March 18, 2021

STELLA | Does Cornell Hate The Irish?

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It’s the only possible explanation as to why I have not been able to celebrate the holy St. Patrick’s Day in any of my four years here. The last two years have extenuating circumstances, obviously, but even this year we could still put back a Guinness with our roommates if Cornell gave us the time. 

For the first March ever, Ithaca is not facing Second Winter. Thanks to global warming and fossil fuel burning, the weather has picked up to the forties and fifties and shows no signs of slowing down. Parkas and scarves have been replaced by sundresses and bro-tanks (though we should have outgrown the latter after seventh grade). Despite this God-given luxury ahead of St. Patrick’s Day, Cornell won’t get on board.

As a proud Irish citizen and supporter of Michael D. Higgins (look him up he’s adorable, I take offense at Cornell’s refusal to acknowledge the day of St.Patrick. Year after year professors assign multiple papers and exams during the week of this holiday, forcing students to cram into libraries and study rooms rather than enjoy a day off from work. 

The administration has ensured this week coincides with the peak of prelims, even if this semester started late. Ithaca winters are hard enough, many Cornellians’ outlooks are dampened by the cold and the short days, as it gets dark by 5pm. Instead of gifting us a day to relax, Cornell throws more work our way than our friends at Brown see in any given semester. 

Is this intentionally a crime against the Irish? No, of course not, but that won’t keep me from slander. I’m not above it. 

Is it anti-Irish to prevent the flow of smooth Dublinian stout? Probably not, but something feels off when an Irishman is held back from the feeling of cold Guinness down the gullet. 

This St. Patrick’s Day, instead, I’ll be found in study rooms prepping for my Finance prelim because I’ve already missed the maximum number of  lectures and I have to take it for a grade since Dad wanted me to pursue a “practical” minor in Business; whenever I tell people I’m an English major it is always met with an “Oh, so you want to be a teacher?” but in reality I want to make movies and, at the end of the day, all I want is a draft Guinness. Have fun with that run-on, editors. 

Each March I was barred from celebrating the patron Saint of the country that will house my future sheep farm. St. Patrick incorporated Irish culture into Christian sermons to relate it to their lives, man who chased all the snakes out of Ireland, so the folklore goes.

In normal years, people celebrate in different ways – parades in New York, green rivers in Chicago, pub-made blood sausages in Dublin. I’ve knocked Collegetown Bagels in previous articles (as I should, their bagels share the same consistency as sandy rice). However, I want nothing more than to kick my feet up on a CTB outdoor table and enjoy the Guinness they’ve got on tap. Score one for a New Yorker’s nightmare breakfast.

Maybe I’m being too hard on our future alma mater, afterall the Tuesday, Wednesday wellness days were quite revitalizing – 24 hours of no zoom lectures, just the good old regular homework that doesn’t stop because it’s the middle of the week. Far above Cayuga’s waters, where we’ll all study indoors, I sing to you my alma mater, when I just want to drunkenly speak about Irish folklore!

What has this article become? We’ll find out. Not much inspiration to keep the juices flowing, and if you’ve followed my column this long (cheers) are you really surprised? Are you not entertained? 

Perhaps the solution at hand, in this, the final year of college, is to forgo all work. The essay due at midnight? Let’s hand it in next week, The Crown is on. Prelim on Thursday? You know what Prof. Pizzarro, Psychology 101, always says – if you study drunk, you gotta take the exam drunk. Maybe it’s called situational learning (obviously it’s working)? But then again, maybe dreams don’t come true and I’ll have to head back to school for an MBA program for my masters in marketing. Do Johnson admissions people read the Sun? 

AJ Stella is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at [email protected]. Stellin’ It Like It Is runs every other Friday this semester.