Dining Hall Dinners That Got Me Through CHEM 2080

Despite the general vibe around campus that food from the dining halls has been lackluster, Ally Mark ’24 has found many diamonds in the rough. Here are her top five favorite Cornell dining hall dinners and deserts, like the gouda mac and cheese which helped her dance through the rigors of CHEM 2080.

Where Does Dining Hall Fish Come From?

Cornell was the first Ivy to be certified by the Marine Stewardship Council for serving sustainable seafood in 2012, and today campus dining halls continue to provide students with fresh fish and crustaceans on a regular basis.

LIM | Comfortably Numb

Some of this numbness is the result of excess. I remember many of my semesters at Cornell were filled with attempts to maximize experiences: I took as many classes as I could and joined as many clubs as my schedule could fit. I don’t expect my specific brand of overenthusiastic frenzy to have been universal, but the belief that quantity determined the quality of my experiences ironically ended up restricting what I could take away from each one.

Composting at Cornell: C+

COVID-19 caused a massive shift towards single-use plastics as a safer way to distribute meals, but they are the least creative option available. An institution with as much means as Cornell Dining could, and slowly is finding new ways to integrate more effective composting and recycling strategies.

AUSTIN | A (Not So) Mathematical Mocha Cake

In this Moosewood Mess, Austin eyeballs a mocha cake recipe and absolutely nails it … except for the mocha part (but who has to know?). Austin reflects on how making surprise three course meals that have a dessert is so worth the trouble when you see the delight in your friends’ faces.

STELLA | Thank You For Coming Out of The Womb First

My brother guided me through clubfest (giving your email to too many groups will result in non-stop notifications), our ever-hated DUST report (is that only for Arts & Sciences?), and Greek life rush. He gave me advice without ever trying to sway me to do or join the things he did.

LIM | Turning Screens to Black and White this Lent Instead of Our Politics

Under the influence of several friends who told me about the designed addictiveness of screens, I recently switched the color filter on my phone and laptop to black and white. I made this part of my observance of Lent, 40 days of simple, ascetic living observed by Christians in preparation for Easter. 

If Lent involves ethical progress via analogy — refraining from indulging in sugar to train the same discipline that refrains from indulging in excessive criticism — then being more conscious of literal surfaces, like laptop screens, acts as one of several possible reminders to not take what is immediately before us as all there is. I’ve since realized two things: One, that relative detachment from my screen was in line with Lenten principles to remove distractions from what was important; two, that spending less time with surfaces like my screen and having faith in what might be beyond had implications beyond the private domain of religion, and extended into public domains like politics. A secular description of faith by the psychoanalyst and nontheist Erich Fromm is, “a conviction which is rooted in one’s own experience,” or a belief in the value of pursuing data-informed visions of truth that eventually lead to scientific discoveries and social transformations — taking the surface, but daring to see beyond. This could be as practical as the environment and sustainability major disturbed by discouraging data on water pollution and flooding, but determined to study and someday apply the building of ditches.

EPSTEIN | Your Brain on Meditation: Take a Break to Reset

There is more than one way to find calmness and relaxations on this semester’s first Wellness Days. If you’re swamped with work and studying, especially in preparation of this upcoming round of prelims, consider trying meditation. Not only does Cornell offer a ton of online resources to help you learn on your own, there are also guided meditation sessions over Zoom.

FOX | The Fox News Freakout Over Dr. Seuss Exposes Political Right’s Emptiness

Choosing to fight battles that were never even issues to begin with has become a hallmark of the GOP and Fox News. Case in point: “Cancelling” Dr. Seuss. While his works are now rightfully being recognized for their racist undertones and are no longer being emphasized by some school districts, “The Cat in the Hat” can still be found on library bookshelves.

CHEN | Could AI Really Take Over the World?

The Artificial Intelligence of Hollywood has gotten everyone worried about a future run by robots. However, there are many aspects of our day-to-day interactions that AI is, as of yet, incapable of mirroring. Emotion, morality and personality are things not easily reduced to the positive and negative values of code. We’re safe for now.