2
June
2008

Signing off for now – alumna post!0

“Ithaka”

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As you set out for Ithaka

hope your road is a long one,

full of adventure, full of discovery.

Laistrygonians, Cyclops,

angry Poseidon-don’t be afraid of them;

you’ll never find things like that on your way

as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,

as a rare excitement

stirs your spirit and your body.

Laistrygonians, Cyclops,

wild Poseidon-you won’t encounter them

unless you bring them along inside your soul,

unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

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Hope your road is a long one. May there be many summer mornings when,

with what pleasure, what joy,

you enter harbors you’re seeing for the first time;

may you stop at Phoenician trading stations

to buy fine things,

mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,

sensual perfume of every kind-

as many sensual perfumes as you can;

and may you visit many Egyptian cities

to learn and go on learning from their scholars.

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Keep Ithaka always in your mind.

Arriving there is what you’re destined for

But don’t hurry the journey at all.

Better if it lasts for years,

so you’re old by the time you reach the island,

wealthy with all you’ve gained on the way,

not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.

Without her you wouldn’t have set out.

She has nothing left to give you now.

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And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.

Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,

you’ll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

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- by Constantine Cavafy

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An appropriate Cornell sign-off – thanks for all of the memories and new potentials revealed!

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24
May
2008

Almost last post . . .1

“Look at what you love on graduation day. Take the classes, the friends, and the family that have inspired the most in you. Save them in your permanent memory and make a backup disk. When you remember what you love, you will remember who you are. If you remember who you are, you can do anything.” -Cathy Guisewite

“A Slice of the Pie of Life” is a phrase I heard recently that I thought would well fit this space. Upon viewing an interaction or interesting situation, one could say, “Now there is a slice of the pie of life.” Aptly, I hope, I’ve provided a slice of my – and Cornell – life for you to know.

It’s hard to believe two years ago, the Student Blogging Project was merely in the works of a way for students to gain more of a presence on cornell.edu. Through the incredible dedication of Lisa and her staff in Web Communications, this idea has become a viable and successful reality. Especially without you Lisa, we would not be here spouting off on Cornelliana. And thanks also to Tommy Bruce and the rest of the administration’s members who are brave enough to support a project where students can freely express their deepest causes or merely just run their mouths on the homepage – daily!

Thanks also to all the others who make Cornell what it is – from the maintenance staff to President Skorton, I can think of few places on earth where I’ve run into people who are more friendly, kind and consistently interested in other people’s well being (with a few notable exceptions from Long Island – I’m not a hick just because I’m from Ohio!) Appreciation also goes out to my professors, who have helped me to push the classroom beyond four walls to a global sphere.

I cannot express enough gratitude in this space for all of the communities that have made Cornell my second home. Many thanks go out to the MFCNS program, Tridelta and EARS for helping to shape my campus experience and providing endless support. To the CIVR staff (pro staff too) – I’ve never met people who are more fun to work with at 7:45 am – keep up the enthusiasm!

On a more personal note, a thanks to all of my friends (specifically, D6, the J. Mo Faithful, 410 Stewart and all of the others – you know who you are!) who have allowed me to make their lives public fodder in this space. You all are indispensable, and have helped me to become the person I am today in more ways than you will ever know. And of course, my family (especially Mimi and Poppy, my most faithful readers) for just being you. I am one lucky lady to have each and everyone of you in my life.

And of course, to my readers. I would be just one other narcissist in cyberspace without you!

And just in case you were wondering – I’m headed to Phoenix, Arizona, to start Teach for America in less than two weeks! I’ll be teaching elementary special education and completing my masters in special ed at ASU (but always cheering for the Big Red). After that, we’ll see where life takes me – or, where I can take it. It’s sure to be one exciting ride, and thanks for sharing part of it with me.

23
May
2008

Oh Hey Senior Week0

“Forward, forward – let us not disappoint the moon before us.” -Den Sute-Jo

Despite less than perfect weather, my friends and I have enjoyed spending the past week painting Cornell and Ithaca with Big Red spirit. Even though “senior week” is bittersweet with the “g-word” (as my friend Elana terms graduation) approaching, my chums and I have been living it up and making memories.

