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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.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Re: ‘Remember What It Means to Be a Student’

To the editor:

In “Remember What It Means to Be a Student,” Colton Poore ’20 writes, “Over the past three years, I’ve felt that I’ve had my desire to learn sucked out of me with memorization, regurgitation and prayers of scoring at least the mean.” This is a result of a culture that prioritizes the measurable over the meaningful. I usually have a blue shirt on. The shirt is clearly blue. However, as a professor, if I told Cornell students that my shirt is red and then gave them a test with one question on it — “What color is my shirt?” — 95% would answer, without hesitation, “Red,” regardless of whether I am speaking one-on-one, in a small group or in a large auditorium (just ask my students, advisees and anyone else who would be around to watch). I would tell them that we are here to teach them how to observe nature and to develop the courage of their convictions to explain their observations and conclusions using reasoning.