Only at Cornell…

Alright folks, for this next post I’ll try to take a unique approach to describing my last week or so by saying the things I’ve experienced that I don’t feel could happen anywhere else but Cornell. Maybe it could, but I don’t know. It’s doubtful.

So, without further ado…

Only at Cornell…

  • would I have the chance to play a round of badminton against my math professor. Yep, it’s true–he and his wife decided to join my gym class, and we had a blast playing doubles. As much as I wanted to bet him a few extra points on my prelim, it didn’t happen. Ah well, it was a blast.
  • would I see this happy student offering to give other students free hugs: (1280×960)

I love stuff like this–it’s awesome that there are people like this who are creative, caring, and willing enough just to stand outside buildings (Uris Hall, in this case). You might be wondering if people took him up on his offer; from what I saw, a lot of people did! He seemed to have given out lots of hugs and spread the love.

  • would I see a random door during of my early morning walk to class:

door2Again, I love things like this because, like the “free hugs” guy, it’s an interesting experiment in social psychology. Some creative people, just for the heck of it, decided to put a functioning door in the middle of the path that most freshman take to central campus. A lot of people smiled when they first saw it, and other people just walked around it. The funniest interaction I saw was when people would pretend like there was nothing out of the ordinary, but they would open and close the door and continue on their walk.

These two odd encounters aren’t the only bizarre things that I’ve seen on north campus. I remember during Cornell Days (the program for accepted students), randomly seeing someone dressed up as a gorilla chasing someone dressed up in a full banana costume. There could not have been a better introduction to Cornell than that.

Anyways, continuing on…

  • would I be able to hear Hank Paulson–the former U.S. Treasury Secretary & CEO of Goldman Sachs–and Scot Safon–the V.P. of CNN Worldwide–speak about their experiences.

And both presentations were great! I’ll be the first one to admit that, as a student in Macroeconomics 101, Hank Paulson’s talk on economic recovery was a little over my head. However, it was exciting enough just listening to a man of such power, who would communicate with President Bush on a regular basis, talk about his thoughts. I really liked what Scot Safon had to say, as well; he talked about his experiences in business and advertising, and the effects of the internet on sales and marketing.

I was trying to get a picture of Paulson up there speaking, but it came out blurry. You’re gonna have to trust my arrows and labels, though!


  • would I be frustrated with the erratic weather conditions in Ithaca.

As I said in an earlier post, I absolutely detest the cold. However, I was finally coming to terms with the fact that it wasn’t going to be t-shirt weather until May…until I stepped outside today! (Hey, that rhymes.) Seriously, it was sunny, warm, and beautiful–in November! I even discussed it with my French professor, saying “je ne comprends pas le météo en Ithaca” in class (meaning, I don’t understand Ithaca’s weather). She agreed that it is, indeed, extremely variable.

  • could I not be more lost with what classes I want to take the next couple of years.

Seriously, have you seen the Courses of Study book that lists all the classes taught? It’s like a phone book! (The online version is available here). I know that I’d love to take astronomy, sociology, government, information science, history, Applied Economics and Management courses, and courses offered in the Hotel School. Not to mention I have to fulfill all the Arts and Sciences requirements–y’know, I’d kind of like to graduate. So, my schedule is very much in limbo right now.

If I think of many more “Only at Cornell-isms,” I’ll add them in a new post. Current students and alumni, if you have any of your own, feel free to leave ’em in the comments! Have a great weekend.

4 thoughts on “Only at Cornell…

  1. Victoria

    I’m a junior in high school and I’m totally set on attending Cornell for the Hotel Administration program (haha, hotelie). However, when I was reminded that I haven’t taken my SAT’s or ACT’s yet I started freaking out because I’m pretty sure there’s a minimum score I need to get on the SAT/ACT to even be considered.

    So I was just curious David, does everyone at Cornell have an SAT score of /at least/ 2100 or something? Do you have to be some sort of genius or miraculously talented to even be considered?

    And, if you don’t mind me asking, what do you believe made you stand out to the admissions committee? Your personality? Your 2400 on the SAT? Your application essay? Are you miraculously talented at some sort of dying art form?

    I’d really appreciate an answer because I haven’t been able to stop pacing around my house wondering if my aspiration to go to Cornell is actually a lost cause.

    And also, how are the math classes? What are you taking? Are there so many kids in your class that you practically have to teach yourself math without help from your professor?

  2. Mike S.

    For the record, you can also play badminton against a math professor at LSC-Tomball in Texas.

    See (“LSC-Tomball Professor Triumphs in Badminton at Texas State Senior Games”).

    However, Cornell is the only Ivy League university that offers this opportunity.

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