ROSENBAND | Keep a Journal

In the corner of my childhood bedroom sits a stack of journals about as tall as my waist. Black marble notebook on top of black marble notebook, mixed with the occasional moleskin or legal pad, in that dusty nook exists an exhausting, and haunting, log of my day-to-day existence since I was 14 years old. Some days were just lists, others were angry tirades, and sometimes they were tickets of gratitude. Now, in my Collegetown apartment, my stack keeps growing, it just looks a little different this time. Black marble notebook on top of an overpriced textbook, on top of a black marble notebook. 

I’m not overselling it when I tell you that keeping a journal is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself.

ROSENBAND | May Her Memory Be A Revolution

On the night of Sept. 18 the world lost a shining light and a bulwark of our democracy with the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ’54. A beloved wife, mother, grandmother, a champion of women’s rights and human rights, Justice Ginsburg carried the burdens of the world on her shoulders. At just 5’ 1” tall, oftentimes soft-spoken but always fearless, she towered over us all and will be remembered as one of the greatest women who have ever lived. I have never cried this hard over someone I never knew.

ROSENBAND | Public Shaming: Mourning Cornell in Real Time

I’m a junior now, but the room key to my Collegetown apartment still hangs from the distinguishable lanyard I received when I moved into Dickson Hall as a freshman. If you were smart, you probably discarded it right when you got it, trusting that your amateur status went in the bin with it. Maybe it has stayed with me more as a matter of convenience, but I continue to cling on to that bright-red rope that pulls me right back into the heart of freshman year as a souvenir from a past life — a time when I felt as if I existed in the cross-section between 22 Jump Street and Pitch Perfect. I expected Cornell to change me in a humongous, colossal, monumental, *insert superlative* way, and although it probably has, this mid-pandemic existence forces me to not only mourn the life I lived, but mourn the place I hold dearest even as I’m walking its campus. Even if you’re technically a senior, this year we all start over as freshmen: Overwhelmed, paying too much attention to the little details, fearful of not meeting new people and just generally confused at how this is all going to work.

ROSENBAND | When Hospitals Become Our Battlegrounds

When 7 p.m. arrives, my neighbors gather on their porches, banging pots and pans and cheering for doctors, like my dad, as they arrive home. It’s a sweet tribute. But in this period of social distancing, when every pursuit is a solitary one, I pinpoint those moments of camaraderie as my loneliest ones. I wait for 7 p.m., and when it rolls around I welcome a dispirited substitute for my father, void of his trademark optimism. I quickly scan him up and down — he has a face shield and mask in one hand and a bag of pomegranate licorice in the other, a blank face, a few drops of dried blood on his sneakers, a loosely tied Cornell sweatshirt hanging from his waist  — and then I continue to stir a pot of butternut squash soup.

ROSENBAND | Please, Hold the Door and Wipe Your Shoes

Two days before fall break, when prelim season had first dawned, I broke my ankle in Uris Library — a feat that sounds nearly impossible. As my friend Claire so eloquently put it, athletes break their bones on the field and nerds break their bones in the library. In my opinion, the market for extreme sports should now include hardcore studying. Since my injury, I’ve had to go to endless doctor appointments, withdraw from beloved classes, attend daily physical therapy sessions and go home for surgery, only to miss a month of school. The postoperative pain continues to be excruciating, yet it is the least of my problems. I wake up several times throughout the night nauseated by stress and anxiety, bogged down by an infinite number of questions.