fall ithaca1

Lost in the Law School

This Wednesday, while making a familiar stride towards Collegetown and inevitably passing in front of the Law School after a long day of classes, my friend mentioned to me that she was hoping to plan a day to study in Cornell’s Law School library. After realizing that she had never been inside the law school, despite passing it daily, without a second thought, we both made an abrupt right turn into the building. At first, we whimsically made it a goal between us to make it to the highest tower of the building, without maps or guidance of any sort. Since it’s a vastly huge building with as many narrow, subtle passages, and seemingly endless stairs and doorways as open spaces, this proved to be very difficult. Fifteen minutes into our exploration, we learned that the tower is off-limits to the public. Regardless of not reaching our original plan, we continued quietly roaming without a plan or aim, making sure not to bother anyone, but internally sharing our own moments of excitement as we found different aspects and corners of the school.

The school is very interesting in that like much of Cornell, it is a blend of old and new, historic and innovative. One turn might reveal an early 20th century elevator and grand chandeliers hanging from high ceilings and the next a warmly lit, modern cafe-style study center. From a quick glance upon the outside, the school certainly looks as old as it is, but its recent renovations and sections of modern design show otherwise.

Apart from the beauty of the school and its famous library, it was also interesting to discover other parts of it such as the room that once was the One World Cafe, the religious communities and centers of prayer, the Alternatives Library, the Anabel Taylor auditorium, and the One World Room.

Below are just a few pictures from my enlivening experience!ls1 ls2 ls3 ls4 ls5 ls7

 

Homecoming

Every year, homecoming weekend is full of bustling, big events, nostalgic alumni, and a jolly air of celebration for our school and community. This year was Cornell’s sesquicentennial, or 150th birthday, so homecoming weekend was hugely heightened in spirit and spunk.

Without exaggerating, I must say that the fireworks and laser light show on Friday night was really a spectacular. I had never seen the bleachers so fully packed in my three years here. People enthusiastically chanted “ONE-FIVE-O” from the stands and stage, including several school dance and music teams, the mayor of Ithaca, and both Cornell’s present and future presidents. Seeing our Cornell presidents and our community in such an informal and fun but prideful setting was a treat, even if at times a bit cheesy. I felt a mix of gratitude, joy, nostalgia, and pride as I stood upon the stands and watched the fantastically organized firework light up Schoellkopf Field and the faces of the crowd. I realize this description sounds quite gleeful and ideal, but I do feel that the event deserves the weight of these words. Those few moments of the show were not only memorable, but also emotional. They reminded me of how thankful I am to spend my four years here with bright showers of brilliant lights, surrounded by my humble and caring friends, and thinking of my family back home and the great opportunities and people I’ve met while here.

These pictures can hardly depict how wonderful the show was, but might give a quick idea of my view from the bottom bleachers.

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The next day, Saturday, Cornell also provided many great events, such as tailgating, which included a ferris wheel and free games and giveaways, the football game, and a concert featuring Icona Pop and Grace Potter. The picture below is a blurry attempt at capturing the huge crowd and energy at the concert, which was a great way to end a busy and fulfilling weekend.10735687_10152483275984702_269013399_n

 

Autumnal Activities

Every year, Ithaca celebrates its shortest-lived season with an enthusiasm unmatched by any other town I’ve visited! Left and right, there are reminders of Fall as soon as the weather moves from breezy 70s to cool 60s and below.

Today, I did two activities that I also did last year, but with the same, if not even more, enjoyment. One of those activities is the Apple Harvest Festival. The annual Apple Harvest Festival expanded and fell on a rainy day this year, but was still full of quirky, crafty, and seasonally appropriate activities. There seemed to be more vendors this year, and even though the downtown Commons area where it is located is under renovation, it was still very accessible and easily navigable.

Just a few photos from my trip include a part of the State Theatre, where some great folk and acapella groups performed on an outdoor stage, a pumpkin-pie funnel cake, a lovely fall display from one of the many vendors there, and cashmere goats that I make sure to pet, each year! Not pictured were the lovely home-made jam that I purchased, the delightful array of pies and pastries, dozens of creative craft vendors, and the large amount of citizens, students, children, and dogs who made sure to attend the event, despite the dreary weather. Nothing stops Ithaca from celebrating Autumn!

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On the same day, I also went on a trip to Indian Creek farm, a local farm just a few miles away from campus. This farm offers plenty of “u-pick” fruits and vegetables and farmers market style produce. The people there were extremely friendly and I was able to avoid the long line for apple cider donuts at the Apple Fest by having delicious apple cider donuts, there. The hillside views on the farm were breathtaking, even in the most literal sense of the word. My friend’s father, who was visiting for the weekend said, “Ithaca is a great place to visit, a great place to take a break and truly breathe.”

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On and off the Cornell campus, Ithaca in Autumn is stunning and almost indescribably freeing. I’ll be sure to post some pictures of the campus when more of the leaves turn.