November 9, 2011

My Top Five Stupidest Decisions at Cornell (Thus Far)

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College is a time for experimentation and a time of great discovery of our unique characteristics (Some of you already think you know where this column is going — I promise you are wrong). It is a time when we discover our capacity for learning new and important life skills. It is also a time when we learn our huge capacity to do stupid things. During my time at Cornell, I have learned that I can do some very stupid things.

Prior to college I believed only stupid people did stupid things. What I failed to comprehend is that stupid and intelligent overlap, especially when I make decisions. Fortunately, I am not the only one. I have seen so many stupid decisions made at Cornell that I have decided that we should all just embrace it. To start this campus-wide acceptance of stupidity I thought I would share some of my stupidest moments. I feel like we have reached that point in the writer-reader relationship (all the really revealing information I have shared with you, and all the really good material you have given me to write about) that I feel comfortable sharing these stupid and embarrassing moments with my faithful readers. So without further ado, here is a rundown of my top five stupidest moments at Cornell:

5. The T-shirt RainbowI have a lot of T-shirts in a lot of different colors. So one day I organized them in rainbow order in my drawer. This was actually not a stupid idea (well, it was, but just not the stupidest idea). The stupidest idea was bragging about it to my friends. I will never live it down. At the time it seemed like a brilliant inspiration. Waking up in a sleep ridden haze, I wouldn’t have to worry about matching because I could at least remember where my blue shirts were in the drawer. Apparently this reason still isn’t good enough for my friends.

4. The Office Hour Break InWhile I lived on west campus, one of my classes had Sunday office hours in Riley Robb from 7 to 10 p.m. One night I walked the approximately half hour trek to Riley Robb to find that the building was closed. Brilliantly assuming that somehow everyone else had gotten inside for the office hours, I proceeded to walk around the building looking for an unlocked door. There were none. However, I did find an unlocked basement window into the men’s bathroom (facilities, you may want to take care of that). My thought process was, “Great! Now I can go to office hours.”  So in I climbed. Needless to say, no one was there for office hours, not even the T.A. Did I mention this was the Sunday of Thanksgiving break weekend? Why I wanted to go to office hours badly enough to break into a building, I still haven’t figured out.

3. Eternal Scruff of the Cornell MindEarly during my time at Cornell, I decided I would try to do no shave November. Halfway through the month I began to see some scruff and proudly started keeping a photo log of my progress. What the progress ended up consisting of was me progressing from a bit of peach fuzz to a scruffy, hugely sketchy (did I mention patchy) creeper beard. Apparently I am a late bloomer when it comes to facial hair and wanted to have material proof of this fact. All photos have since been deleted, and/or burned.

2. The Guitar String Walk of ShameFreshman year a string on my guitar broke, so naturally I needed to get new strings. After a quick search online, I found what I believed to be a guitar store at the end of Forest Home Drive. Two hours of walking later, I arrive at the end of Forest Home. There was not a guitar store in sight. There were, however, cars going past me at 50 miles an hour. So fearing for my life and admitting defeat I walked the two hours home to Donlon 218, approximately six miles round trip. Why is this my second worst idea you might ask? It was, after all, just a long walk. Well, this wonderful excursion took place on a snowy, 20 degree, windy, February day. Oh, and I thought sneakers would be an appropriate choice of footwear. Fail, fail, triple fail.

1. The Cliff Climbing CatastropheIf I told you I climbed from the bottom of Ithaca Falls to Stewart Avenue, nothing about that would sound like a good idea. Especially since I didn’t have any ropes; or since I started up what looks like a rock slide; or since I was climbing in flip flops; or since my friend had to take off his belt, hold on to a tree root with one hand and lower the belt to me with the other so I could climb up a portion of the cliff. Enough said.

(It does make for a pretty bad-ass story if I leave out the part where I nearly peed myself.)

Will Spencer is a senior in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He may be reached at Tripping Up Stairs appears alternate Thursdays this semester.

Original Author: Will Spencer