Although I set out to complete many of the 161 things, it is perhaps the tasks that I did not deliberately accomplish that have provided me with the most memorable college anecdotes, and classic “Cornell” experiences. I will dispense some of those gems now:
#66 See the brain collection in Uris Hall
The second day of classes my freshman year, I had a class in “Uris”. My unfamiliarity with the buildings of Cornell led me to believe there was only one Uris. Of course, my class was to be held in Uris Hall, not Uris Library, but between frantically trying to orient myself and reading the mini-map in my planner, I failed to notice there were two Uris’. Needless to say, I showed up at Uris Library ready to find a classroom that didn’t exist. The circulation desker kindly explained that I was looking for Uris Hall, not library, and sent me in the right direction. The following week, I made sure to arrive at Uris Hall excessively early. I had so much time to kill that I decided to explore the building. I found myself in Uris brain collection. Cornell has a collection of brains?!? It is as weird and remarkable as it sounds.
#116 Get asked if you are pregnant at Gannett (males and females)
I am one of those people who refuse to believe they are ever sick. I avoid the doctor’s office at all costs, I resist taking Motrin, Tylenol et al. and I think a great cure to a fever is to go for a run and “sweat it out.” My physician parents are so proud of my scientific approach to illness. Unfortunately, in January of my freshman year, my immune system couldn’t handle the heat (rather, the lack thereof) and I caught a cold that turned into something much worse. Fever, chills, shallow breathing, chest pain, awesomeness. My friends wouldn’t come within 50 feet of me, and my mother threatened to withhold tuition money if I didn’t go to Gannett. Three hours later I was sitting in a patient room being questioned by a nurse. I described my symptoms.
“What you’re describing can be symptomatic of pregnancy.”
“Uh…Shortness of breath? Fever?”
“Are you pregnant?”
“Is there any chance you are pregnant?”
“Well we are going to need to x-ray your lungs, and radiation….”
This went on for about 35 seconds. That is a lot of seconds of someone questioning you about your non-existent pregnancy.
In case you were curious, I had pneumonia. Easily confused with pregnancy, I know.
#59 Ignore any and all “No Winter Maintenance” signs…slip and fall on the icy stairs
After contracting pneumonia, I wanted to remind myself why I chose to attend school in the tundra by capturing the beautiful snow-covered arts quad in a photograph. I figured the best vantage point was from atop Olin’s roof, and naturally I was going to ignore any warning about ice. Well, I got my beautiful photograph but this moment of glory was quickly followed by my complete wipe out down the stairs. My backpack was open just enough to allow the contents of my bag to come flying out, and one of my binders nearly hit an innocent bystander(sitter) on the steps. Gain: Cool photo. Loss: Dignity. I guess I’ll call it even.
#73 According to legend, watch a virgin cross the Arts Quad and then witness A.D. White and Ezra Cornell shake hands
Unfortunate breaking news: I’ve seen many a virgin cross the Arts Quad, and seen no such handshaking. Sorry to ruin the legend for you.
#121 See how long you can go without doing laundry
During my sophomore year, I went from Halloween to Thanksgiving without doing laundry once. It was only about four weeks, but I still do not recommend this. Someone spilled beer on the shirt I wore as part of my Halloween costume, and I am fairly certain the shirt had a scent of Keystone until spring break.
#29 Turn your face blue from screaming at midnight before the first finals
Highly recommended. Misery enjoys company, especially when you can scream about the misery in unison. Shout-out to Jameson Hall.
#46 Smuggle food from the dining hall and run for your life as they try to get back your stolen cookies
I was more interested in stealing Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal than cookies, but I think it still counts. Initially, I tried to be stealthy. I would fill up a bowl, come back to my table where I had hidden a plastic bag in my backpack, and proceed to pour the cereal from the bowl into the bag. After several weeks of going undetected, I got cocky and simply brought a large Ziplock bag up to the cereal dispenser. Well, as I was waltzing out of RPCC holding an industrial sized, clear, Ziplock bag of Cinnamon Toast Crunch the meal-swiper called “excuse me miss!” So I did what any mature, responsible person would do…I pretended not to hear…and then I ran.
Alas, if you have done something utterly stupid, pointless or embarrassing on Cornell’s campus, the good news is: you likely made some headway on the 161 list.