YAO | On-Campus Ruminations After a Semester Away

Five months ago, amid a whole lot of FOMO but even more uncertainty, I wrote a column titled Cornell Study Abroad: Home Edition. I had elected to stay at home for the fall semester due to a variety of reasons, not least because of the rising case count and the mounting panic I felt every time another university shut down. But just as staying home last semester felt like the best decision at the time, coming back felt natural for this spring. Remote school had reached the stage of monotony where any change seemed better than the existing condition, so I took the leap and found my way back to the snowy gorges of upstate New York. 

After almost an entire year away, being back in Ithaca is a bit like a fever dream. I can only describe it as feeling like seeing a friend you had lost contact with, only to realize upon meeting that you had both drastically changed.

Bee Grateful this Holiday Season

With fall coming to a quick close and snow flurries blanketing campus, winter has finally arrived. If you are like me, you have already begun preparing for an annual hibernation, stocking up on Swiss Miss and holiday cheer. Along with us are the unsung heroes of our global food and environmental sustainability: the honey bees. Every winter, honey bee colonies prepare for the cold by forming tight clusters within the hive and slowly eating away the honey they worked so hard to produce all year long. Beekeepers find themselves busy insulating the hives and, most importantly, harvesting the excess honey from the fall flower blooms. 

The process of harvesting honey is a simple, yet fascinating one.

Real Bagels: A CTB Retrospective

Returning home after this semester was a bittersweet experience. I was sad to leave the friends and university that COVID-19 has shown I value so much, but seeing my family and having a real bagel lessened that sadness. As I have mentioned before, I have a slight personal vendetta against Collegetown Bagels, and as I spent time away from home I started to have doubts about how harsh I was to the famed establishment. While many agreed with me, others brought up well framed arguments in defense of CTB and made me have a minor crisis of faith. When I came home to New Jersey at the end of the in-person semester, I realized that I had never been more correct in my life. 

There are few breakfast foods in life that are as versatile, sustaining and simple as the humble breakfast sandwich.

AUSTIN | A Moosewood Thanksgiving

I want to love Thanksgiving ー family, friends and an abundance of food ー but I have never really been a Thanksgiving person. Thanksgiving has the classic foods that everyone looks forward to, but I just don’t get what’s so special. Turkeys kind of freak me out because they’re so big, sure cranberry sauce is good but it’s over-hyped and I don’t understand why mashed potatoes are typified as a Thanksgiving food. For all the whining I do about Thanksgiving, it’s hard to not get caught up in the spirit of it. Fall is my favorite season ー the leaves change colors, everything is so crisp and it finally starts to get cold.

An Immigrant Thanksgiving

A Salvadoran-American Perspective

For the first time in almost four years, many Americans feel tentatively proud of their country. Tireless encouragement to vote has helped prove that community support can unite a country divided and reestablish American values of truth, integrity and respect. As such, it seemed appropriate to take a look at the new meanings Thanksgiving may hold this year; Samai Navas, a recent Salvadoran-American immigrant and close family friend, shares what her All (Salvadoran) American Thanksgiving has come to represent over the years. 

It’s worth noting that the typical modern Thanksgiving symbolizes and commemorates an ideal that only existed for a very short time. While there is some truth behind the story of a peaceful feast between European settlers and the Wampanoag people in 1621, this calm did not last. Between the years of 1630 and 1642, plague tore through Native communities, resulting in the death of more than half of all Native Americans living at the time.

Food Stamps: On the Ballot and On Campus

More often than not, I find that discussions of food insecurity that occur on campus focus almost exclusively on off-campus communities. We discuss in depth data regarding Ithaca, Tompkins County and the nation as a whole. We discuss the implications of the recent election on food insecurity and access to food stamps without acknowledging the peers in class next to us that rely on these same assistance programs.

Many low-income college students were among the nearly 700,000 people projected to lose their SNAP benefits as a result of the new work requirements announced nearly a year ago by the Trump administration. This rule explicitly targets “able-bodied adults without dependents,” a category most college students fit into. As a population that is already purposely excluded from receiving SNAP benefits in a wide variety of cases, this rule, if enacted, could further stymie the access of college students to a well-needed resource.