We’ve enjoyed time at favorite spots, including the Ithaca Farmer’s Market, a must see for anyone in the area. The food is phenomenal and you can definitely get a feel for Ithacan culture – even the boats parked near the market are aptly named to fit the flavor of this town!

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I also conducted my last tour ever. Kind of sad, but it did include an alternate route; since all of my friends came on the tour, we decided to make a stop at the Dairy Bar for some ice cream!

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Freshman and Senior Year Roommates on my last tour!

A highlight of the week included a wet afternoon on Lake Cayuga. My friend BC is quite the sailor and has been bugging me all semester to go out on the water with him. Procrastinating in true college student style, I waited until our last week here – 40 degrees and rainy. Nevertheless, BC, Alex and I braved the elements to enjoy a few hours bumping around on the waves.

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First Mate Alex and Cornell up on the Hill

Alex and BC both have much more sailing experience than me (mast? line? boom? OUCH). BC was deemed captain (we were on his boat after all) and Alex first mate – I was demoted from second mate to deckhand during our trip. Maybe I should have taken sailing for a gym class . . .

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First Mate and the Captain preparing The Rascal

Other events included a high ropes course, twilight cruise, wine tour and trip to the Commons, as well as several delicious meals out and evenings socializing. It’s been a wet week (pretty clear with raincoats in every picture) of firsts and lasts, but all in all, unforgettable!

16
May
2008

DONE!!0

“Why not go out on a limb? Isn’t that where the fruit is?” -Calender

Enough said!

15
May
2008

Last night in the libe?0

“If we are to save our children then we must become people they will look up to.” -Geoffrey Canada 

Almost everyone at Cornell is done with exams. I saw lots of cars busting at the seams today heading out of Ithaca.

Not this senior.

Oh yes, my Psych 282: Community Outreach final is at 2pm tomorrow. Beloved psych professor Harry Segal apologized for the time, but honestly, the people who schedule exams at Cornell fall into the category of “Very powerful – not to be messed with.”

Anyway, compared to a few evenings ago where I had to search multiple floors in Mann to find a chair (and no desk) tonight it seems like the plague hit Cornell. Uris is so empty it looks, well, naked.

I guess it’s a little bittersweet – my last time EVER cramming for an exam at Cornell. In some ways, I don’t want the finality of it all. But on the other hand, I have a feeling I’ll be pretty excited when I put down my last pencil tomorrow.

So enough procrastinating. I’m off to choose from one of 35 seats in the Dean Room and study female gang members, Fist Stick Knife Gun (an interesting read if you need one) and psychotherapy in the kitchen.

9
May
2008

Study/Party Week0

“Let the good times roll” -The Cars

Study week is supposed to be the time when Cornellians stake out a spot in the libe and begin diving into the reading they haven’t done all semester.

However, in many ways, study week is actually the last fun party time before we all have 20 hour a day parties in Uris and Mann. This is Cornell – you know we work hard. But don’t worry, if you want, you also have the option to play too.

Pretty much ever extracurricular activity I’m involved with on campus plans some type of end of the year event – parties, formals, you name it. Oh yeah, and the campus wide celebration known as Slope Day (I touched the lead singer of Gym Class Heroes as he walked through the crowd!) as well as my birthday (I eventually made it out of Olin). I’ve provided some photographic documentation of the fun before we all become bald from pulling out our hair because of exams.

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Slope Day/Birthday Brunch

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On the Slope!

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Tourguides gone wild!

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Look who showed up at the Tridelta Formal – the little bro

30
April
2008

Ringing in 22?0

“It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to . . .” -Lesley Gore

Yes, my big fat 22 b-day is in less than a half hour. And guess where I am?

OLIN LIBRARY.

Yep, I’m finishing a paper up about about democratic stability in the decentralized education systems of Switzerland and Northern Ireland. As riveting as this sounds, I think most would agree this isn’t the ideal recipe for one’s last birthday in college.

No fear though, I have plans to go to the Regent Lounge in the Statler after my last Cornell class EVER tomorrow at 3pm. It’s advertised as a place to, “unwind with your favorite beverage.” Case in point why you should go to a university with a school specializing in hospitality.

So cheers to birthdays and the last week of class Cornell. Currently I’m doing this with myself and my many caffeinated beverages.

