Sometimes fall in Ithaca looks like this:


And sometimes it looks like this:


Also, this week has been on the far side of crazy, as in I’ve had classes in the morning and activities every evening, leaving my afternoons and late nights free for homework.  It’s been fun.  Next week looks a little better, so I will hopefully be able to get a mid-week post out in between problem sets.  In the meantime, I’ll be outside taking advantage of the incredible weather we’ve been having.  Only a few weeks until campus freezes over for the winter.

Night Life

Alternate title: I should stop taking photos at night without a tripod.

Warning: This post contains photographs that may be unsuitable for viewership by any semi-competent photographer.  Photos in this post are completely unfocused and quite possibly overexposed.  User discretion is advised in viewing the rest of this post.

[In other words, I apologize for the fact that some of my pictures look like they were taken one-handed while I was riding through a jungle on a mountain bike, except that I took all my photos standing still.]

For me, a late night is staying up to 11:30.  If I’m up that late, I’m working on an assignment, working for Cornell Productions, or very occasionally out with AAIV for a special event.  Over the past week, for one reason or another, I’ve been outside a lot after sunset and managed to take some blurry pictures capture some scenes around campus.

Such as the view from the slope, overlooking West Campus:

Last night was the Mid-Autumn Festival, and after AAIV, I stopped by on my way back to West Campus.  It was kind of like a more crowded, noisier, and darker version of the career fair (which I also briefly checked out earlier in the week) with less suits and heels.  Also, it kind of has a different purpose than career fair (it was originally a harvest festival).

To celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival at Cornell, Asian and Asian American groups collaborate to put together booths with games, food, and performances.  This year, it was held on Ho Plaza, which meant that we could see the clock tower, which was celebrating something a little different:

The red face of the clock tower isn’t my terrible photography; the homecoming game was the next day.  For special occasions, they change the color of the clock face, and in this case, the red was for the upcoming football game, since our school color is red.  Specifically, Carnelian red.  (As opposed to crimson, which belongs to a certain other school that shall not be named.)

And what would the Mid-Autumn Festival (also called the Moon Festival) be without the moon?

Now for something that has nothing to do with homecoming or the Mid-Autumn Festival but is still pretty cool.  Thursday night, the night before I had a big problem set due, I was at office hours.  As I was coming out of the building, I noticed three large objects on the patch of grass next to the sidewalk.  The objects started moving.

That’s right, there were three deer right there.  Welcome to Ithaca.

Over the River and Through the Woods

Unlike other schools (. . . University of Chicago, where my brother’s going . . .), Cornell still has a PE requirement to graduate.  Besides passing a swim test, you also have to take two PE courses, each worth one credit.  Considering that a math or science class is four credits plus reserved brain space for six months, taking PE classes is not a large time commitment.

My first semester at Cornell, I took Beginning Swimming, because I couldn’t swim on my back, which is part of the swim test.  After taking the class, I can now swim on my back; however, I still cannot float on my back . . . or front.  Besides having to jump into the freezing pool twice a week, the class was surprisingly enjoyable.  Along with learning swimming technique, we also played games, had relay races, and attempted diving (off the side of the pool), by which I mean I kept landing on my stomach.

Last semester, I took Basic Rock Climbing, which currently holds the position of best PE class I’ve taken.  Before the class, I’d wanted to try rock climbing (I guess I just like climbing things), and it did not disappoint.  That’s how the climbing came into my blog tagline.

This semester, even though I don’t need any more PE credits to graduate, I’m taking Day Hiking and giving up five Saturdays to go walking through mud, thorns, dirt, and water.  Sounds fun, doesn’t it?  Sometimes it also rains.

But – I’m being serious here for once – I actually do think it’s fun.  Although I need to get myself some non-cotton socks.  Anyway, last week we hiked the Cayuga Trail, which is accessible from the Cornell campus.  We passed through former farmland, hiked through some rather muddy forest, and got views of Fall Creek along the way.  The weather was still pretty warm (some people thought it was too hot; I usually hike in the summer so I thought it was fine) and the sun was out so it was a nice day overall.  If there was anything negative about the day, it was that the mosquitoes and flies were still out in full force and the number of branches that almost hit me in the face, though that was mainly my own fault.  And not enough hills.

Yes, I actually like hills.  Specifically, going up hills.  I also don’t like coffee, tea, or soda; eat all my cereal dry, including plain Cheerios; and today I wore a t-shirt with a long-sleeved shirt over it, two jackets, shorts, and sandals.

On that note, here’s a picture of Fall Creek to end this post: