NEW YORK CITY—Despite a well-established pipeline from the Sage School of Philosophy to the absolute dregs of society, Winston Chan ‘21 has found his post-graduate transition to be difficult upon the discovery that his so-called “transferable skills” were neither transferable, nor skills.
“As a philosophy major at Cornell, I was sure I developed the shaky moral foundation that I needed for a career in finance, but I was still missing some important hard skills.” said Chan, who now works as an equity trader at Morgan Stanley. “Apparently my background in Hegelianism isn’t ‘useful for making spreadsheets’ and I would have been better off taking the time to learn basic arithmetic at some point during my undergraduate studies.”
Chan was not alone in his situation, as other alumni were also making the horrifying discoveries that much of what they learned in college was completely useless in their jobs. Among those alumni include Serena Janssen ‘21, who recently discovered that her fluency in Ancient Greek and Latin did not correlate with an aptitude for her new job as a Public Relations associate at BlackRock.
“Despite what I told recruiters, there doesn’t seem to be any way to apply my extensive knowledge of Ovid towards my current role. It’s been tricky trying to figure out how to help BlackRock conceal its involvement in putting pipelines across indigenous land from the public given that I don’t have any practical knowledge whatsoever in this field, but I’m learning as I go.” Janssen said.
As of press time, recent graduates hoping to rid their minds of the rot inflicted by a liberal education have taken it upon themselves to learn more applicable skills such as Microsoft Powerpoint, budgeting, and bootlicking.
DUFFIELD HALL—Having returned for the University’s Homecoming, alumnus Todd Bauer ‘20 found himself visiting some of his old haunts. He eventually arrived at Duffield Hall, where he gazed yearningly at the place where he had experienced some of the absolute lowest points of his life.
“Wow, I’ve really missed this place! It hasn’t changed a bit…I used to come here all the time!” exclaimed Bauer as he walked past the alcove where he once spent an adderall-fueled night completing three problem sets after being rejected by dozens of companies, broken up with, and just generally sent on a downward spiral.
“I remember hangin’ out with the guys, grabbin’ a bite to eat at Mattin’s,” said Bauer with a nostalgic look on his face, referring to his frequent “brunners” junior year in which he ate all three meals in a single sitting. On several occasions, having not showered in multiple days, Bauer would then pass out in one of Duffield’s cold metallic seats, having truly bottomed out in terms of life.
“These are the best years of your life, kid!” Bauer said knowingly to an underclassman passerby, walking past the bathroom where he had once spent the afternoon wiping away tears as the crushing weight of his academic, extracurricular, and social commitments slowly plunged him into a state of abject misery.
Bauer’s next stop was the streets of Collegetown, where he would experience a sentimental moment outside the fraternity annex where he once drank himself into oblivion and was subsequently hospitalized.
COLLEGETOWN—As finals wrap up and seniors prepare to move out of their apartments, many have begun to rejoice at the prospect of leaving behind the inflation, underregulation, and rigidity of Ithaca’s housing market in favor of the monopolization, artificial scarcity, and frenetic pace of the markets in new, cooler cities.
“I can’t wait to get out of this Collegetown shithole!” said Anna Grace ’21. “I’ve been increasingly frustrated by my landlord’s unresponsiveness to a host of glaring maintenance and safety issues. But once I move to New York City, my building will have a superintendent to ignore me instead! The landlords there own simply too many properties to deal with neglecting all their tenants at once—they’ve got subcontractors that ghost us for them.”
“You know, when I was overpaying to live like Swiss Family Robinson at 201 College in what amounts to a concrete cell with an ENO hammock, I at least knew that I had the coolest digs,” explained Diego Ramirez ’21, “Now? I’m paying even more to live in an even smaller “urban industrial” cement block built by contractors too lazy and cheap to install real ceilings. I knew I shoulda moved to Austin.”
Several major Ithaca and NYC landlords declined to comment, but were overheard cackling among themselves soon after that “those fools think they have any choice in the matter.”
ITHACA, NY—With the new announcement that each graduating senior would receive two tickets for guests, students were delighted at the prospect of selecting which family members they’d send to the hospital for severe heat injuries.
“I was so relieved to get that email,” said Marvin Thomas ’21. “A graduation without grandparents dropping like flies and the dulcet tones of approaching ambulances? Gee, just wouldn’t feel like a real graduation, y’know?”
