OP-ED: Love Triangle? Pentagon? I’m in a Love Dot

MALOTT HALL—Last week, I briefly overheard Stacy and Emily talking about their floundering love lives between bites of food at Trill. Stacy lamented that Liam from her discussion section has a thing for her, even though Stacy is actually crushing on Rachel from that same section, who is also in love with Liam. Tragic! And Emily? Her love life is even more complex, why, she’s in a love pentagon! How does that even work? I don’t know, but she at least has a shape goddamn it. All the while, I couldn’t help but think one thing: what about me? I don’t have a shape.

For far too long, we’ve allowed people who can’t make up their goddamn minds about love to define a cool shape for their relationship problems. But if there is one thing that teen romantic comedies taught me, it would be that by defining your lack of mutual romantic attraction to someone as a geometric structure is the truest testament to a sound mind.

Why be lame and admit that your crush doesn’t like you when you can instead be in a spiffy and spicy love triangle? When your love life is defined by a geometric silhouette, anything is game. Want to read his mail? Go right ahead; you can’t let Natalee win! Need to dye his crush’s hair an awful shade of green? All is fair in love-triangles and war. For this reason, I have come to the brave decision that I will no longer accept the slur “single.” Nay, “single” is for those vanilla bitches. You know the type: ladies who are confident in themselves, have healthy hobbies, and do not need external validation through relationships. You see, I’m mature enough to know that’s not me. All real relationships correspond to shapes that we learned in 9th grade geometry class. Or, in other words, I’m in a love dot.

OP-ED: Saying “Don’t Come to Class When You’re Sick” Discriminates Against Cornell’s Sickly Little Victorian Boy Population

My dearest Cornell community—you see us wandering about campus in our finest nightgowns, draped dramatically over the lavatories, or reclining in our sumptuous beds that do nothing to alleviate our physical agonies, but do you truly care about us? Lately I have been witness to a dangerous trend, one that puts my entire community at stake. Telling students to stay home when sick is a direct attack on the sickly little Victorian boy population.

As sickly little Victorian boys, telling us to only come to class when well ensures that we shall never be in class. There is no telling what dangers may assault a sickly little Victorian boy, such as tuberculosis, reading by candlelight, or The Miseries. On my way to Oceans lecture this very Wednesday, I caught chill from the advanced speed with which my horse-drawn carriage proceeded down the cobblestones towards central campus. Should I stay home every time I feel my humors become unbalanced, I would never attend class at all. 

Missing class is especially difficult on a Victorian child such as myself. I try to collect notes from my classmates, but by the time their carrier pigeons arrive at my window I find the prelim has already passed. My father disapproves of this correspondence with the common folk, limited as it is, and often uses the pigeons for riflery practice to teach me a lesson. I have sought to protest, but my choler elevates with worrisome rapidity, and thus I am resigned. I am so lonely in my bedroom, attended to by none but the nurse who mops my fevered brow as I shake like a willow branch in the wind. What is the point of taking a 50-50 mixture of laudanum and cocaine if I cannot then allow myself to be surrounded by 300 of my closest friends as I cough blood into a satin handkerchief? ‘Tis cruelty, dare I say, cruel—

—Mamá? Is that you, here to bring me to heaven? You look so young, and the light is so beautiful. Don’t cry for me, Papá. I am not afraid. The light, it takes away my pain. Goodbye forever, Cornell, goodbye—

Alas, ‘twas but a phantasm wrought by the plagued recesses of my spirit. I must establish swift correspondence with CAPS ere these ghoulish apparitions further impinge upon my coursework. But who am I, a sickly little Victorian boy, to seek counseling in this uncaring university? I can but pray the superintendents pity my woeful pleas.

OP-ED: If I Oversleep And You’re Walking Slowly In Front Of Me As I’m Late To Class, I Should Be Allowed To Kick You Like A Horse

ITHACA- Slow walkers have long been a burden on society, but since quarantine has ended they’ve only gotten worse. I didn’t think those meandering menaces could honestly get much slower, but here we are. The most infuriating part about their speed, or lack thereof, is that they fail to consider the schedule of others and take their sweet time getting to wherever they’re going at their glacial-like pace. This outward disregard for the lives of others in frankly concerning, seeing as a person who doesn’t care if someone else is on time or late is clearly capable of anything (other than walking at a normal fucking gait). It is precisely because of this willful dismissiveness for their fellow man, that I firmly believe that I should be allowed to kick slow walkers on their sides, much like a cowboy spurs his horse on the sides to sprint ahead.

