Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cornell Had Me At Silly Putty

Today I woke up on time, and am finally starting to function on only around 6 hours of sleep. Normally that would be fine, but my body seems to want 12 hours during the summer, so it has been pretty difficult staying bright and alert in class. Today I finally broke out of this though, since I think my body finally realizes that I’m back in school, albeit for only a week and a day more.

This was a good day to be fully rested, since we covered some very interesting and powerful writings of which I wouldn’t have wanted to miss a single detail. Today our lecture was on specific women’s rights activists, rather than a basic overview of the oppression women had to deal with. Today Professor Kramnick spoke about Olympe de Gouges, Mary Wollstonecraft, and John Stuart Mill. It was great getting to hear about all the ideas these revolutionary writers had to say.

The highlight of my day by far was my tour of the engineering quad after class. I was guided around the quad by the junior with a material science major I had met at dinner a week ago, Ashley Harms. It was really great taking this tour, especially since because it was just me and Ashley; I was able to ask whatever question, no matter how random or dumb. While I was touring all the beautiful yet intimidating buildings, I realized just how ignorant I was in regards to pretty much any form of engineering. Ashley pointed out fascinating machine after fascinating machine, and I feel that I would have thought they were even more interesting if I understood any of Ashley’s explanations of the machines. Not to say she was a bad tour guide who left me in the dark, quite the contrary, she covered pretty much anything I could’ve asked, the machines were just so advanced that it probably would have taken me about a year of studying just one to have any idea of what it did.

After a nice 40 minute tour covering all the buildings, we headed back to Hollister Hall where I took up even more of Ashley’s time, pestering her with pointless question after pointless question. I asked her what some of the great things about the engineering school were, and was really reassured when she said that the whole school was a sort of family, and that all the students helped each other. I was also pretty nervous about maybe being an engineer after seeing a lot of labs covering subjects, but Ashley told me she had no idea what any of it was as a junior either, so that made me feel better. Although I’ve only covered about a quarter of our whole conversation it’s about time for me to go to sleep. I will leave my readers with Ashley’s reason why she decided to major in material sciences, which left me really optimistic about Cornell. At the beginning of the year, all the majors had booths of sorts to attract prospective students. The material sciences booth had a silly putty making station, which may not sound like the greatest of reasons to some, but I just completely appreciated the fact that even an Ivy League school was able to have fun with their majors. On that silly note goodnight.

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