Everyone has said that this year’s presidential election is the most important one of our lives. And yet, it seems that we’re all regarding it as one big joke, with many memes resulting from various campaign rallies and presidential debates. We make fun of things when we get too uncomfortable. When the severity of a situation becomes too great, we turn it into a digestible joke. It’s like that nervous laugh that comes out during an interview.
Anyone who publicly professes their love for the hit series The Bachelor is bound to be immediately met with rolling eyes, judgmental smirks, and questions that sound like, “You don’t seriously watch The Bachelor right?”
Yes, yes I do. And proudly, as well. My dad called me up the other day asking the usual questions — what I’ve been up to and any new updates on my life. So, naturally, I spent twenty minutes explaining how Pilot Pete’s love journey was going. This of course was met with the regular response of sheer disappointment masked in confusion.
I am holding a paper sign that says, “Because over 90% of LGBTQ tech employees surveyed reported experiencing harassment, mistreatment, or discrimination at work,” inside the intersection of Duffield Hall, where Women in Computing at Cornell (WICC) took a picture for their Fall 2019 Diversity Photo Campaign, #ILookLikeAnEngineer. Discovering my passion in Computer Science & Information Science
In Fall 2017, I took CS 1110 with Professor Walker White and became more interested in CS. Before Professor White started his lectures, I looked around to find my kababayans, or my fellow Filipinos, without much luck. I was also too shy to initiate a conversation with a classmate near me, so I did not know many of my classmates, which made me feel lonely. Though I tried to pay attention to his lectures, I wondered where the Filipinos were sitting so that I could start a conversation with them after class.
By the time December 26th rolls around, Instagram was suddenly flooded with memes revolved around the new year: Confessions of how awful 2019 was. Proclamations that 2020 will be the year. Resolutions for the months that lie ahead. Even if you’re not the biggest New Years Eve fan yourself — you know the type of person who has the glasses with the year awkwardly fit on them and a sparkly outfit perfect for when they live stream with their drunk friends all screaming “3! 2!
Founded in 1973 in memory of benefactor and Cornell Trustee Herbert F. Johnson (Class of 1922), the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art is home to over 35,000 permanent works of art. Its diverse collections span six millennia and a wide spectrum of cultural origins. Because of the university’s Land Grant status, the Johnson offers exhibitions, programs, and events for all without charge, seeking to “serve the students of Cornell, present and future, … enabling them to add broader dimension to their lives no matter what their field of study may be” (Johnson, 1973). The wide range of permanent collections and rotation of new exhibitions, trafficking over 80,000 visitors each year, might be overwhelming, but I narrowed down some of my favorites from their newest exhibit How the Light Gets In. On view from September 7th to December 8th, the exhibit addresses issues of immigration, mobility, displacement, and exile through an expansive collection from 58 artists and collective groups.
We all remember the moment at the 2016 Met Gala when the lights dimmed, red carpet chatter silenced into hushed gasps, and heads turned to see Claire Danes step out in a ball gown that shined brighter than the explosion of camera flashes that quickly ensued. The whimsical piece constructed out of sheer organza and fiber optics was the fashion moment of the year — the LED gown fused other-wordly glamour with contemporary polish, a timeless silhouette with cutting-edge technology, and could only have been a creation of the legendary Zac Posen. I was immediately infatuated with his ceaseless passion for experimentation and
innovation — each custom gown jaw-dropping in a new way — paired with his unwavering vision as an artist, each piece unmistakably his. Zac Posen became my idol that night. I saw everything I aspired to be in him — not only his early entrepreneurial spirit or his comedic persona as a Project Runway judge, but also, above all else, his devotion to cultivating his own artistic vision in an industry saturated with redundancy. So, last Friday, November 1st, Zac Posen shook the fashion industry when he announced that he was closing the shutters of his eponymous label.
There’s something about throwing up a janky peace sign to yourself in a greasy mirror post-weekly Wednesday night sobbing session (no, not the one you had scheduled in your G-Cal that should have ended forty-five minutes ago, the one that came after you hit that point in the night where you realized it was an all-nighter kinda night) that gives you the strength to wash off your runny mascara that you paid an extra ten dollars for and wipe off the remnants of the half a gallon of chocolate milk you impulsively bought at Jansen’s twenty minutes ago (even though you’re lactose intolerant and wanted to go Vegan three days ago) and walk back into the Cocktail Lounge. I know what you’re thinking, “wow, Sara, that’s like really messy, maybe you should see someone” or “maybe just stop buying the chocolate milk?”, but I sweaarrr it’s totally not about me, and if it was, I’m only sometimes lactose intolerant. “It just be like that sometimes,” my freshman year self told the mirror as she vehemently denied the toxic pattern in thinking she was developing.
And yet so many of us are fine with the culture of casual depression. Predicated on the normalization of our mental illnesses and declining mental health as a coping mechanism, there emerges what I like to call: the increasingly dangerous “I’m sad lol” and “I hate my self-ie” culture. In Mikhail Lyubansky’s article “Robin Williams and the Mask of Humor,” he recalls his work with troubled youth, explaining their different manifestations of depression: some being so sad they’re unable to utter words, others angry to the point of violence, and a third group, the hardest to reach, “the entertainers”.
We all get a warm feeling when we see the Friends cast laugh together as “I’ll be there for you” plays in the background… because they really will always be there for us. No matter how lonely or bad we’re feeling, we can always count on the Central Perk squad from the world’s most popular sitcom to cheer us up…
I certainly counted on Friends being just a couple of clicks away my entire first week at Cornell, since I was homesick and everything outside of the four walls of Bauer Hall seemed scary. As I binged my way through Friends, I realized they did more than just hold my hand when I needed it, they also showed me how to make amazing friends. By watching how they treated each other as they went through life, we can learn a lot about what to do and not do when trying to find our own friends. Each main character provides real world lessons, especially for us Cornell Freshmen:
Writing about endings tends towards the cliché. I want to preface this by saying that it’s impossible for me to write about graduation without feeling uncomfortably self-aware of the redundancy of my feelings. Of course I’m sad that a “chapter” of my life is over. Of course I’m “excited” about “what the future holds” for me. But all that has been said before and felt before, by almost 4,000 of my fellow classmates and hundreds of thousands more across the United States and the world over.
In case you missed Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, you can scan through my complete, updated Top 50 list for a quick refresher. This final group of players was so hard to rank that, after losing nights of sleep over it, my dad suggested that I go back to my original criteria for ranking players: “If you dropped this player onto any NBA team at random, by how much would they improve that team’s odds of winning the title?” I set up a spreadsheet with each of the remaining players as the columns and all the playoff teams as the rows, and I tried to estimate (as best I could) the increase in championship odds if each player were to be magically placed onto each team’s roster. The results were laughably inconclusive. For the players ranked 5 through 7, I estimated that their average increase in championship odds would be 17.26%, 17.21%, and 17.15%, respectively. RIP.