While my detractors may say that slow walkers are not the problem or that I should “try waking up earlier,” I view these apologists as just as bad, if not worse. Allow me to explain my rationale: If I wake up at 10:55 for my 11:25, I am NOT late seeing as, although I overslept, if I am out the door at 11:15, I should be able to make it to class on time. But if I get stuck behind one of these motherfuckers who strolls aimlessly and without purpose, then I am LATE. If I am to be made late by someone traveling so slowly, I should be allowed to encourage them to make haste by any means necessary, including, but not limited to kicking their sides and yelling “hyah!” to spurn them into speed.

This is not an indictment of slow walkers (although they deserve to spend eternity burning in the ninth circle of hell) but rather an argument to increase the efficiency of sidewalks. Walking up Libe Slope feels like a chore normally, but when trapped behind a slow walker it becomes a 15-minute ordeal that only makes the experience worse in every conceivable way. Or College Ave, crossing onto campus from Collegetown, where the narrow sidewalks can be entirely bottlenecked by one or two of these sloths. Accordingly, to maximize the efficiency of our walking paths and for our participation credits, we should be able to kick these slowpokes to make it to class on time.

OP-ED: Instead of Abolishing Median Grades Let’s Switch to Using Lower Quartile Grades But Not Tell Anyone

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.

OP-ED: I’m Not Just a Social Drinker After All

A few months ago, back at Cornell, my roommates got a little concerned when I came home trashed for the fifth night in a row. But I was out with friends, and I was just a social drinker. And then quarantine set in. I thought a few beers every night was normal. I’d have a mimosa or four in the morning just like any regular person. But after six straight weeks, I have come to a conclusion. I am not just a social drinker. 

At first I was doing really well, I swear. My roommates and I were staying together in our apartment, and we would spend each night drinking a few Claws while watching Miss Congeniality, 50 First Dates, and Mean Girls on loop. And after we left to go home, we would play drinking games during Zoom lectures. But these days I’m stuck on the sofa in my childhood home, watching Chopped and playing EdwardForty hands with my little brother chilling a few seats over. 

I get it. I used to make so many excuses about how I would just “drink to celebrate”. But I woke up at 2 pm and made myself a complete 2.5 course meal before remembering life is meaningless in quarantine and heading back to bed for a stress nap. I think that’s a cause for celebration. Even if celebrating means doing multiple shots alone in my bed at exactly 2:01 pm while crying to Avril Lavigne in the background. 

So maybe I’m not just a social drinker. Maybe I have a “problem”. Maybe I am “lonely”. Maybe this is “harder than it seems”. This new realization has really been stressing me out. I think I’ll make myself a gin and tonic to take the edge off.

OP-ED: I Need Universal Pass Because My Step-Sister Keeps Getting Stuck in the Dryer and Needs My Help

Like many of my peers, I am calling on Cornell to adopt a Universal Pass system. This is the only feasible way to reduce the pressure to complete my schoolwork and allow me time to focus on the unique issues facing my family during this global crisis; mainly the fact that my just-turned-eighteen step-sis keeps getting stuck astoundingly deep in our dryer and I am apparently the only one that can help. 

While this phenomenon never seems to occur while I am diligently pursuing my studies in Ithaca, this problem keeps happening whenever I’m back home and it is really taking a toll on my mental state. As Cornell transitions to online instruction, my grade on a virtual Networks II prelim is the last thing I want to worry about when I am prying my step-sister out of our Maytag for the fifth time this week. 

Naturally, every Cornell student will experience this global pandemic in a different way and Universal Pass is the only way to account for every unique circumstance. I, for one, will be assisting my step-sister, at minimum, 15 to 20 hours per week since she only calls for me when ma and step-dad are out of the room. Add that responsibility to my existing schoolwork and I simply don’t know how I’ll be able to manage it all. I certainly don’t want my grades to slip away, but I sure can’t afford for step-sis to spend the rest of her life in there, moaning my name—“step-bro, step-bro”—for hours at a time. Heck, with the outfits she typically wears to do laundry, she could catch a cold if I don’t get in there real quick. 

Ask any supporter of Universal Pass and you’ll find thousands of different answers for why this policy is necessary to help students heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. For me, Universal Pass is the only way to ensure that my family can spend more time together and determine the root cause of this issue.

OP-ED: My College Experience And Particular Group of Friends are Special and Worthy of a Verbose Opinion Piece

Salutations my fellow denizens of this hallowed ground we refer to most nobly as Cornell University. As multitudes of you have come to fathom, our scholastic odyssey has come to an abrupt dismissal at the hands of this villainous pandemic. Nevertheless, there is little reason to become morose. I am here to show my solidarity with you all. How, you ask? By penning this insightful and sesquipedalian opinion piece in an venerated college news publication.

I attended Cornell, and was a fourth-year student before the onset of the plague. And in my time here, I forged social bonds amongst my peers that were in fact, remarkable and unique. Now, allow me to recount the mental nouns evoked in my consciousness by this period of crisis:

Sadness, nostalgia, fodness, pride, anger, resolve, love, etc.