In previous years, graduating seniors could ensure that many, if not all of their family members could be guaranteed a brush with death. After the cancellation of the Class of 2020’s in-person commencement, graduating members of the Class of 2021 feared that they too would be unable to use their final moment of college to inflict maximum damage upon their loved ones.
“I was really at war with myself trying to decide which of my precious relatives I wanted to potentially pass out, or pass away, in the bleachers of Schoellkopf field. Then I remembered Uncle Ted has been getting a little too cocky about that new paleo diet he’s on,” noted Cassandra Lee ’21. “I’m hoping a little good-ol-fashioned sunstroke will humble him.”
While some students mean only to put their relatives in their place with a good scare, others plan to use the event for more nefarious results. “My Mee-maw has survived both world wars, the Vietnam war, and at least three occasions of something she likes to call ‘Grand-pappy’s Maritime Oopsies’.” said Tobias Peston ’21. “Frankly, I think it’s just her time now.”
In preparation for the event, emergency services have hurriedly launched an ad campaign, featuring photos of the elderly with captions like: “Beat it, Heat!” and “Sunstroke? Nah, I’ll Take Me Some Funstroke!” Response to the campaign has been tepid at best.
DAY HALL—In yet another email to the Cornell community this Tuesday afternoon, President Martha Pollack reiterated her firmly held view that an in-person graduation ceremony would, all things being equal, in theory, be preferable to a virtual graduation event. “I know I might catch some flack for this controversial opinion, but I couldn’t stay silent any longer,” Pollack’s statement began.
“In this time of renewed hope tempered by cautious uncertainty, our administration understands that seniors are seeking substantive information about their graduation,” Pollack continued. “That is why I am overjoyed to give them the clarity they desire with regards to my personal conception of the ideal state of affairs. Please feel free to factor my non-committal preference into your travel plans and moving arrangements. You’re welcome, kids.”
Pollack continued by pointing out that college graduations are important rites of passage that transfer poorly to online formats. She also assured the student body, faculty, and staff, that she was “totally sorry” and “actually felt really bad” after cancelling the previously postponed Class of 2020 celebration in February, because “nine months just wasn’t enough time to plan.”
Pollack’s email concluded with an invitation for seniors to “sit pat and hope for the best.”
HUNTINGTON, NY—Following her first steps into the “real world” making life-altering decisions like where to work or where to live, Justina Alvaro ’20 was faced with her most difficult choice yet: whether to ask her Facebook friends to celebrate her accomplishments or feel bad for her.
“I know, whatever I choose, that this will be my most liked status update ever. Getting it right is extremely important to me,” said Alvaro, choosing between a photo with friends in front of McGraw Tower and one of her alone in her bedroom watching the Swae Lee livestream.
Alvaro, touting her accomplishments as a first-generation college student who earned an Ivy League degree summa cum laude, included her worries about having not heard back from her future employer since March. “I really wanted to strike that difficult balance between ‘things are going great’ and ‘things still suck.’”
At press time, Alvaro wrapped up her post discussing how happy she was to celebrate her graduation with her mother, but that she was a little disappointed the cake came out too crumbly.
Following Cornell’s decision not to compile median grades for the 2020 Spring Semester, critics have been emboldened in their vocal opposition to the practice, which is designed to curb grade inflation and compare students’ performance to that of their peers.
Personally, I never understood why they put median grades on our transcripts in the first place. It doesn’t really seem fair that you can bust your hump for four years of high school to get into Cornell, only to be discriminated against in the grad school application process because of all the other big fish nerds in the academic pond. I don’t want anyone to know how easy Oceanography was—if we didn’t have median grades it could plausibly sound like a difficult science class.
So, while I applaud the motives of the anti-median grades crowd, I think their idea could be much improved. We should simply replace the “median” grade value, which represents the midpoint of the grades, with the “lower quartile” value, which represents the 25th percentile of the data. The only caveat to this ingenious idea is that the switch would have to be made on the down-low, because obviously, if word got out, that would totally defeat the purpose.
Everyone would benefit from this fantastic idea because the change would make students’ grades look better and all of those foolish grad schools and employers would be none the wiser. Cornell would love it too because all of its alumni would become more successful. It’s a win-win!
