April 30, 2013

Big Red Ambition: My Swan Song

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I know some of you have been hoping I would use my final blog to talk about #1 — make the library into your bedroom and have sex in the stacks — but I’m sorry to disappoint. I will not be discussing that item, aside from this brief mention, since I think the sex columnists could do a much better job with that one than little old me. Besides, if I tried to get on their level I would just end up embarrassing myself and nobody wants that.

On a different note, when I started writing this blog a mere 14 months ago, I thought of it as a way to make sure I was enjoying myself before I graduated. I never imagined my final post (and graduation – eek) would be upon me in the blink of an eye, but as Jill Zarin’s mother said in The Real Housewives of New York City, “I turn around and it’s Rosh Hashana, and I turn around and it’s Passover.” So here we are. But rather than exalt the glory of the Big Red Ambition List as I have done in blogs past, this one goes out to all of the people without whom I would’ve looked like a creepy weirdo as I checked off items by my lonesome.

I’m writing this blog for all of my friends who I dragged out into the cold to throw a flaming pumpkin into a gorge (#75), who sacrificed precious hours of studying to attempt the Pines Burger Challenge with me (#99), who would gleefully run into my room to announce they checked off another item from the list (RE, I’m looking at you and your walk around Beebe Lake), who would plan their study week schedule so that we’d have time to climb the clock tower (#161, sup, RH), who didn’t complain too much when I used their embarrassing stories for fodder in this blog (#91) and who were always ready, willing and able to do something crazy – in the name of the Big Red Ambition List, of course. You all know who you are, and I hope you also know how much you mean to me, and just how much you have made these past four years better than I ever could have imagined.

I suppose I should also give some shout outs to my family – the only one who would call me to ask for advice on what items they could check off on the list during a brief visit to Cornell. My mom and I struggled in our attempt to find the brain collection in Uris Hall (#66) and she made sure to inspect the location where I buried the Bacardi last spring to make sure the burial site was unnoticeable (#21). Of course I can’t forget my dad who climbed all 161 steps to the top of McGraw Tower (#161), even though he hates steps, and who I am sure will be back next fall (perhaps even before I am able to visit) so he can order ice cream (and chocolate pudding) at the Dairy Bar (#12) once again. Of course, I don’t think I would hear the end of it if I didn’t mention my brother, Ross Freilich ’09, who among completing many items during his tenure at Cornell, came up my freshman year to see a concert at Barton Hall (#106) and maybe/possibly ran into Susan Murphy ’73 on Slope Day (#125).

This list made it okay (well, not by my mom’s standards) for me to gain the freshman 15 and pay $300 for a gym membership and rarely go to gym (#107) – I did it in the name of the Big Red Ambition List. Duh. It also made me feel a whole lot less creepy when I sat in Libe Café watching other people do work because I had none of my own (#60). When it snowed in May (ON MY BIRTHDAY) freshman year, I was able to laugh it off ’cause it meant I was checking off #18.

Perhaps I’ve been a bit too obsessed with the 161 List throughout my time on the Hill, but whatever. I mean, I don’t know about you, but when I trekked to class in the snow uphill both ways, it made me feel really good that I was able to say I checked off #152. But that’s just me…

Well, it’s been an awesome ride (and I’m really excited that my littlesX2 are keeping the Big Red Ambition legacy alive: one will be writing this blog, and another is planning “Big Red Ambition” O-Week events, so be sure to check those out).

I hope every one of you will take part in Holi (#157) before you graduate, and I don’t think it would be college without seeing how long you can go without doing your laundry (#121) – though word to the wise, don’t tell your mother about the infrequent laundry (mine wasn’t so happy with me when I casually brought it up).

So I guess my parting advice for all you youngsters is to make sure you have fun in your remaining year(s) at Cornell, as well as to make sure you check off my favorite item from the original list of 161 Things to do at Cornell: Get sick from drinking too much, vow to never drink again; that bad boy made it into the list like four times or something…awesome.

Anywho, thank you to everyone who has read this blog over the last year, and to everyone who came up to me in Rulloffs asking to have “161 playdates” (LR – that’s all you). This entire experience has been an unforgettable one to say the least.

On that note, I hope everyone has an awesome Slope Day. And seniors, let’s enjoy what time we have left.

Well, as Porky Pig would say: That’s all folks.

Original Author: Jaime Freilich