ARTS QUAD—During Cornell’s second virtual tour of the day, Eliza Ramirez ‘22 answered parent questions with only a hint of gritted teeth and forced smile. “Is college different now that we’re online?” she cheerfully repeated back to the Ohioan father of three, giving no indication of the dark, claustrophobic interior in which she is now confined. “Well, of course it is, and it’s definitely been a huge adjustment, but I still feel like I am getting the full Cornell experience!”
“Well, maybe 87% of the Cornell experience,” she joked, making absolutely no mention of her lost sports seasons, date nights, and club socials. “The truth is, most things we do in person, we can do on Zoom! And so much more comfortably—I’ve worn sweats to class every day this week.” She did not reveal that she had been wearing those same sweatpants for five days straight.
According to Betty Flores, the mother of a potential student, Rameriz led the tour through a zoom call on her phone, criss-crossing Ho Plaza while chatting with potential students and their parents alike. “This campus is so gorgeous, and we’re so lucky that Cornell’s state-of-the-art testing protocols have allowed us to return here.” Rameriz conveniently left out the fact that she had not left her personal shoebox of stagnant air for three days prior to the tour.
“This is Cornell Health,” Rameriz noted, swiveling the camera behind her. “Anyone on Cornell’s Student Health Plan can get low-cost medical and mental health care here, though some services,” she added, with her voice only quivering slightly at the thought of her once-monthly 30-minute online therapy session, “have been moved online.”
The tour concluded by Agricultural Quad, where the tour-takers were lucky enough to see students enter Mann Library for their 3:30 classes. Rameriz took a second to commend Cornell students for their exceptional solidarity during this tough time. “We really decided, we’re a school, we’re a team, and we’re all in this together,” she finished with a smile, before taking a long, cold, walk back to her abode, where her roommates had yet again invited their whole sports team for a “kickback.”