How I Came to Love Cornell

Here in Ithaca, we’ve just finished classes for the semester and are hard at work studying for final exams. For high school seniors interested in Cornell, however, December means something a bit different. While some are waiting to hear back about their early decision applications, many other seniors are polishing their own applications to submit for the January 2nd regular decision deadline. Here at the Ambassadors blog, we’re focusing on why we love being at Cornell so much. Enjoy sophomore Mitchell Lee’s piece this week – and good luck to those of you applying to Cornell this year!

By: Mitchell Lee ’19

My current roommate and I (right) celebrate the first snow of the season.

My current roommate (left) and I celebrate the first snow of the season.

When I was accepted to Cornell, my emotions were running wild. I felt a mixture of excitement, happiness, apprehension, and anxiety – basically any and all emotions. I felt this all the way up until I arrived on campus last year. All my rampant emotions have relaxed, except for one now ever-present feeling: love. From the rigorous yet rewarding classes to the amazing people, I have come to love everything about Cornell. There is so much that I can write about, but I really wish to emphasize a few aspects that I find truly amazing about Cornell.

Here's a picture of the lab I work in!

Here’s a picture of the lab I work in!

One of first things I fell in love with is Cornell’s prodigious academics. There are so many different classes that cover a wide variety of topics, and the classes that I have taken are very stimulating. For example, I took a small freshman writing seminar entitled Magic in Arthurian Legend, and although it was a class designed to improve my writing, the content was fascinating. I enjoyed learning about something completely new to me. Larger lectures can be awesome as well; l really enjoy GOVT 1818: Introduction to International Relations, a class I’m taking this semester, and I loved BIOEE 1610: Introduction to Ecology & the Environment, a class I took last year. No matter the type of class or the style, my classes have been impressive and rewarding.

Here I am (far left) with my co-workers this past summer!

Here I am (far left) with my co-workers this past summer!

Not only are my classes interesting but they’re applicable as well. As a biology and government double major, my academics have a lot of real-world applications.. GOVT 1818 and BIOEE1610 have both enabled me to think critically and assess problems inside and outside the classroom. From BIOEE 1610, for example, I gained basic knowledge and analytical skills that I applied to my job this past summer as a field technician at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire. Currently on campus, I work with an ecology and evolutionary biology professor doing both lab work and field work.

Cornell’s academics are amazing in their own right, but another aspect I love about this university is the dedication to sustainability and environmentalism. Originally, when I arrived last year, I did not know what I wanted to study or what clubs I wanted to join. Cornell, however, exposed me to so many different clubs on campus, through which I fell in love with sustainability. While I cared about the subject in high school, I’ve now developed a complete passion for it. I am honored to work with so many like-minded individuals to advance our mission of sustainability on campus. I love how Cornell has allowed me to explore my passions and supported me as I found one that I want to make a career out of.

Posing with a couple of friends I made on the floor of my freshman dorm:)

Posing with just a couple of friends I made on the floor of my freshman dorm:)

The best parts of Cornell for me, however, are the people I meet and the community we create. The first semester of freshman year, I was nervous that I wouldn’t make friends in a place so far away from my hometown. That fear was totally unfounded! We are so diverse that there is a group for everyone, and I have definitely found my group. My friends have helped me grow personally, and they support me in all my endeavors. I know that if I’m having a hard time, I have them to fall back on. I know that I can banter with them and talk about anything. I know that I can ask for help when I need it. I know that in ten years, I can call them and it will be like nothing has changed. They are the reason why I love Cornell so much, why I have so much Big Red pride, and why I know I’m going to cry when we go separate ways after graduation. Together all Cornellians, students, faculty, and staff work to bring out the best in all of us. We grow together and support each other. I could not love this school more.

Celebrating the Cornell Community’s Passion for Learning

One word sums up this post and its author’s message about Cornell’s intellectually diverse community: passionate. In this last November post, junior Carlee Moses describes how the spirit of interdisciplinary inquiry first drew her to Cornell. Enjoy!

By: Carlee Moses ’18

The first time I ventured down Libe Slope I took this picture. The sun was just hitting the Slope in the most amazing way!

I took this picture the first time I ventured down Libe Slope. The sun was just hitting the Slope in the most amazing way!

