My freshman year, on Slope Day, I was graced with the opportunity to see a truly inspiring artist, a voice for a generation and a cultural icon. Yes, I am of course talking about Drake, the former wheelchair bound Degrassi star turned Bob-Dylan of rap. Now, as my graduation nears and my time as a columnist comes to an end, I must defer to his lyrical genius, as only he can reassure me of the decisions I have made. “What am I doin’? What am I doin’?/Oh, yeah, that’s right, I’m doin’ me/I’m doin’ me/I’m livin’ life right now, man/and this what I’mma do ‘til it’s over.” Pure poetry. If the Romans had “Carpe Diem,” then I guess we have YOLO.
But on a more serious note, while Drake might make Rebecca Black look like William Butler Yeats, I do somewhat agree with his sentiment. Over the past year as a regular columnist for this paper, I have tried to give an authentic image of myself; my quirks, my interests and my honest opinions. I am graduating this May and my bi-weekly column, along with my Cornell tenure, has come to a rapid but inevitable end. My column’s moniker has been “Smell The Rosen,” a slight pun on my particularly Jewish name. When I first came up with the it, I thought of it as nice introduction to the lightheartedness that I planned to embrace within my column; to show that I do not take myself particularly seriously and, thus, neither should you. However, I quickly realized that I wanted my column to be an outlet for not only my thoughts, but also my fears and odd desires. Sometimes the Rosen smells nice, having bathed that morning and scrubbed himself thoroughly. Sometimes the Rosen smells not so nice, like when he just came out of yoga, didn’t have time to shower and gets awkward glances at the Green Dragon before he is politely asked to leave.
Hopefully my past twelve columns have exemplified this desire for authenticity, running through a vast gambit of styles and subjects that I felt the urge to comment on. I do appreciate the opportunity I was given to exercise my thoughts, however weird or personal they might be, as well as what the opportunity to inject into my writing what some commentators have described as “my feeble attempts at humor.” I never imagined that I would feel comfortable enough to share my intimate fears of my future, or of my aging father, but I put myself out there, and was able to keep doing so because of the acceptance of my readers. Receiving the comments and emails after the column about my father is one of my most treasured experience at Cornell. People who I had never spoken to before or who did not even go to this school wrote to me, telling me their own stories and that my words struck a chord for them. However, while these personal columns seemed to be the best liked, as well as the most circulated, I am equally proud of the silly and nonsensical columns I wrote, which made some laugh and others scoff in disgust. Both kinds reflect genuine characteristics of my thoughts, and it would have been deceiving to have portray myself solely as a serious man with good taste.
Since this is my last column, however, I find it necessary to unload a disjointed list of some final thoughts. First, the Israel/Palestine related columns in The Sun need to stop. They are almost all unequivocally nauseating, biased and unproductive. Second, I challenge anybody to read through one of President David Skorton’s emails and take away a single tangible thing said. They are all long, administrative exercises in nothingness and seem to hedge every possible bet they can. Please begin to state tangible accomplishments, or just stop emailing us all together, Skorton. Third, fresh-take sushi is an abomination matched only by the slop that is served at Okenshield’s. Fourth, it is very odd to me that the Cornell bookstore no longer sells, ya know, books. Fifth, people need to start going to Cornell Cinema. It really is a treasure that is unfortunately unattended, despite its cheapness and its quality selection of films. Finally, I would like to thank all of my readers and my esteemed editors Liz and Ruby. It’s been great. I’ll smell you later.
Dan Rosen is a senior in the College of Architecture, Art and Planning. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Smell the Rosen appears alternate Wednesdays this semester.
Original Author: Dan Rosen