Back in the Saddle

Since moving back to West Campus for the school year, I have started a new set of classes of only moderate terribleness.*  I’m getting sucked into the spinning vortex of problem set terror, already sleep deprived, and slightly hungry, so overall, all’s well in ChemE land.

Besides classes, I’ve also worked a couple shifts for Cornell Productions, including Ordinary People’s event at the Cornell Cinema the other night.  Pep band started up and we’ve had our first rehearsal for the semester as well as a field hockey game.  Ironically enough, after spending the entire summer in Ithaca, the closest I got to getting sunburned, which doesn’t happen easily to me, was at the field hockey game.  In September.  I have determined that the combination of direct sunlight (radiative heat transfer) and the bleachers (reflection = even more radiative heat transfer) caused my near encounter with fried skin cells.

By this point in my college career, I’ve fulfilled my PE requirements, and so I’m taking Small Boat Sailing for fun.  Last weekend we learned to rig the boats we’ll be taking out and then we had to capsize the boats on purpose.  It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  The water was cold, but the coldest part of the class was when we got out of the water and the previously windless day turned into a strong breeze in about thirty seconds.


No pictures from sailing, but here’s Cayuga Lake as seen from Taughannock State Park.

Other than that, my parents and brother came up to Cornell for Labor Day weekend.  We stayed in a cabin at Taughannock State Park and hiked there, Buttermilk Falls, and Watkins Glen, and also went to the Corning Museum of Glass.  It was a fun weekend, but it was surprisingly crowded at the state parks and the museum.  I think the fact that it was a holiday weekend plus the “last” weekend of summer contributed to the crowds.  Though the temperature has dropped considerably since then and the sky has returned to its standard greyness.  Pre-winter, here we come.


Watkins Glen

*My classes actually aren’t terrible at all and in fact, are less annoying than the dozens of emails I get every day.   Contrary to what appears to be popular belief, I do not need three reminders before every event.

1 Post, 11 Days

1. February 19: On Wednesdays after house dinner, the dorm that I live in hosts a professor or guest who talks about their interests/work.  This Wednesday, they had two philosophy professors present arguments for or against the existence of God.

2. February 20: As opposed to the four and a half hours from the previous week, this Thursday I only spent two hours and twenty minutes at office hours for Fluid Mechanics.

3. February 21: I worked a shift for Cornell Productions at the Bear’s Den.  When we got there, we found out there would be a seventeen piece jazz band playing live music for swing dancing.  Good thing we had plenty of time to set up the sound before the event started.

4. February 22: The pep band went to women’s hockey followed by men’s basketball.  We ended up losing both games, hockey 4-3 and basketball 81-75 in overtime.

5. February 23: I took my online macroeconomics quiz twice and did worse the second time.

6. February 24: The beginning of the Week of No Sleep.  It was a fairly typical Monday except that I spent about five hours that night doing physical chemistry homework and reviewing fluids.

7. February 25: Went to Mac’s in Statler to get fried chicken on a waffle with butter and syrup.  I think my carbohydrates and proteins for the day were covered.  Oh, and the fat.

8. February 26: Spent three hours writing up my lab report for physical chemistry lab.  This was after I had already spent a couple hours turning my raw data into results earlier in the week.

9. February 27: First prelim of the semester.  Two and a half hours of Fluid Mechanics.  What better way to spend a Thursday night?

10. February 28: Went to Noyes before the men’s hockey game to do some bouldering.  One of my favorite things about living on West Campus is that the bouldering wall is less than three minutes from my room.

11. March 1: Women’s playoff hockey followed by the last game of the regular season for the men’s hockey team.  The women won 5-3 over Princeton and this happened at the men’s game against Harvard:

It was a good night.

Stage Right (the actual post)

This is the post that I meant to write the last time I was talking about Cornell Productions.  In the past couple months, I’ve worked a variety of shifts for Cornell Productions.  There have been a couple where I’ve set up the sound system for an event, some shifts backstage at concerts, and recently I worked at the Bear’s Den for the first time.

The name of the post comes from working at Bailey Hall, Cornell’s concert hall for orchestras, bands, a capella concerts, speakers, and even classes.  When Cornell Productions provides support for Bailey during concerts, we work backstage stage right and stage left.  Before the show begins, we get briefed on what’s going to happen during the show so we know when to open the stage doors and things like that.  During the show, we’re there in case something implodes, explodes, or spontaneously bursts into flames (emergencies).

After the show, depending on the event, our responsibilities range from stacking chairs and stands to coiling wires to moving equipment around.  If there’s another show coming up the next day, sometimes we help to set up for that as well.

If we’re working an event that’s not at Bailey, we have to bring our own equipment unless we’re at the Bear’s Den (a place to eat on campus that also has live bands, singers, karaoke, etc. in the evenings).  I’ve helped to set up the sound system a few times now, and it varies based on the event, but that usually involves speakers, the sound board, and lots of wires.  I’m pretty sure some of the equipment weighs more than I do.  That’s definitely true of some of the cartloads I’ve pushed.

If we are at the Bear’s Den, like I was a couple weeks ago, they had their own sound system put in last year.  I worked an event that involved some interviews followed by a band.  I did not do sound check for the band, but I got to run the sound board during the interviews (since it was just people talking I only had to control the volume for each microphone and not worry about the twenty other faders on the board).

The Big Red Sports Network was interviewing Cornell athletes, which turned out to be pretty interesting and I got to hear some cool stories.  After the interviews, the band played, and I’m no music major, but I enjoyed it.

And so, that’s a brief overview of the kind of things I do for Cornell Productions.