To me, the spirit of Cornell is defined by the diverse and varied passions of its students, faculty, and staff. When I first arrived at Cornell a little over two years ago, I was so impressed and intrigued by the conversations I overheard as I wandered around campus. I remember people were discussing American politics, the human body system, books and articles they had recently encountered, foreign affairs, research studies they had either read about or participated in, the future of our planet Earth, and the scientific reasoning behind how Tums help to better stomach ailments. As a self-proclaimed Tums addict, overhearing that specific conversation was truly life-changing. Cornellians do what they love and love what they do, and they are always willing to share their particular academic passion with others.

The spirit of Cornell has definitely shaped my own college experience. In my classes, my peers always bring a diverse range of academic backgrounds to class discussions. Through this, I am able to gain new and different perspectives on class material. For example, in Politics of Public Policy last semester, Professor Michener often had us break into groups and discuss specific policies or policy areas. One day, she asked us to brainstorm a policy that we believed would better the American prison system. One of my group members, a student in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR), had worked on a project that created a plan to put former prisoners to work in environmentally friendly businesses. She shared with us her plan, and the knowledge she had learned in ILR. Because of her different academic background and viewpoint, she was able to provide me with a different perspective and a new idea. In my personal life, my friends also represent a varied range of passions: from the social sciences to the physical sciences, American studies to Near Eastern Studies, Hotel Administration to Urban Planning, Architecture to Industrial and Labor Relations, and economics to Earth science and sustainability, each of the friends I have made at Cornell has their own unique passion. The commonality is that each of my friends, and every person in the larger Cornell community, is equally passionate.

My friends and I took a break from finals studying to watch the sunset on a warm December evening.

My friends and I took a break from finals studying one year to watch the sunset on a warm December evening.

As a current junior, Cornell has pushed me to strengthen my passions, and also discover new ones. When I arrived on campus in August 2014, I knew that I loved history – specifically, American history. I need to dive deeper than the textbook synopsis versions of historical events. I want to know the stories behind the people I study. Who and what made these people who they were? It wasn’t until I met one of my now closest friends here at Cornell, a Near Eastern Studies major, that I decided to take my studies outside of the Western world, and enrolled in a course on Iran. This course made me want to know more about the Middle East, encouraging me to pursue more classes in the Near Eastern Studies department, and igniting within me a new passion.

When I sit in some of my favorite places on campus, I still can’t help but listen in to the conversations I overhear. It’s been more than two years since I arrived at Cornell, and my peers continue to blow me away. This spirit of Cornell – the diverse and deep passions of the Cornell community and the drive to pursue them – initially drew me here, and it’s what has made my college experience so absolutely transformative.

Spirit Off-Campus: Cornell in Ithaca

Happy almost Thanksgiving! In the spirit of the holiday, sophomore Julia Curley discusses why she is so grateful for the spirit of interconnectedness that links Cornell with the greater community in Ithaca, NY.

By: Julia Curley ’19

Cornell spirit extends beyond our campus. It reaches wider than the homecoming football game; it touches more than students, staff, faculty, and alumni. Our spirit branches out into Ithaca’s heart and is an integral part of the community. When I introduced myself to a class of second graders as their new volunteer student teacher and a Cornell student, their faces lit up. The teacher, anticipating their excitement, said, “If you also have a connection with Cornell, sign ‘same’.” The little group of seven- and eight-year-olds reached out to me, each with their own attachment to the University.

The Cornell Daily Sun office in the Ithaca Commons.

The Cornell Daily Sun office in the Ithaca Commons.

Through outreach—tutoring, participating in sorority philanthropy, and working at Mighty Yoga in the Ithaca Commons—I can see Cornell’s off-campus engagement each day. Ithaca itself is a uniquely friendly place, one unlike any other I’ve ever experienced. The community is incredibly welcoming; Ithaca Commons, in particular, provides an off-campus social heart for Cornell life. Much like how Cornell’s Ho Plaza blocks off cars for students walking to class, Ithaca Commons centers on a pedestrian-only avenue, flanked by shops and restaurants. I found Mighty Yoga in the Commons my freshman year at Cornell, and I started working there this fall. Rather than silently meditating on our matts, Mighty yogis tend to chat before class begins. During this time, I met two women with ties back to Cornell. We all got to know each other as regulars at the studio. One of the women, I learned, graduated from Cornell a few years ago. She met her fiancé at Cornell and after they graduated, they decided to stay in Ithaca. Her Cornell experience, like mine, centered not just in her studies and the campus, but in the wider Ithaca community. The other woman and I met in one of my English classes this semester, where she serves as the teacher’s assistant (TA). We recognized each other again when she rolled out her matt next to mine at a Monday morning class.

