Cornell Class of 2014 Orientation

Again, I don’t feel like writing this in any order, so following is a bulleted list:

  • Only at Cornell, it seems, could a 3000-person Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament start and finish within 15 minutes. (And none of the 3000 knew about the tournament beforehand.) The grand prize for winning 12 games in a row was… Cornell bottled water. One bottle.
  • 3000 people gathered around playing RPS is a LOT of people. And that’s just the freshman class. Add in the upper classes and the graduate students, and you get around 20,000 students.
  • Ithaca is GORGES.
  • Cornell’s campus is huge. Texas-style.
  • Mews Hall (dorm where I’m staying) is super-awesome.
  • The Big Red Band (Cornell’s band program, especially the marching band) did the most comprehensive and impressive sidewalk chalking I have ever seen. There were basically arrows and words drawn everywhere. They had some especially funny ones:
    • “BAND” with forward arrow.
    • another “BAND” with forward arrow.
    • quite a few more of those.
    • “YOU MISSED IT // TURN AROUND” with a U-turn arrow once you pass it.
    • “BOTH PATHS // LEAD TO BAND” with a forward arrow and side arrow at an intersection, because the band building was on the opposite corner.
    • “(the most efficient route)” on a diagonal arrow between the two arrows described before.
    • “SUBLIMINAL MESSAGE: // JOIN BAND” all in huge letters.
    • “SEX // NOW THAT I GOT // YOUR ATTENTION // JOIN BAND” with “SEX” in particular large letters.
  • Orientation games don’t seem to help very much in remembering names or knowing people. Then again, they’re quite fun.
  • The food certainly is great.
  • Cornell’s motto is the Big Red. Technically it’s the Big Red Bear, but they have Big Red everything. The store sells things in Big Red Bags, the marching band is the Big Red Marching band, and some Cornell engineers who worked with Spirit and Opportunity insist on calling Mars the Big Red Planet.
  • There’s a freaking waterfall. Yeah, a waterfall. (Which is gorges by the way.) Edit: There are multiple.
  • So far it’s only day two of a 5-day orientation. More interesting news coming next time.

Edit (8/24/10): Well, orientation is just about done! It’s been awesome getting used to the place. The last two days though, it has been very rainy and not as scenic. Today it was a little better. Classes will start tomorrow. A few additional things:

  • I had to wear a jacket in August. That’s certainly one difference from Austin.
  • The band is so epic.
    • After a first rehearsal, we went to Collegetown and sang some really bizarre songs. One of them amounted to saying “Penn sucks” about 30 times, and another questioned the sexual nature of Yale people. Profanity was pretty much a requirement for a song.
    • If you think that was bad, imagine how the trumpet section made it even more awesome.
      • Actually, I suggest you don’t imagine that.
    • The Cornell trumpet section owns the website
    • Regarding marching, the time required to cover fundamentals, forward/backward marching, slides, dress/cover, box drill, and spin maneuvers at my high school was 3 days of strenuous band camp. At Cornell it took 15 minutes. (Actually it took much longer for most sections, but the trumpet section did it in 15 minutes.)
  • An umbrella is a must-have accessory. It rained on and off for two days.

2 thoughts on “Cornell Class of 2014 Orientation

    1. Eric: “The local slogan, ‘Ithaca is Gorges,’ refers to the 100+ gorges and waterfalls located within 10 miles of downtown. The largest, 215-foot Taughannock Falls (pronounced Tuh-GAN-ick), is three stories taller than Niagara. Along with the falls, gorges and beautiful lakefront, the surrounding county offers access to 28,000 acres of public forestland for hiking, mountain biking and outdoor recreation.”

      In other words, it’s a really lame pun. 😀


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