March 17, 2011

Some More Fun with 161

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The 161 Things Every Cornellian Should Do list is an old topic. But seriously, we’re a little obsessed with competition here. Everyone likes lists. Look at how popular list form articles are online or in actual printed newspapers (that I suppose people still read these days, right?). And I know I could write about a thousand other things, but I need to write about this list at some point, because everyone does.

And as I went about my Google docs looking for the draft of an actual paper that needed writing, I found my 161 list (yes, I have it there and update it regularly). Last semester, I got really into it and wanted to complete it entirely. I even remember a couple seniors and grad students that I’d make plans to complete the items with. And whenever the topic of the list comes up, I find it hilarious to see several people going waaaay further; a friend is playing with how many buildings (s)he can have sex in, for instance. So yeah, Cornell students: we’re into competition, alright.

But I have to say, our 161 things list is a little … I don’t know. It’s full of things you should eat and little “naughty” things that sometimes sound infantile to me. Not all of them — Chili Cook Off and Hotelie prom? Hells yeah! — but many (urinating at the Law School? Seriously? What are you, like, 12?) seem to be the kinds of things that either only sound good when your mind is somewhere else (interpret as you will) or sound good when you’re in elementary school.

Did someone ever read the original list? Like, the 1995 list? When I was really into it last semester, I looked it up. There are some really awesome things from that list that I like better — like staying up till 3 a.m. with your roommate talking about the meaning of life (Number one on that list, by the way), or reading a particular set of very, very good books (most of them about Ithaca — have you guys realized just how many books out there are about Cornell? Wonderful and scary). So it’s worth looking up. The original list also seems, to be honest, far more gender-neutral than the current one is. It seems less like a deed list from frat boys and more like the “You know you’re at Cornell when … ” lists wandering about online. So we should revamp our list, I say. And I know it’s old, but hey, I could have a couple ideas that are worth it.

I’d say include the following:

1. Go to Filthy Gorgeous. Seriously — the list talks about Turning Stone and not FG? How? Why?

2. Have lunch at Banfi’s sometime; preferably if you can get some department to pay your way in because you’re talking to some professor. Their buffet is amazing.

3. Allow yourself to lie down, face up, on Rawlings Green outside Appel and look at the stars on a night where it’s not freezing. Last time I did, I caught a shooting star. Magic.

4. At least once, if you get to be overage when you’re at Cornell, go to Level B and allow for midnight to strike — while you’re sober. The world will suddenly change and it is a quite astounding thing to watch.

5. Take a cigarette break on the balcony part of Mallott, where there is a roof but no walls. If you don’t smoke, get a friend who does and go there and see the snow fall down while the cigarette gets smoked. It’s the perfect amount of time to recharge and go to class (about five minutes), looking at the snow falling perfectly around you without touching you. Life suddenly seems less daunting.

6. Go to at least one Salsa night at Big Red Barn.

7. Find out where it is, and go to the auction for all the lost-and-found objects at Cornell from the gyms. It’s huge, it’s insane, and it’s cheap to laughable extents. You will not believe the amount of things people will not look for, also. Cellphones, iPods, car keys (!). Pretty amusing.

8. Go to a Sex on the Table dinner at Risley. They’re so awesome; and who can turn down a free dinner?

9. Sunset on the Slope. Best thing ever.

10. Two words: Mission Wolf. Enough said.

11. Try your luck at passing for a non-Cornell student at Moonshadow Tavern on the Commons. The sign on the bar says, “This bar is for Ithaca College students; Cornell students will be admitted on a case-to-case basis”. Definitely a different type of crowd. And their open mic nights are not bad at all.

12. Whenever you have a couple free hours after something on the Commons, stop by Diaspora and talk to the owner. He has brought almost every single thing in that store himself from all over the world and has the most amazing stories about the artists that made what you see there.

13. Go to receptions at the Johnson Museum. Maybe not for the entire night, but at least for the beginning. Food’s surprisingly good, procrastination stations are pretty badass and you get to walk around the museum at night, which is, while maybe dorky, pretty fun to do.

14. Get yourself out of the frat scene at least for one Halloween. Stewart Little is an awesome party, and there’s a party on the second floor of Chanticleer loft that is really fun, too. Or, make the Co-Op run: six houses, six different types of drinks, and the most original costumes I’ve seen at Cornell so far. (Not saying anything against the frat parties — those are pretty fun too. I just like the alcohol at the others better, to be honest. I’m not the biggest Keystone fan in history.)

15. Also: the Farmers’ Market may not be the best around, but it’s pretty fun. And the people there are quite the interesting crowd. Make yourself some time to get down there, particularly when it’s warm.

16. Make out in gorge trails. Pleeeeeeease do not leave Cornell without doing this.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Seniors, you have around one month. Rest of you guys … well, you’re not getting any more time. Go!

Florencia Ulloa is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She may be reached at [email protected]. Innocent Bystander appears alternate Fridays this semester.

Original Author: Florencia Ulloa