Maybe I’ll Take “Slacking 645” This Semester

I worked a job over the summer where I didn’t really have that much to do. Then I’d go home, and I wouldn’t really have that much to do. I’d go to sleep and wake up the next day and have the same thing to look forward to. I guess to some that may sound relaxing or peaceful, but it wasn’t. It was me sitting around doing nothing. Maybe I’d read a blog or write for my own, but really, it was just a whole lot of nothing.

Now I’m back at Cornell, and the scene is completely different. My time is in very short supply, and I’m trying to fly through this semester at 1000 miles an hour. I’m going faster than Kenyans drinking Powerthirst. There were like 10 people who got the joke in that last sentence.

Shameless Self Promotion

The summer is over and I’m back with a new title and outlook. Being back at school, I once again realize that I don’t know everything and, more importantly, that I give horrible, horrible advice.

This time around the focus will be a little more on Cornell. That’s not really a conscious effort, but I’m not very creative and I’m here. I may bring up some of my personal experiences as an engineering student and member of the Baja SAE team (Info Sessions 9/4 and 9/5 at 4:30 in Upson 207). I may also try to discuss stories that affect the Cornell community.

Lesson 11: Journey Back

Summer break is rapidly coming to a close, and that means Ithaca will soon be repopulated with thousands of young adults thirsting for knowledge (and beer). The journey back to Cornell after a summer off is different for everyone. Some pack up their cars and prepare themselves for an arduous journey. Others only live a short distance away. Some fly in from various corners of the globe. Still others never left Ithaca and are merely waiting for classes and their friends to arrive.

Lesson 10: Procrastinate

I am a master procrastinator, a duke of the study rebuke, the father of “why bother?” Not to mention a king of the linguistic string. It is with that expertise that I am speaking to you today. If you doubt my credentials, I ask you only to look at the opening I just used. It took me way too long to write that. I really wanted to slip “prince” in there so I had a nice progression, but I couldn’t come up with anything good. I came up with a few things for queen… but I’m rambling. The point is that I procrastinate.

Lesson Nine: Get Wet

The last year of my life has been strange. I started off in a pretty sheltered place. I was at Cornell, my parents were taking care of most of my expenses, and all I really had to worry about was school. Granted, at times, school can be stressful, even more stressful than actual work, but school exists in a different world. I then took a semester off to work. I cut the cord to my parents, and I was on my own.

Lesson Eight: Don’t Get a Real Job

I got my first job that paid me with a check when I was 16 in the summer of 2002. I was a day camp counselor. It was fun. My boss was a college student who was about as immature as I was. His boss was my high school baseball coach. It wasn’t exactly stressful. Alas, I only worked there one summer. The next summer, I stayed inside to do homemade science all summer (no joke, I really am that much of a dork.)

Lesson Seven: Start Smoking

Lesson Learned Warning: The following post is in bad taste. It’s also very funny.

It seems that smokers are a dying breed (yes, that’s a pun). According to the CDC, the number of smokers in the United States continues to decline. The dedicated smokers are growing old (late 40s for them) and passing on, while a new generation is being bombarded with anti-tobacco ads keeping them away from the tasty cancer sticks. Replacement smokers (12 year olds) aren’t as easy to come by anymore. All of this makes me feel bad for Big Tobacco, so I decided to fight for the little guy and explain some of the merits of smoking delicious cigarettes.

Lesson Six: Slack

If you look up the word “slack” in the dictionary, you’ll find a plethora of definitions. It can be used as an adjective, adverb, noun, and transitive or intransitive verb. The word itself could be a grammar lesson. But that’s not the point here. In fact, giving a grammar lesson would be detrimental to my message. It’s the very type of thing that overachieving Cornellians would love to do. I am no overachiever. I am an achieve-just-the-right-amount-er. C’s get degrees right?

Lesson Five: Become a Freegan

I came across an interesting article while reading the New York Times last week. It dealt with the grassroots movement known as freeganism. The word “freegan” is derived from vegan, you see, so right off the bat you know freeganism is going to involve some “interesting” ideologies. The main tenet of a freegan is simple in concept and difficult in execution: don’t buy anything.

I’m going to let that sink in for a second while you think of all of the stuff that you buy. Electronics, transportation, electricity, clothing, food, the list is virtually endless. Freegans do their best to buy nothing. Before you cry foul, let it be known that this is merely a goal. Freegans end up consuming some things, especially those that enjoy some of life’s finer offerings like shelter and indoor plumbing.

Lesson Four: Get Caught Up in Fads

Defining yourself can be a difficult task. I touched on this point last week when I implored everyone to become obsessed. It’s much easier to identify yourself when your identity is out of your control. No decisions to make that way.