When you put a minimalist and a maximalist in a room together at 18 and tell them to make the arrangement work, it makes no sense that ours did. For four years, we inhabited two different Cornells, but we worked as roommates because we both wanted to create the same Cornell: a place where you can be both soft and strong, thriving and hurt, grounded in your being and terrified of your becoming.
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.
For those needing a bit of a refresher and for newly admitted students, your first few weeks on campus are generally pretty standard. You will be picked up your first night by an orientation leader who will bring you around to some campus-sponsored social events. If you are lucky, they’ll give you an address for a Collegetown party later that night. For those with no such luck, come 11 p.m. or so, first-years make a mass migration to Collegetown — with friends they will never see again after that week — to grovel for entry into filthy fraternity parties. Following your first night of partying (if that’s your thing), you will stumble hungover to the far reaches of campus for your class photo, only to find out that half the class ditched the event.
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.
Just as Ithacalves have become a ubiquitous symbol of the Cornellian campus experience on the Hill, so are our quads. I have compiled a list, ordered worst to best, of the glorified courtyards that define the outdoor gathering experience for Cornellians
I don’t think we’ll get an in-person graduation. I’m calling it now, maybe even willing to make a couple of bets on it. With only 81 days until Commencement Day, we’ve received no information. Nada. Zilch.
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.