Cornell spirit weaves its way into all spaces of my Ithaca life. Over and over again, I realize the power of our Cornell ties to bring us together in unlikely spaces. As I walk through Ithaca Commons on my way to a yoga class, I pass a Cornell Apparel store and the Cornell Daily Sun office, where I write and edit pieces for our school newspaper. The Cornell experience stretches beyond the bounds of classrooms, campus, and college town. The spirit won’t leave us even long after we graduate.

The Spirit of Camaraderie

This week, junior Chelsea Sincox writes about the spirit of the Big Red and her experience as a member of the varsity women’s volleyball team. Let’s Go Red!

By: Chelsea Sincox ’18

The month of November is a month of transition. The beautiful leaves that have covered Ithaca for the past couple months are falling, littering the ground that might soon be covered in snow. With fall coming to a close, so too does the season of fall sports. Field hockey, soccer, football, and others are all closing their seasons out, and those players transition into their off time.

As a member of the women’s volleyball team, a fall sport, I too will transition to being out-of-season in a few short weeks. Sidelined for now, I and other fall athletes join the rest of the student body in cheering on the winter and spring sports: we become Big Red fans. We move from the court or field into the stands to cheer on the rest of the Big Red family, united under one name and one common goal.

Here I am with some of my teammates - I'm the one in the middle!

Here I am posing with some of my teammates – I’m the one in the middle!

Here at Cornell, the school demands that athletes truly embody fulfilling their title as STUDENT-athletes, and I think that’s what is most exciting about supporting Big Red Athletics. Going to a rambunctious hockey game, a thrilling swim meet, or a fast-paced basketball game, you might get to cheer on a fellow member of a group project, a lab partner, or a friend. For athletes, we share the gym and the weight room, in addition to the classroom.

Though my sport is only in season for a few short months in the year, the training never really stops. I love supporting other members of the Big Red family in the spirit of reciprocity, contribution, and community – but also because it’s just plain fun! #LGR

Embracing the Spirit of Cornell

Happy November! This month, we’re focusing on the “spirit of Cornell” and what that means to our Ambassadors. Sophomore Meredith Chagares starts us off with a post describing the supportive and diverse nature of Cornell and the greater Ithaca community! 

By: Meredith Chagares ’19

Here I am posing with my younger sister by the statue of Ezra Cornell on the edge of the Arts Quad!

Here I am posing with my younger sister by the statue of Ezra Cornell on the edge of the Arts Quad!

I hail from a fairly small town in northern New Jersey. Despite its proximity to New York City, my town is very homogenous. Though it was a safe and nurturing community in which to be raised, by my senior year of high school I was more than ready to move on to live in a different type of community.

Coming to Cornell as a freshman last fall, I knew that I was going to have a transformative, once-in-a-lifetime experience. The most surprising and exciting thing for me since arriving here has been the palpable spirit that engulfs both Cornell and Ithaca. Because the school and the city work so hard to create a unique, inviting community, there is a large emphasis on collaboration and support. This spirit has definitely had an effect on me!

As a member of the varsity fencing team, I cheer on my teammates and avidly attend other sports’ athletic events as well. On the strip when I am fencing, I can feel the support of my friends and the school behind me, which is exhilarating. One of my favorite examples of the spirit of the Big Red is when the hockey team plays Harvard and Cornell students (called the “Lynah Faithful”) bring fish to throw on the ice. It is this excitement and pride that helps to define Cornell for me.

One of my biggest sources of support on campus is my fencing team  - I'm on the left in the bottom row!

One of my biggest sources of support on campus is my fencing team  – I’m on the left in the bottom row!

There are other examples of this school spirit as well. For example, during finals, the libraries offer coloring books to students to help them de-stress. Various a cappella groups sing for the freshmen on North Campus as they arrive home from their prelims. Even when I simply walk across the Arts Quad, the spirit of Cornell as a supportive institution is unmistakable.

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A view of Olin Library, Uris Library, and McGraw Clocktower lit up at night.

