Saturday, September 26, 2009

College for real.

I'm at Cornell right now finishing up a caramel apple... just got back from the Ithaca apple festival. Had breakfast at College Town Bagels this morning with about a million Cornell kids. Catching an afternoon movie, heading to dinner and hitting up the college bars tonight. I think this is what real College feels like... especially because of the gorgeous (gorges) fall weather.

Cornell is beautiful - quaint, picturesque, clean and green. All of the apartments / restaurants / bars are around the block from one another and within walking distance to campus. And there is a Wegman's... so it's pretty much a perfect town. Cornell has got me thinking... would I have been better off at a real college? As my lovely friend at Wagner astutely pointed out, NYU is basically a commuter school. Even if you live on campus, there is not actually a campus or a community and few people (myself included) partake in any on campus events or clubs. It's sort of like going to work or commuting to university... you only head down to campus to spend an hour and a half in a classroom and then go home, like you would in an office building where you work. I always thought I liked that. But now I'm not so sure. I'll admit it definitely leaves room for NYU students to have extensive lives outside of college... i.e. few people that go to school elsewhere could have the type of job I have now while they study. But is that reason enough to forego having a college town?

I've noticed up here that students really have the opportunity to grow and advance in a slightly less intimidating setting before facing the harsh realities of the real world. In the hotel school at Cornell, for instance, the students speak with CEOs of companies and wealthy alumni to plan a massive gala at the hotel... a full weekend of parties and events planned and executed by a massive team of "hotellies" (hotel school students). Definitely a huge undertaking, but it's sort of inbetween the real world and college... mistakes are acceptable because it is on a college campus and it's a great learning experience. Why don't we have anything like that at NYU?

Or maybe we do but I just don't know about it. NYU is the type of school where you get out of it what you've put in. But there are so many distractions in NYC that I haven't bothered to put much into it. I've put effort into the firm and into the city in general - just trying to take advantage of all it has to offer (like the upcoming Great Gatsby party at the Met to celebrate the opening of the New American wing!). Maybe it's my own fault for not trying to get more out of my school, but I think part of the appeal of NYU and part of the intent is that students have the opportunity to branch out and pursue their own interests while at school. I'm just not sure whether I see that as a drawback or an asset.

I was joking with my sis and roommates about how we never seem to make any friends in class. I was half kidding, but it's sort of true. Everyone at NYU is very independent. And whether pretentious, shy, or just trying to make it seem like they have more important things to worry about as a defense mechanism, no one really socializes in class. Everyone has their ipods in or is addicted to their laptops, so there isn't too much room to make friends. People tend to hang with whoever they live with at the time. Totally not so here in upstate NY. In both Binghamton and Cornell there are so many different ways to branch out and meet new people. The sororities, fraternities, bar scene... all are conducive to socializing. And if you're in a small school within Cornell (unlike College of Arts and Science at NYU), it's the opportunity to become close with students in class since you'll be with them for all four years. Same rings true of Wagner's P.A. program and any small program anywhere. I think NYU (and I) would benefit from having a niche within the massive CAS. It's so easy to fall through the cracks.

Anyway, off to the movie. Big thumbs up for Cornell (and Binghamton!).

And driving to the supermarket makes me feel so suburban.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Food is not a sufficient substitute for sleep.

That's just true... not humor. My brain is too tired to be funny. I plan on going to sleep at 9:00 to make up for the sleep I did not get last night. But anyway, I have had the time to blog a few times this month, which is my standard for evaluating how busy I am. I guess my life has calmed down a bit, even though it doesn't seem like it.

Not having weekends to catch up on homework and life is making me nervous, so I'm trying to get everything done before visiting Binghamton and Cornell. And I just realized my brain no longer processes numbers... seriously. Math is now a language that I do NOT speak. That's probably why it took me 6 hours to do my calculus homework (badly)... and it was only chapter 1. And of course the web site deleted it before I could submit it and I now have to redo the whole assignment. Great!

But other than that, I am caught up and ready for a mini road trip to the boondocks. I looked up Binghamton online to see what fun activities are in the area ... nothing came up. But we could do a River Crawl... I guess it's sort of like a pub crawl but boring. I bought a new skirt at a new boutique for the trip so I'm all set! Apparently there is a rugby/dance team mixer while we're up there. I can guarantee in the history of NYU there has never been a rugby/dance team mixer. Or a rugby team. Or a dance team. Or for that matter... a mixer.

Then comes Cornell. Apple picking! Such a Cornell-ish thing to do, don't you think? I'll have to find my flannel shirt. In my mind, it snows every day in Cornell. You know how you remember places you're not very familiar with exactly as they were when you were there? When I visited Cornell in high school it was snowing. So when I picture Cornell in my head, there is always a blizzard. I think deep down I'm expecting to see snow falling on campus (but nowhere else) while I'm approaching. And the temp will immediately drop 30 degrees when I step off the bus.

Also, there is apparently a swine flu outbreak at Cornell. But I don't think that will matter because everyone will have their scarves wrapped around their necks/mouths because of the blizzard and will be wearing ski gloves (and possibly skis to get to class). So I'm not too worried. Everyone is probably just sick because of the year-round blizzards.

So, these two pending trips have forced me to be productive on weekdays. But it's impossible! Too much to do already!

This week a good friend from London is in and I got to spend time with him finally! We had some sangria at Bellcourt, but we missed happy hour! Oh well. Went to the Standard too... still just all right to me.

I missed my "senior soiree." Does that matter? Probably not. I'm not into that sort of thing. I deleted the e-mail and forgot about it until a friend asked if I was going (in 20 minutes). I think about 7% of me regrets missing it.

I think that's all I got. Back to reading Pater (for my Virginia Woolf class?).

Just thought of something. WOAH. DEL POTRO. Seriously. Wow.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Back to School Blues.

I've only had 1 day of school, and already I am sitting here watching Obama's address to Congress and procrastinating. I will NOT do my homework. The classes I'm taking are boring and I just had a glass of wine and I just will not do anything right now. And you know it's extreme procrastinating when I'm actually multi-task-procrastinating... watching the speech AND blogging to avoid doing homework.

Back to school, back to work... what else is new? What will distinguish this semester from the rest of my life? Jess made me realize something when she mentioned how different her life at Binghamton will be from her summer in the city - does my life regularly change? Is it bad if it doesn't? Year round I live in my apartment, take classes and work in NY. That makes me a bit sad. Not the "normal" college experience I guess. But then I realize that I actively ensure that I don't fall into a rut... I've studied in Madrid and London and regularly travel. But I finally realized that this lack of change is what has caused me to pick up new hobbies along the way. Last fall, my hobby was marathon training. Then I went to London. This summer was spent at work and didn't leave too much time for outside hobbies. What is my hobby this fall?

I know the suspense is killing you, so I won't leave you hanging... my new hobby is balance. A bit more abstract and unsual than most hobbies... but it is a goal, if not a hobby. I want to attend class, do well at work, excercise, eat healthy, study sufficiently, do fun things out in NYC (like fashion week and US Open!) and visit some friends at school. And the only way I can do it is through balance! Otherwise, at least a few of those goals will suffer. So my hobby will be ensuring I can do all of these things and still have time to sleep.

Oh, and also, my main goal is to finish watching season 2 of TrueBlood. Obviously.