ONONYE | Dear Cornell, Save the Snow Days

I never experienced a snow day until I came to Cornell, which puts me at a whopping two days. For many Northeastern students, those two days are less than they typically expected in one year of elementary school. On top of that, I have (to my utter embarrassment) spent both of those snow days studying. 

My lack of understanding and participation in “snow day festivities” probably makes me both the best and worst person to write an op-ed urging administrators to keep snow days regardless of Cornell’s COVID-adapted online teaching modalities. My first snow day was the Monday after Thanksgiving, my sophomore year. Having arrived back on that Sunday, I used it as a catch up day on all the work that I had “accidentally chosen” not to do while at home in Southern California.

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.

AppleFest 2020: Maintaining Tradition Through It All

AppleFest, an Ithaca tradition, looked slightly different this year. Usually, the event boasts about 200 vendors with carnival games and every sort of apple-flavored treat imaginable. This year the event drastically reduced its capacity to reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission and spread. Instead of the normal massive festival, Downtown Ithaca organized an “Apple and Cider Trail” as well as a small open air market. The trail directed attendees to different participating local businesses who were selling apple themed foods, drinks and gifts.

A Flavorful Celebration of Jewish Culinary Identities

Despite making up just about two percent of the U.S. population, Jews remain keepers of an incredibly varied culture. We see this first-hand in the wide range of Jewish identities which exist in America alone — an Israeli Jew may arrive in the U.S. cooking with chickpeas and pomegranates, only to balk at the copious amounts of “white food” which many Ashkenazi Jews consume. Likewise, latkes and gefilte fish may seem so intrinsically Jewish to these Eastern European Jewish communities that shunning them is to eschew Judaism entirely. Jewish culture is, therefore, dependent upon the interpreter’s own experiences, creating a collection of identities as varied as its people. Yet despite their differences, these groups unite themselves under the larger “Jewish” title, celebrating tradition and commitment to the community in similar ways: Through food.

Patriotic Meals: Food as a Stepping-Stone Towards Liberation

Every Fourth of July, Americans are bombarded with advertisements about red and white products — it almost feels patriotic to spend money. Oftentimes, these companies advertise food sales — five dollar watermelon or hot dogs on a stars-and-stripes background — and imply that these items have some inherent patriotic identity. All-American men eat meat, a  Costco ad might urge you. Most of us don’t truly believe that we are performing our civic duty when we buy a hot dog; however, there was a time in American history when one’s diet was directly tied to their love and devotion — or lack thereof — to America. To understand American patriotism as it relates to food, we must go back to British Colonialism in the early 1600s.

Goodbye Gingerbread, Hello Hamantaschen

Hamantaschen (noun): Jelly or chocolate filled, triangular shaped cookies that crop up around this time of year, and are obviously the superior holiday cookie. As a certified cookie expert (a.k.a. a product of the elusive freshman fifteen), I can assure you that cookies come in all shapes and sizes, and many are very similar. However,chocolate chip cookies, gingerbread and snickerdoodles all pale in comparison to hamantaschen. In early spring, there’s the Jewish holiday of Purim, celebrating the Jews triumph over a mass genocide. In addition to having a celebratory feast, we’ve also narrowed in on the triangular shaped cookie market.

Field Hockey Rituals Calm Players

Michael Jordan never played an NBA game without his Tarheel shorts underneath his Bulls uniform. Tim Robbins character in Bull Durham wore women’s undergarments while pitching. From fiction to reality, sports is littered with athletes who have all kinds of weird superstitions. The range is as wide as it is deep, spanning all levels of teams and athletes around the world.