With outstanding early and absentee ballots yet to be counted, it seems like the presidential election will take a long time — maybe days — before conclusive results are announced. Both candidates gave speeches of confidence late in the night, but victory couldn’t be formally declared. The night was tense and many fear for their futures, the futures of their loved ones and the future of the nation. Knowing this, we must not let the battle for progressive change end, regardless of the election’s outcome. Racial injustice, climate change and COVID-19 have not gone away; they never will without pressure from the people.
As I look toward the semester ahead and consider how I should spend my last semester at Cornell, I realize how much has changed over the past three years of my time here. Most notably, so many on- and off-campus premises continue to be newly established or demolished that I may not even recognize Cornell three years from now. Renovations in Rand Hall have finally been completed almost three years after a car crashed into the building during my freshman year. Long-time Collegetown restaurants such as Aladdin’s have gone out of business and new apartment complexes are constantly under construction. Personally, I have stretched myself far and wide to adjust to new situations as they arise.
I dyed my hair today. For Christmas, I got one of those DIY hair dye packages, which contains dye that comes off after you wash your hair twice and provides the opportunity to change without the fear that comes with the sincere and courageous commitment to change. It’s called Paprika, but I was never really the paprika type myself. My best friend dyed her hair red when we were in high school, and she had this long beautiful hair. One day we met – it was on a Sunday afternoon; it’s always been Sunday afternoon since 8th grade – and her head was blazing red.
Sometimes a person can change your life without even knowing how much they have impacted you. I want to talk about one such person who kept me calm as I was rushed to the emergency room with my arm bleeding and my body and dress splattered with red. When my friends called 911 after I tried to commit suicide, there was one EMT responder, a woman, who I will be forever be grateful towards. She doesn’t know the effect her words had on me, but I wish I could tell her. As I was being transported to the hospital, I told her what had happened to me and about my flashbacks.
It is with a twang of guilt that the archetypal bingewatcher of Netflix’s “Making a Murderer” realizes that the taut, expertly-told story he or she is watching could be summarized as though it were the schmaltz-ified voiceover in a trailer for any puffed-up TV legal drama. The narration writes itself: cops corrupt to their medalled gills. An unwitting, simple man in the slammer for a crime he (apparently) did not commit. Two lawyers on an All- American crusade to prove his innocence. All this with an uncomfortably intimate Midwest backdrop just naïve enough to be rocked to its core by the murder of the new millennium, and any viewer familiar with In Cold Blood and the past few decades of American true crime will be instantly at home.
During the presidential election the domestic policy of most concern to voters, other than the economy, was healthcare. President Obama ran on a campaign of implementing sweeping healthcare reform aimed at improving both efficiency and access. House Majority Whip James Clyburn has been quoted as saying it is better for reform to occur, “incrementally, than to go out and just bite something you can’t chew,” to which Speaker Pelosi had to rebut. While the current financial crisis may offer an opportunity to move towards universal coverage and an overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system, it is more likely that Obama’s first term (at least the first fiscal year) will be witness to incremental reform.