December 3, 2019

KENKARE | Forget Buses and Planes, Cornellians Need Teleportation

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I learned from Dwight Schrute that “Cornell is an excellent school. Without its agricultural program, we probably wouldn’t have cabbage.” But I think Cornell should cease all research efforts to improve the modern cabbage and put its considerable manpower and resources into creating a teleportation device. I am not being flippant; on Saturday, Nov. 30, I realized, with a clear mind and full heart, that my Sunday flight into Syracuse would inevitably be delayed and my bus into Ithaca missed.

This weekend was hard on everyone. The lucky 33% of Cornell hailing from the Tri-state area had to return to Ithaca on Saturday (a day early) to avoid accidents by ice, as opposed to injuries three weeks later by finals. The remaining 67% — assuming they were able to escape Cornell for Thanksgiving — had to cancel flights, carefully coordinate rides and account for skipping classes that probably calculate out to $215 per hour in order to arrive in Ithaca (side note: If you told me five years ago I’d be battling the elements and extreme anxiety to get to Upstate N.Y., I’d laugh in your face).

But I am a woman of action and not one to complain (we in the opinion columnist business call this “poetic license”). Suggesting that Cornell runs more buses from Syracuse to Ithaca or that Ithaca establishes an airport that has flights to more than three locations (here’s looking at you, Detroit!) is obviously ludicrous. So, I would like to propose teleportation. I know Cornell pools money and resources into research on subjects that, frankly, leave me scratching my head. For example, as evidenced by The Office, without Cornell, we would not have the modern cabbage. I can’t speak for everyone, but I spent a large part of my childhood wishing that we did not have the modern cabbage and indeed, directing malevolent thoughts toward the creator of the modern cabbage. Thus, I propose that we divert money from cabbage production toward a realistic means to get students safely back to the University with minimal headache. If Ezra Cornell, in all his wisdom, chose to create a world-class university and locate it in Ithaca, he should have anticipated the access issues that plague its students every winter. And as he did not, in fact, address these issues, I am doing it for him.

Allow me to paint you a picture. You hug mom and dad goodbye, clutching a bag of Thanksgiving leftovers tightly as you head towards the Big Red Teleporter. You step into the gleaming machine, feel a sensation of weightlessness and a gentle vibration and … open your eyes to your depressing dorm room or apartment. Home, sweet home!

This is best-case conjecture, of course. The journey may be horribly painful or result in the loss of a limb. Frankly, it would still be worth it considering the trauma of polar vortex post-Thanksgiving travel.

To conclude my proposal, I would like to add one word: please. I am begging you, Martha. If my plane was lost in a blizzard (I do not know how blizzards work) or my ride to Ithaca skidded off the road, my mother would never recover from the shock. Teleportation is the clear solution — the safest and, indeed, only way forward.

To those who counter that I should have just picked a college close to home if I couldn’t stomach the travel, I reply: I am hopelessly elitist and in high school would probably have swam through a sea of tacks to tattoo “Veritas” on my forehead. Next!

Pallavi Kenkare is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at pkenkare@cornellsun.com. Jabberwocky runs every other Wednesday this semester.