I’m Joseph Mullen ’24, and as the Vice President of Internal Operations for the Student Assembly, I see my role as helping build a shared sense of collective power among the student body, to have a shared sense of student solidarity whereby we all fight for and alongside one another. I believe that the S.A. can help students the most by ending the isolation produced by the pandemic and our economic conditions so that we can all unite and rise together.
I shouldn’t have worried about my reach or doubted the Daily Sun’s reach either. My team members for my Intro to Game Architecture course and fellow E-Board members for Women in Computing at Cornell loved resharing and boosting the links to my columns as soon as they came out. Even my ode to Duffield somehow reached my sister, who works in the Bay Area and has been out of school for five years, via her coworker. A junior from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln emailed me a four-paragraph response to my “Stop Catfishing Computer Science Majors” piece offering a separate angle from his personal experiences. My words were getting somewhere. Someone was reading. That was all that mattered.
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.
He chuckled at his phone with the sort of strained enthusiasm meant to spur a person’s curiosity. Curiosity spurred, I crawled to the foot of the bed and peered over his broad, tattooed shoulder. I wasn’t exactly eager to stow aside my feminist propensity of ignoring men when they, in typical fashion, summon attention to themselves whilst performing some act wholly unworthy of the attention they summon. But his shoulders were broad, and tattooed. And we had just had some cool sex, so all in all I was feeling benevolent.
Time is ticking for the Ivy League to make a decision as to whether or not go through with a spring athletic season. With COVID showing no signs of slowing down, perhaps it is in the best interest of the Cornell community to officially cancel the third and final sports season of the 2020-2021 academic school year.
Boredom — modern man’s worst fear. Typically it’s avoided by countless hours of swiping left and right through cookie-cutter Tinder profiles in hopes of securing a post-quarantine hookup, scrolling through meme feeds on Instagram that no longer make you laugh, browsing your favorite subReddit in hopes of finding a new post since the last time you checked (two minutes ago) and sending pictures of your blank face to other expressionless victims of the same archaic curse. How else is a Gen Z-er supposed to pass his time when forced live like a Band on the Run? Any way you look at it, quarantine presents a psychological and social quandary of the likes my generation has never had to deal with. Solitude.
My first time having good sex was in the desert. My then-boyfriend, Desert Not-So Solitaire, and I waited until it was dark, then snuck partway down a trail at Capitol Reef and stretched out a blanket over the burnt orange sand. The stars were so bright above us. The sky seemed to stretch all the way down to our feet. We’d had sex a few times before, but the act was still new and fumbling for me, often accompanied by discomfort or pain.