The best part is that even if you end up in the bottom quarter of the grade distribution, you can still rest easy with the knowledge that anyone who views your transcript will view you as a studious individual who did their best in what was clearly a difficult class, instead of just a run-of-the-mill Epsilon-Minus Semi-Moron. Beat the actual median? Now you look like a modern day Albert Einstein!
So there you have it folks. Now that I’ve outlined my bold new vision I have only one question: Did I just fix grade inflation, end the coronavirus, and save your entire future in one fell swoop? I think so. Sound off in the facebook comments, make a change.org petition, and make sure to send this to your various club GroupMes so that I can further my own pursuit of clout.
TOLEDO, OH—Following four years of pursuing various unemployable majors, jobless Philosophy major Geraldo Hernandez ’20 was thrilled to start living at home indefinitely over 2 months ahead of schedule.
“He keeps saying ‘something will fall into place’ soon, but ‘just wants some time off,’” said Gloria Hernandez, sighing as her son woke up from his second nap of the day asking what’s for dinner. “I got my brother Hector to offer Geraldo an entry-level marketing position at his firm, but apparently my son texted him back saying he’d get back to him in a few months.”
Since he arrived home last Monday, Hernandez has organized his collection of sweatpants and think-pieces by French philosophers and hung up photos of himself rolling and then smoking a blunt. “Going to be here for a while; might as well get comfortable,” he said, closing a Glassdoor tab and relaxing back into his chair.
As of press time, Hernandez had calmed his mother down by telling her he was “studying the financial markets” as he sold a 60th turnip bunch on Animal Crossing.
ITHACA—As seniors prepare to leave campus, they must come to terms with having to say farewell to their dear friends. Many freshmen, on the other hand, face a different problem: faking any semblance of sincerity in their goodbyes to senior acquaintances.
Kyle Fernsby ‘23 is among the population of freshmen who aren’t friends with seniors, yet are so desperate for acceptance that they’d eat their own feet for a chance to appear socially competent. Forced to grapple with his total lack of any actual meaningful interaction, Fernsby must now feign affection for the seniors he genuinely hasn’t known long enough to form an opinion about.
“With everything that’s happening in the world, there’s just so much more pressure for sentimental, personal goodbyes,” said Fernsby. “So here I am, preparing a thirty-minute video tribute set to Sarah McLachlan’s ‘I Will Remember You.”’ He then proceeded to poorly photoshop himself giving high fives to static photos of upperclassmen as the words “Ride or Die” scrolled across the screen in Comic Sans font.
“Yeah, yeah, I’ll really miss… um, Kevin? Yeah, yeah, Kevin. He was a member of the business frat I joined. Cool…. cool guy. I think he plays basketball? Yeah, really such an integral part of my college experience,” said Fernsby, sweating profusely. At press time, it was discovered that the senior’s name was in fact Bernard, and not Kevin.
When asked what they thought of Fernsby’s attempt at heartfelt farewell, each of his senior acquaintances expressed zero recollection of ever having met him.
WILLARD STRAIGHT HALL—After the Convocation Committee’s exhaustive search to find a speaker resulted in a last-minute cancellation by Hassan Minhaj, the committee has unilaterally decided to give up and just throw on an old episode of “Bill Nye The Science Guy” to play at Convocation.
“Kids love the show’s zany experiments and humorous sketches, and scrambling to put something together at the last minute after someone drops out isn’t easy,” said committee member Sarah Finkelstein ‘19. “Hopefully these decades-old VHS tapes of Bill differentiating between sedimentary and metamorphic rocks entertain all the seniors for at least 40 minutes, or at least get them excited about science.”
Before settling on their final plans, the Convocation Committee also considered putting on an episode of “The Magic Schoolbus” and taking everyone at Convocation on a field trip to the Johnson Museum.
“Those other two ideas sounded relatively simple and fun, but it turns out Bill Nye actually went to school here. Once we realized we could tie our last minute ass-covering plan to Cornell, the decision pretty much made itself,” added Convocation Committee Chair Maya Doyle ‘19.
Though Bill Nye offered to actually come speak in person after hearing the news, the committee chose not to accept as choosing someone who offered to come beforehand would make them look desperate and unprepared.