August 26, 2010

A Summer In Fragments

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I’ve been thinking about what to write for this column for weeks now (there is less to do in the typical Ithaca summer than I had imagined). From a list of to-dos and please don’ts to numbers you should have on your cellphone and events you shouldn’t miss this semester, from deciding whether to write a column about the outrageous Dix Poppas paper or the anti-hydrofracking New York State bill, my idea for a column seems as overwhelming as the orientation events that I’m not attending this year or the 14-hour-a-day schedule I (not so smartly) set up for myself this semester.Since all those things require at least a sentence or two of my attention (though, to be honest, they’d probably require a whole column in themselves), I’ll throw in a couple bits and pieces of each: First thing’s first, save the phone numbers of both your favorite delivery food and EARS. Many places will actually deliver to the room you are studying in as long as food is not prohibited. And, totally unrelatedly, you will come to a point where venting is essential, and freaking out over the phone to someone who doesn’t even need to know your name and will not judge you is wonderfully cathartic. Even call them both on a pre-lim night, it’s exactly what you need about an hour before going into the exam, food and calm. Things to write down in your planner: Friends of the Library Booksale on Oct. 9 (see “Don’t Judge a Book by Its Price Tag”, my November 2009 column, for more info). Also, Post Secret’s Frank Warren is coming this semester (date TBD). Music wise, Maria Schneider — a pretty cool, mellow classical-jazz combo worth listening from Schenider’s Grammy-winning orchestra — comes to Bailey on Sept. 12. Now, moving on, here’s some newsy stuff and such:1) Dix Poppas, pediatric urologist at Weill, published a paper in 2007 that started getting attention after being mentioned in a bioethics forum article by Alice Dreger (Northwestern) and Ellen Feder (American University). The article was about follow-up studies on young girls that had undergone clitoroplasty as infants. The follow-up studies included using medical vibratory devices on the girls to ensure the clitoris was alive and functional … yes, exactly. If you didn’t know, now you know … and if you did know, let me know if there’s anything coming up about it campus wise. 2) New York State may need a little less radicalism from its environmental activists, judging by the bill passed in NYS regarding the gas drilling moratorium that will take place until May 2011. On one hand, it is good to realize that people’s concerns are truly being addressed by the government. On the other hand, this bill was a little too steep on its demands: It pretty much stopped any new wells from being drilled for an entire year in the state, from any company, including the government’s smaller, a lot more environmentally-friendly drilling. I agree this bill to be great in theory. But are we really prepared for its unintended consequences? Random follow up:  1) Huge props for the people organizing the freshman move-in. For the first time ever in my four years here, there were upperclassmen hanging out on Facebook by 5 p.m. on move-in day because they finished so early. Wow. 2) The alumni house and its massage station rocked, as usual. I was also happily impressed by the quality and attention to detail on the alumni magazine, which you should check out sometime.3) Student Center CoursEnroll! Insanely good! I logged in at 8 a.m. and was done changing all my classes within 10 minutes. People, this has REALLY improved. And I’m glad. I was done with most all my course-related shenanigans by Friday 9 a.m. last week. Felt so good.4) Cornell Tradition and Financial Aid. I haven’t started classes and all my finances have been taken care of. I have to admit, though, they’re always amazingly helpful, so this is not particularly new, but this was efficient work nonetheless. Tip: Be nice to the people behind the desks when you come in, regardless of how frustrated you may feel. And smile. A real smile. Believe me, they so remember you. 5) The Sun started printing on Monday! So I could actually read some of it … which is wonderful over coffee. Have a Sun, and have some (preferably good) coffee. It really makes you feel nice in the middle of the morning. Finally. Welcomes have been going around and one would say that, by this Friday, I’m a little late to the party. But, oh well. Ehem, ehem. Welcome rookies, welcome back, rest-of-you-still-hanging-in-there. After showing Cornell to my parents for the first time this summer, I have been happily awestruck (again) at how truly amazing this place is and I hope I end up not being the only one that discovers that (again). May you all find the necessary and addictive wonder of learning something you love. Scene.Florencia Ulloa is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She may be reached at fulloa@cornellsun.com. Innocent Bystander appears alternate Tuesdays this semester.

Original Author: Florencia Ulloa