August 5, 2011

What you do:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

The Questions:

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name

August 2, 2011

"Any Person, Any Study"...Well, except that, and that, and that...

I feel sort of guilty for not putting up a new post sooner. "I've got plenty to say," in the words of Skeeter (The Help) and have had a very contemplative summer, but somehow, I have not gotten around to actually putting anything into words.

What has come up on my mind a lot over the course of this summer is the hypocrisy of the Cornell founding motto: "Any person, any study." I will admit that Jackson was a large part of my choosing Cornell, but there were also many things I loved about Cornell too which made the decision that much more convincing. I was very drawn to the concept of Any Person, Any Study because, even though I was pretty set on Engineering, I knew that I didn't want to be in an all-tech environment since many of my interests and passions are humanities and performance-based. I loved the diversity of the students' interests and the variations of majors and possibilities. Cornell has SEVEN separate schools: Engineering, Arts & Sciences, Architecture, Human Ecology, Agriculture & Life Science, Industrial & Labor Relations, and Hotel Management. Within those schools there are many, many majors so you can only imagine the student population.

This past year has been a little rough on me. I really do like Cornell and I am grateful to be there, but it has been extremely challenging. I worked extraordinarily hard, harder than I had ever worked in high school, and still came in the bottom half of the pack in nearly all of my engineering classes. It as a blow to my self-confidence and, quite surprisingly, to my self-awareness. I started doubting a lot about myself and it was stressful. I've called these somewhat frequent moments "Quarter-Life Crises" (which actually has a pretty accurate Wikipedia page if you are interested). But Cornell disappointed me consistently whenever I thought I had come up with a new personal plan. Anyone reading this knows - I AM A PLANNER. I know where I am going, what I want, where I want to be, what my goals are, what time I am getting in and out of the shower, what time I have to finish brushing my teeth to be on time. When I list it like that, I sound OCD. And I admit, I am probably borderline. But part of what terrified me about these quarter-life crises was that, suddenly, I had no clue where I was going and if where I was going was where I wanted to be going. Now, back to Cornell disappointing me. I finally thought: Hmm, I'll get an English minor and then continue on my current path but with something I enjoy on the side. Guess what? No English minor at Cornell, only major. Some more pondering lands me thinking: Ok, I'll major in Journalism and WRITE about science. What? No journalism major at Cornell? OK, fine, let's rethink. What have I enjoyed doing? Teaching? Ok, I'll major in Education! What?! Cornell has shut down that program too?!

I wanted to find a path. I want to have a plan that I am confident in. But Cornell seems to be really against me. With Emily looking at schools, my biggest advice for her is look at schools that have MULTIPLE majors you are interested in - specifically. Not just "Oh they have 80 majors" because Cornell has a ton and yet the three new plans I have come up with are not there for me. I like being at Cornell, and after all the work I have done in the Engineering school, I am even more hesitant to switch because then I would feel like this past year would have been a waste. I don't know if that is pride, or obstinate stupidity, or courage, but I cannot shake that feeling and cannot bring myself to switch, especially without a specific plan.

And now Cornell is phasing out dance and theatre. I am terrified that I will never know where I am going. Coming out of high school I was confident and sure of myself and proud of my accomplishments. Now I feel sort of small and incapable and I just want to have a goal. I want to have a plan. And I feel like - with the exception of the people I have met there - Cornell as let me down. On the academic front, at least. It's so frustrating, and yet I am still proud of my school, proud of where I am, and don't want to be anywhere else. Wow I sound ridiculous.