October 9, 2003


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I love summer. Ice cream. Oceans. Sunrays. Coming to Ithaca for the fourth year in a row, I am usually prepared to give these things up. Once I cross over the George Washington Bridge, onto highways that actually have rest stops and diners that have locals, I know that I have to shed my dreams of sunscreen and strawberry daiquiris. But the year 2003 seemingly looked good on Ithaca, fitting it like piercings fit Collegetown Bagels. Everywhere I looked, I saw tank tops, flip flops, and cherry blow pops (I know you loved that rhyme). I waited to buy a bus pass. I walked to class. I bought 14 different color tomatoes. It was as if Ithaca and I were having a little fling. Summer was the matchmaker and this match was made in heaven.

About a month into our relationship, I told Ithaca I needed a break. I needed a weekend of Bloomingdale’s and turkey dinners. Plus most of my friends were also heading home, so I knew it would be a perfect weekend. I packed my bags and waved goodbye to my dear old Ithaca. Little did I know, Ithaca is a jealous lover.

When I returned back on a late Sunday afternoon I noticed a little chill but figured it was nothing to worry about. Then last Monday came. It was cold, bitterly cold. Ithaca had jumped from 75 to 52. I yelled, I screamed. “Ithaca! Where are the 60s? What did you do with the 60s?” But there was no answer.

I was suddenly taken back to my first study week here at Cornell. Trudging from north campus in my brand spanking new North Face, wool scarf, hat, and insulated gloves, all I could think was “why oh why didn’t I buy the face mask.” As the snow and wind slapped me in the face, the tears from my eyes began to freeze mid-roll down my cheek. At that moment all I could think was “why oh why didn’t I decide to go to Duke.”

But, back to last week’s shenanigans. Rain, rain, rain. I had to wear a jacket over a sweater. I had to tuck all my flip-flops into the back of my closet. I just couldn’t believe that Ithaca had taken such a turn for the worse. On the way to class on Thursday I packed my duck umbrella into my bag because outside my window was pouring rain. When I left my front door, however, the sun was shining — a good sign. Perhaps Ithaca was turning around. Or was it?

Walking home Thursday I got my answer. The sky became overcast. The wind began to howl (literally). Suddenly ice began to fall from the sky. Somewhere in my head Chicken Little began yelling, “The sky is falling. The sky is falling!” I wrestled the duck umbrella out of my bag. A hot pink umbrella against a hail storm — the duck barely stood a chance. By the time I reached Collegetown, the sun was shining. “What the hell was that, Ithaca? You just rubbed it in my face, didn’t you?” Ithaca just pushed a cloud over the sun in response.

I suppose that being a senior, it was na