The spirit of Cornell extends beyond the edge of campus. The local Ithacans display a similar spirit during their annual Apple Festival and Chili Fest, and through various other fun opportunities to experience the local food, arts and crafts, music, and parks, among others. Just as the students enjoy frequenting local Ithaca businesses and getting to know the area, Ithacans are often seen at our hockey games, community lectures, and events on campus as well.

But perhaps the people best define the spirit of Cornell. When I arrived as a freshman, I had the pleasure of meeting so many new people in my orientation group, my residence hall, and my sports team. That brings me to give a big shout-out to the Cornellians – like the orientation leaders and resident advisors on North Campus – who put together the events designed to allow newcomers to both meet each other and become integrated into the Cornell community. I have enjoyed meeting people different from me in just about every way – people with different talents and interests who come from different cities, states, countries, and continents. Learning from other people here has helped me broaden my horizons, see things from a different perspective, and appreciate my neighbors.

The spirit of Cornell is palpable. This spirit is something that connects everyone to the school, and what keeps the alumni coming back every year. The spirit of Cornell is something completely unique and something all Cornellians will experience, enjoy, and cherish.

A view of Goldwin Smith Hall from the other side of the Arts Quad

A view of Goldwin Smith Hall from the other side of the Arts Quad.

Spotlight on ENGL 2810 (and 3830, 3840, 4800, 4801, etc etc): Creative Writing at Cornell

Happy Halloween! In our last post for October, senior Anna Ravenelle discusses her experiences with the creative writing program within the English department. For her and for many others, creative writing classes provide an opportunity to explore the arts while earning credit and getting feedback from esteemed authors and poets.

By: Anna Ravenelle ’17

As an English major, I’ve known for a long time that I’ve wanted to work in the publishing field or even write professionally. At Cornell, I’ve channeled that into a course-load full of English classes, but most prominently, as many creative writing courses as possible. Arts and Sciences offers three levels of creative writing courses: the introductory class, a 2000-level, instructs in both narrative and verse writing, while intermediate (3000-level) and advanced (4000-level) courses split off into two tracks for aspiring novelists and poets. Even if you’re just curious about writing creatively, however, taking ENGL 2810 can still be a great addition to a semester’s schedule—once you finish up those First-year Writing Seminar requirements!

Just because it's a creative writing course doesn't mean you don't read, too! Check out some of the books I've had to read for my classes over the years.

Just because it’s a creative writing course doesn’t mean you don’t read, too! Check out some of the books I’ve had to read for my classes over the years.

Each section of creative writing differs depending not only on the instructor, but on your fellow classmates. The courses are set up in a seminar format where you have an assigned workshop day where your work will be discussed by the rest of the class. Each new story or poem from a classmate brings something new to the table and, because of this, I often find myself learning just as much about writing from my fellow classmates’ collective knowledge as I do from my professor.

Which professor instructs your section can also make the class an entirely different experience – some professors give broad, open-ended prompts (or no prompts at all!) while others give more specific ones to inspire your writing. No matter, the entire creative writing faculty are well-respected and published in the field and can help shape your writing, whether you’re taking the class to complete an elective requirement or writing to reach your career goals.

Beyond teaching writing semantics, creative writing workshops also foster important, resumé-worthy skills: how to give (and take) constructive feedback, how to make your voice heard in a group conversation, and how to adjust to a shifting workload—some nights a classmate’s story will be six pages, while others’ stories will be three times that length. Most importantly for me, though, creative writing classes can offer an outlet for creative energies that many students (like myself) find difficult to make time for otherwise. When you have two prelims the next week, it can be hard justifying taking the time to paint or play music, but writing for class can have the same cathartic effect while also helping cross something off your to-do list.

Spotlight on COML 3111: Literature, Art, and the Environment

This week, sophomore and new Ambassador Julia Curley discusses how a class she took outside of her major has allowed her to embrace the interdisciplinary nature of the College of Arts and Sciences, and has kindled interests in new fields – including undergraduate publishing!

By: Julia Curley ’19

For English and Art History double majors like me, the course roster offers a multitude of options. The variety of classes that fit under my major requirements make each semester interesting in a new way, and the range of expertise in our professors never fails to impress me. This fall, I chose to take COML 3111: Literature, Art, and the Environment, and it’s even cooler than I had originally hoped.

Heating and Cooling Plant

This is a photo I took during our recent class trip to the Cornell Heating and Cooling Plant.

