AGGARWAL | Is the Farmers’ Market the Farmer’s Market?

Number 68 on 161 Things Every Cornellian Should Do is “Eat your way through the Farmer’s [sic] Market.” Thus, it has become a place nearly every student visits before they graduate. But, in the process of tokenizing this experience for our bucket list, something deeper is lost. 

A component that is actually more important, yet often overlooked, is how the farmers’ market serves the farmers themselves. While we, as students, can remove ourselves from the economic experience for the social one, we should take pause to contemplate how effectively farmers’ markets, including our own, support the farms they allege to promote. The farmers’ market is intended to be as the name suggests — a place for farmers to market their produce. At ourst, among the many farms are an assortment of other vendors.

SMITH | The Multi-Year Test

The COVID-19 outbreak spurred a tsunami of appreciation for “essential workers,” especially healthcare workers. When Cornell first launched its testing program, the treatment of testing site workers was similarly warm. When working as a registration observer (a.k.a. the person behind the plexiglass in the yellow trash bag) in the fall of 2020, I received many thank yous from strangers. I felt a lot of pride as Cornell championed the program and its successes. Come fall of 2021, it feels different this time around.

DO | The Myth of Passion

All this stress and worry raises a valuable question: why? Why do we toil so much over our resumes, to the point of unhealthy self-comparisons? Why do we pursue shiny executive board positions in professionally-oriented clubs when there are so many other interesting uses of our time? Why does everyone seem to have their professional futures figured out, while I can’t go a week without contemplating dropping out and becoming an “influencer”?

BERNSTEIN | The True Mystery of Z. K. Goat and Ithaca: The Novel

It’s about the Odyssey’s Penelope and Odysseus: They’re vacationing for the Summer from the underworld, and instead of going home to Ithaca, Greece, they decide to visit Ithaca, New York. How quirky! They stay at Argos Inn in Room 214. On page 2, Penelope heads out to go work on her poems, which she does every day. “The fifteenth of August,” she thinks. “Our time here is almost done.” 

VALDERATO | Can You Test Me More?

This is not a call for endless restrictions on social life or acts of pandemic theater. I actually agree that any outdoor mask mandate is prioritizing the wrong thing given the miniscule risk for outdoor transmission compared to eating in a packed dining hall. Similarly, I acknowledge that most if not all of us are likely to get COVID-19 in our lifetime, experiencing it as a non-life-threatening illness somewhere between a cold we don’t notice and a bad case of the flu.

YAO | Embracing My Inner Freshman

Let’s be honest, there’s somewhat of a stigma in being four semesters away from leaving Cornell and still being lost. Freshmen are allowed to wander — in fact, it’s encouraged as a positive sign of change. Juniors, on the other hand, are expected to have majors picked out, club leadership established and internships finalized. But perhaps growing older doesn’t always mean having the answers. Perhaps growing wiser means embracing those freshman-esque feelings rather than stifling them. Perhaps wanderlust should be encouraged at all ages. 

MEHLER | You Should Walk to Class

If you choose to ignore the headphone request, walking to class lets you see how beautiful and gorgeous our home really is.  Seeing people sled down the slope past you as you huff and puff up the Slope.  Watching the line for Okenshields stretch outside of Willard Straight Hall.  Sharing a wave and a smile with someone you think you know but you might not and oh well they’ve already passed me.

SPARACIO | In Stride: A Return to Walking to Class

That sweaty August day marked the beginning of a most unprecedented freshmen year; a year full of Q-tip COVID tests, zoom classes, mask wearing and an unfettered hatred for the word unprecedented. New codes of conduct and behavioral contracts created what was deemed the “new normal” which fostered the creation of many new habits among the student body. For many students the walk to class no longer existed. Some replaced it by rolling out of bed, some by listening to class in bed, others by creating a walk of their own whether that be to their favorite study spot or to a building where the echoes of everyone’s zoom conversations bounced off the walls, an amalgamation of different subject matters that enlivened our senses.  

YANG | The Unruly Americans

Well, mainly the Pandemic. Although, unlike the situation in Jan.  2020, being in China right now means being in a place with one of the lowest number of cases on Earth.  I even wrote a column then, hoping that this would not turn into a global pandemic. Trust me; as some of the few Chinese students who chose to spend this last year in the U.S. rather than return home, the differences couldn’t be less drastic. While I’m trying to gauge how bad a semester (turned out to be two) of zoom university was going to be back in Sept. 2020, my friends back home in China were already going to nightclubs with no fear.