COMMON SENSE | Dear Seniors

Dear Seniors,

This is an incredibly stressful time. We’re applying to jobs, we’re applying to grad school, we’re planning out the next chapter of our lives. Suddenly we’re confronted with the fact that a few months from now we will no longer be students of this institution and will no longer have a tailored answer for relatives and friends that ask what we are doing with our lives. For many of us, this is an incredibly uncertain time. For the first time in my life, I have no idea where I’ll be 6 months from now.

WHITE KNUCKLES | Ode to Concentration

A few days ago, I experienced the nth-to-last first day of school. Cornell was stunning on that Tuesday, Ho Plaza was crowded and the clock tower immortalized, the sun shone and the green was so bright it seemed to defy any memory or expectation of snow and white ice. I have quite a taste for goodbyes, but others I like to keep short. And now I am writing about beginnings – mine started with an end. I will have things to say when I look back on these years, I will have things still to check off from my list, and our campus will be giving back the light it is absorbing now.

WHITE KNUCKLES | Spell it Right

Starbucks never gets my name wrong: bold and thick, the four letters written with the sharpie mark my Cinnamon Chai Latte with comforting exactitude. My mother hated her name, could not bear the length of it, the excessive r’s and the harshness of the t, or maybe because of the fact that it was two names stitched together. For me, she wanted something short, the smoothness of the bilabial consonant, the bright ringing of vowels; she liked the literariness to it and its universality. It is impossible to mispronounce, to be  corrupted by accents or unconventional variations or too many confusing syllables. During my exchange year in Maine, my little host brother used to spell it “Ma,” because “M is pronounced Em, and a is pronounced a.” Like the clarity of a crystal, it was simple and immediate.