Despite the course not counting towards my English major, I added COML 3111 to my schedule because I hoped to apply my interest in the English language to current issues. Professor Pinkus, currently chairing the Advisory Board of the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, describes this practice as “comparative literature ‘field work’.” As a student with interests ranging from General Biology to Modern Art, I needed to take this class.

Now half-way through the semester, I feel like a literature scientist. Professor Pinkus brings the study of language to life not just in our discussions but in field trips outside the classroom. This past week, we visited the Cornell Heating and Cooling Plant for a tour. The Plant, a place I never thought I’d visit on Cornell’s campus, fueled our study of the environment. We saw energy “ruins” and the campus’s central water pipeline. Returning to the classroom, we discussed what we learned through our humanistic lens. What does “environmental footprint” really mean? How do we express scientific concepts in an accessible way? What do energy production landscapes look like?

Our visit to the Plant, along with other shorter excursions including a walk around the A.D. White House, bring life to our research. Sometimes, language studies and the humanities in general can feel limiting in their real-world scope. Professor Pinkus and the College of Arts and Sciences prove otherwise. This course has shown me that humanities majors can bring a different perspective to scientific issues, and we can provide insight into what solutions to environmental issues will really mean to people. In addition to honing my interest in biology, COML 3111 has introduced me to other students who are exploring a variety of passions here in the College. Realizing our unique perspectives, several of us have joined together to produce a comparative literature magazine. We hope to publish our first issue this November!

Spotlight on: BIOG4990: Independent Undergraduate Research in Biology

This week, junior Solveig Van der Vegt writes about her experience conducting undergraduate research as a member of the Fromme Lab. Through the Office of Undergraduate Biology, Solveig and many other Cornell students are able to earn academic credit while also working on their own independent projects.

By: Solveig Van der Vegt ’18

BIOG4990 is the class students take to get credit for working in a lab, in my case the Fromme Lab in the Weill Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology. Out of all the classes I have taken so far at Cornell, Independent Research has definitely been one of my favorites. First, it provides me with a wonderful opportunity to do research long-term and to see if it is something that I might want to do in the future. Because I have considered academic research as one of the career paths that I may want to pursue, I’ve really appreciated the chance to work in the Fromme Lab and get credit for it. I’ve been able to get a small taste of what it is like to work in a lab doing all kinds of different experiments, including fluorescence microscopy, DNA cloning and fluorescence assays. I’ve also been able to meet people in all different stages of the academic career path. I work directly with a graduate student, but I also have a lot of contact with my lab’s Principal Investigator (PI), the institute technicians, and postdocs. I’ve truly been able to get an inside view of what the academic world is like.

Bench at Fromme Lab

Here’s a picture of my bench in the Fromme Lab!

BIOG4990 is also a nice class to take because it allows me to have something different in my schedule without compromising on the amount of credits I’m taking. In between all the lectures and discussion sections that I am in, working in a lab for 10 hours a week is quite refreshing. Of course, I am also taking laboratory courses like Genetics Lab or Experimental Organic Chemistry for my major, but it’s not the same: when I work in the Fromme Lab, I don’t know what the outcome of my experiments is going to be because they have not been performed 300 times before by other students and been extensively tested by TA’s. It makes it more exciting to feel like I’m actually looking for something new that nobody has discovered yet. For me, working in the Fromme Lab through BIOG4990 allows me to contribute to the growing pool of biological knowledge in my own way.

Spotlight on: GOVT 3012: The Politics of Poverty in the U.S.

In her post this week, junior Isabel Caro discusses the importance of working alongside and listening to people with differing opinions. She explains how her government class this semester provides ample space for this, while also encouraging the type of critical thinking she feels defines a College of Arts & Sciences education.

By: Isabel Caro ’18

Here I am reading outside of the Cornell In Washington building while in D.C. Our capital ironically has a large population living at or below the poverty line.

Here I am reading outside of the Cornell In Washington building while in D.C. Our capital ironically has a large population living at or below the poverty line.