Do people care? Yes, they certainly do. Does this revelation offer new perspectives? Is this not the impetus to heart react my scalding opinion in regards to the events that have transpired? As an individual who packed decades of experiences into slightly over seven semesters, my collegiate experience has bestowed on me exceptional wisdom. This is knowledge I have acquired from the communities and individuals that I have engaged with on campus. This is wisdom that necessitates publication.

Much obliged Cornell,

Wells Buchanan 20’


OP-ED: This Creative Writing Class Is By No Means an Excuse to Publish Your Sonic The Hedgehog Erotica

By Professor Margaret Ellipson, ENGL 2810 Creative Writing

When all of you students walk through the door each morning, I give you the opportunity to look deep into yourself. For the years I have taught this class, the students and I, together, have spent every Monday and Wednesday from 10:10 to 11:00 turning the mundane into a vivid tapestry of emotions and feelings, rich with creativity and life. Those who passed through this course would often bring out a side of themselves they never knew existed. It was truly a pleasure to teach such an unparalleled vessel for expression on a campus that is far too ready to stifle it. 

However, after reading one student’s description of Knuckles’s “panting appreciation” of Sonic’s “prickly, wet, wriggly little hedgehog toes,” perhaps it is best if that creativity is extinguished altogether. 

No one should ever have to read, much less grade, seventeen pages of amateur literary pornography featuring the most debased sexual cravings of anthropomorphic hedgehogs. Let alone being an insult to the creators of these iconic characters, it is downright offensive to my eyes to have to pore over how Sonic’s “considerable circumference” penetrated Doctor Eggman’s “mechanical defenses” and revealed his “supple, plump buttocks.” Why on earth would I ever need to know about what Doctor Eggman’s ass looks like? How are the things these students are describing even physically possible? Oh God, the things they did to Tails…

And just because the content of these “writings” is certainly irredeemable, do not presume that the actual writing is any better. The number of run-on sentences, egregiously unfunny puns —I’m pretty sure I blacked out after reading someone say “Hey, quit hedge-hogging the lube!”— and random expository cuts are downright nauseating. 

Let me make myself perfectly clear; this Creative Writing class is by no means a pass to give your sophomoric, hormone-addled smut a wider audience. Keep this disgusting pass at “fan fiction”, if you can even call it that, where it belongs, on Newgrounds forums and the comment section of theorycrafting Youtube videos.

OP-ED: So-Called “Perfect Match” Won’t Even Let Me Touch Her Feet

With all the buzz surrounding Valentine’s Day and everyone’s excitement about receiving their Perfect Match results, I just wanted to put this out there: last year, the girl who was supposed to be my “perfect match” wouldn’t let me anywhere near her feet. 

While there was a lot of big talk about the cutting-edge formula behind this quiz, it must have completely fucked up, because not only did my prescribed sweetheart refrain from letting me count her toes with my tongue, she acted all surprised when I tried to steal one of her dirty socks from her gym bag.

I get it. I get it. We had “just met” and we were “sitting in the middle of Mac’s Cafe” but how was I supposed to know the quiz had paired me up with such a weirdo? If I had known my “ideal girl” was going to be so uptight, I wouldn’t have bought all those scented lotions I planned on massaging her calves and ankles with. Thanks for nothing, Perfect Match. 

My friends claim this year’s quiz is even more comprehensive, but fool me twice, shame on me. Quite frankly, if you don’t have the decency to show me those little piglets, then why are you even looking for love on the internet?

OP-ED: I Actually Don’t Have Much Stress and I Just Wanted to Let You Know in an OP-ED

With all of the current hullabaloo surrounding student stress and its discussion in our campus community, I figured it was time for me, a happily stress-free student, to let all of you know I am currently doing great.

While many students find it difficult to manage their social lives, academics, and mental wellbeing, It really hasn’t been too much of a problem for me. I’m actually doing quite well in all of my classes and I feel very loved and supported by my many close friends and family members.

One of the main sources of stress for my fellow upperclassmen is the search for a job out of college. A lot of my friends have told me they find themselves spending hours a day, consumed by neuroticism, sifting through job openings on LinkedIn. I can’t relate to them though, and I just tell them I’m not worried. Something will turn up for sure. I’m a smart guy who works decently hard, and my dad can always get me a job at his company.

People may think being unstressed sounds like a dream come true, but it can actually be very tough to deal with. Just the other weekend, my roommates asked if I wanted to go to Olin and pet puppies with them to relieve stress before prelims. Though I did have my first and only prelim the next day which was all multiple-choice, I felt really good about it so there was no reason for me to go with them.

Well that’s basically it from me folks. I hope my perspective as a student without any stress at all will help you become less stressed, just like I am.