21
April
2008

Yes, we have wireless quads.0

“[Spring is] when life’s alive in everything.” -Christina Rossetti

All day long, I’ve been walking like a tourist with my head towards the sky, enchanted by the trees that were bare yesterday and today are full of pink buds. The campus smells gorgeous.

I’m sitting here behind McGraw Hall on a stone carved out with a seat just big enough for me and my little old laptop. Ezra’s behind us and keeping an eye on the Arts Quad while I watch the sun literally set across the lake behind the west hill.

Cornell is in bloom my friends, and it is beautiful.

19
April
2008

Somebody, slow down the clock0

Charlotte: Don’t listen to her Carrie, it’s only been a month. It takes half of the total time you went out with someone to get over them.

Carrie: I always like a good math solution to any love problem.

-Sex and the City

I’m in Mann library, working away on a final project for my art history class. For no particular reason, I just got hit with a huge freak-out-I’m-graduating-moment (maybe because I’ve been listening to Coldplay? They always make me feel sappy and nostalgic . . .) Like literally, I almost just started bawling next to the circulation desk.

Before you write me off as a freak, consider the situation I’m in along with over 3,000 of my other classmates – we’ve been hanging out in the same places with the same people for the last three and a half years. We’ve all had our ups and downs, but for the majority of us, Cornell has offered an incredible college experience. Many of us have our plans ironed out for life post May 2008, and those of us who don’t will undoubtedly have settled on something fabulous in the near future (note to economy – stop stinking).

Although many of my friends are excited to graduate, I think we’re all nervous and sad too. I’ve never been very good with goodbyes because I have trouble dealing with the fact something could be gone forever. I guess I prefer to admit things will be different – which isn’t necessarily bad – instead of donezo forever. And in my short 21 years, I’ve found life usually has this funny way of throwing your past back at you in the most random of ways.

So I finally faced up to the math and the calender. I have five weeks (and one day – crucial) left here. I feel pulled between projects, parties, papers and people who I may not see again for a very long time. Kinda scary, but I guess it’s just how this all works.

I guess my Mann libe moment is an indication of how the reality of graduation hits people at weird times. For example, a few weeks ago I had a completely illogical Niagara Falls moment walking down the Slope right after sunset. Despite that I curse the Slope on mornings when I get all sweaty and nasty practically running up it to be ontime, it suddenly had the audacity to spur a nonstop sob session. I quickly decided I was being hilariously emo and started laughing at myself (ok, now I just sound crazy but you get the picture).

Yet, the reality of the moment struck me – I’m going to miss Cornell. And yes Cornell, because we are going to have to be in a long distance relationship, you will not probably, but most definitely make me cry.

Ok, back to Thomas Nast. And don’t worry, I put on some Nelly so I’m shaking instead of sobbing in my seat – at least for now!

7
April
2008

English 281: Creative Writing1

“I’ve put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant, and that’s the only way of insuring one’s immortality.” -James Joyce

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I’ve wanted to take this class for a long time, and I finally worked it into my schedule this semester. As part of the course, we not only create our own pieces of poetry and prose, but we also edit our peers’ work and read the products of renowned writers.

We also attend readings by writers on campus, a type of function I’ve never experienced before this semester. I went to one recently and it was amazing to hear the authors tell their own stories and reflect upon what influenced their works.

An early assignment for the class was to compose a sonnet. Keeping in mind this style of poetry is often used in admiration of one’s love, I wrote my sonnet in honor of a delectable treat.

A Sweet Southern Sonnet

So tall and big, a fluffy giant mound -

A piece, I know will never go to waste.

The icing, soft on top, as if of down

It sparkles – gems with a sugary taste.

It’s South the Mason-Dixon where you hide,

Ruby with riches, pleasure but not health.

Forever, you’re on Paula Dean’s dear side.

You’re made with threads of satisfying wealth.

It flashes bright – a sharp arch nemesis

And plunging in, a cut so deep it bleeds,

A knife unwanted on the premises,

With exception – lovers of cake, it feeds.

A scrumptious forkful of red velvet cake,

Dessert of choice, none better could one bake.

After writing a love poem to food, I’m feeling like a hotelie.