As a Government major, I am always looking to learn about and discuss controversial topics in relation to how our country operates – more specifically, I’ve tried to seek out classes about social and racial inequality in America. This semester, Government 3012: The Politics of Poverty in the U.S. is a great fit for me. At the first lecture of the year, Professor Jamila Michener informed the class that we would be prompted to deliberate over topics that we may find uncomfortable – and she encouraged that. In addition, she admitted that many of our questions and doubts about the politics of poverty in America would remain unanswered at the end of the class; this was a breath of fresh air to me. At that moment, I was reminded of what an education at Cornell really means: critical thinking, honest discussions, and an accumulation of skills that enable us to continue to think for ourselves beyond the classroom. We are encouraged to grow, to question, and to be curious. After gaining knowledge and information, we can then make our own inferences about certain topics.

In the case of GOVT 3012, we are mainly concerned with the relationship between poverty and the underlying politics behind it. So far in the course, we’ve discussed inequality in wealth and education, the history of poverty, “the culture of poverty,” our social contexts and poverty, and how race and poverty interact, and we definitely don’t always come to a common consensus when discussing these big issues! I firmly believe, however, that it’s important to share ideas and thoughts with people who don’t agree with you. Republicans and Democrats alike should have uncomfortable conversations in order to arrive at a better understanding of public policy. Poverty is a big issue – we have over 47 million people living in poverty in this country and a disparate number of them are people of color. Why is that? It’s beyond a tough question to answer but we can begin to break down certain aspects of society to fascinating levels in an attempt to understand the underlying problems. Classes at Cornell have so much to offer intellectually and I cannot wait to find out what else is in store for me this semester.

Truly “Any Person, Any Study”: Finding Meaning in Ezra Cornell’s Motto Through the French Department

This October, we’ve decided to showcase Ambassadors’ experiences “Easing Back into Classes.” We asked our Ambassadors to tell us about a class they’re taking or have taken that they think the world deserves to know about. Sophomore Emma Bryan starts us off with a post about her experience taking a wide range of college French classes (perhaps rivaling her experience with Cornell peanut butter – check out her blog post from last semester here).

By: Emma Bryan ’19

Reading French primary sources

Here I am reading fascinating primary sources about the French Revolution outside of Terrace Cafe on a beautiful Ithacan day.

Since the fifth grade, I have never not taken a French class.  I began with basic language classes where seemingly complex grammar rules were drilled into my head, and slowly but surely I started to have a semblance of competency in this beautiful language.  My accent was atrocious, but I was slowly learning from my native-speaker teachers, and as my language skills developed, my interest in French culture grew.  In high school, I was fortunate enough to take many challenging classes with stellar teachers who had high expectations for me and my peers, had a French exchange student for a few weeks, and went to Paris to stay with this same student to have a language and culture immersion experience.  Ultimately when I arrived at Cornell, I had the French skills necessary to bypass all language-learning classes, and I immediately got to dive into the more advanced classes that focused on French culture and history rather than the language itself.

For every semester that I have been in college, my French classes have always been my favorites.  They are typically small classes ; coming from an all-girls high school where I graduated with ninety-three others, I thrive in seminars because they are what I’ve had for my entire academic life up until this point.  Not only are the class sizes ideal, but I love basically all things French, and I never find myself bored when immersed in the language and culture. The first class that I took was French 2320, Introduction to Francophone Film and Culture, and it was an amazing introduction to college French classes. We met twice a week and discussed films that we were assigned to watch, and we studied how French film techniques evolved over time while providing commentary on the political and social climate in France and its colonies. Last semester, my French class was French 3400, a class on the French identity in modern times: it was essentially a French current events class, and we had discussions on recent terror attacks in France, among other things, and learned about politics, racial identities, and global interactions regarding France.

I have had amazing experiences in all of the French classes that I’ve taken thus far, but I’d have to say that the most engaging class I’ve taken is the one that I am currently in. This semester, I’m taking French 2860, a class on the French Revolution, and it is hands-down my favorite class.  It’s cross-listed with history, so it is instructed in English, but it still counts towards the French major or minor!  The professor, Paul Friedland, is one of the most intriguing that I’ve had since coming to Cornell, and I have no problem paying attention, and honestly getting personally invested, in the happenings of lecture.  While the topic of the class is already incredibly fascinating, the way in which the material is presented is almost in a storyteller-like fashion; Professor Friedland really makes the French Revolution come alive for me. I’m already excited to see what I can take next, because no matter what you are interested in—whether that be French, physics, interpretive dance, etc.—there will always be a decent variety of classes pertaining to those interests with stellar professors who are truly passionate about what they are teaching.