Stories and Poems by a Bio Major: Taking a Creative Writing Class at Cornell

by: Austin Chien

I’d always wanted to be a writer, be it one of short stories, articles, or even screenplays. I enjoy the use of language to convey specific ideas and feelings, but, being a biology major, I’ve spent most of my academic time here at Cornell focused on various science classes. Hoping to explore my creative side, I decided to enroll in a class this year that offered little-to-no contribution to my requirements: Introduction to Creative Writing.

Introduction to Creative Writing is exactly what it sounds like. Stories are examined and broken down into their components of rhythm, dialogue, and characterization just as specimens under a microscope. Alice Munro’s use of filtered narration in her short story “Friend of my Youth,” Annie Proulx’s scenery detail in “Brokeback Mountain,” and Denis Johnson’s surreal imagery in “Emergency,” were all topics that we discussed and analyzed at some point in the first month of class. On an average day the class, all 18 of us ease into a room in Goldwin Smith Hall, each of us taking a seat around a large wooden table that takes up most of the space. Assigned stories and poems are discussed through readings of passages and quotes exemplifying particular qualities in writing, such as sensory detail (“rain chattering on the tin roof as the last yellow orange purple rays of sun retreated from the windows”) and tone (“she shivered as the room darkened, each wall descending into black; she couldn’t be sure of where it, that thing had gone, but it was almost certainly in that enclosed space, with her”).

In addition to reading the stories and poems of accomplished authors, we devote much time to our own craftsmanship. The stories I’ve seen produced by my peers have been filled with moments that have shocked, enamored, and thrilled me. We often spend whole classes looking at each others’ work, offering both praise and criticism, all so that each of us can make the best story possible bit by bit.

Writing is not easy. Plots must have clear conflicts that develop naturally. Characters need to be consistent but also have to change. Details are and should be everywhere. One can spend hours churning out a rough 5 pages, brief periods of clarity and creativity punctuated by eons of doggedly editing cliches and banalities. But there’s no greater satisfaction than seeing others enjoy a story and knowing that it’s yours. Introduction to Creative Writing has been one of my favorite classes here at Cornell, and I look forward to taking the Intermediate course and learning more next fall.

The Value of Cornell’s Liberal Arts Education

by: Corey Kaminsky

I expected to miss a lot of people and things at Cornell when I left for my year abroad.

I have a great group of friends on campus that I do not talk to nearly enough while I am away.  There are the people who share my interests in the organizations and clubs on campus that I’m part of.  Then there are the lab groups, both current and past, where I have friends and mentors whom I joke with as I learn from them.  There is the campus, itself an ode to the natural beauty of upstate New York with the gorges which flank central campus and the hues of yellow and red during Fall which give way to the crisp snow in the Winter before at last yielding to the blossoms of Spring.

Saying goodbye as I left for my year abroad was hard, but rewarding nonetheless. The academic system where I am is rigid, with little choice as to which courses I take.  The system provides extreme rigor in a single chosen field but ignores the breadth that would be offered at university in the U.S.  I have always been a fan of the U.S. system of liberal arts and I enjoy debating its pros and cons.  I voluntarily chose to undertake my year abroad in the United Kingdom—where the university system permits a student only to study their selected degree subject—because I wanted a year of intensive study in biochemistry.  I got exactly what I wanted and have had a great time.

Yet, I miss having breadth and variety in my courses.  I miss taking courses in medieval studies, my minor.  I miss my distribution requirements which directed me to some of the most challenging but rewarding courses I had the fortune to take.  Simply, I miss the curriculum and course selection offered at Cornell that reflect my broad range of interests.

As I write this piece, I am trying to select my courses for when I return as enrollment is mere days away.  The process is not easy.  I have a few classes I must take for my major but otherwise I have a wide selection of courses, somewhere upwards of 2,000 different classes, to choose from.  As I sat perusing my options (Philosophy of Science?  Jews and the Classical Era of Islam? Intro to Chemical and Environmental Toxicology?) I realized just how much I miss the Cornell attitude of any person, any study.  I admit it’s not as though I sat at my computer and had an epiphany as I browsed courses.cornell.edu, to be honest, I spend a lot of time on that website lazily perusing the wide selection.  I think a lot about the differences in the system here and at Cornell, even if these ponderings are vague.   Yet, actually having to condense my list of interesting courses from approximately thirty into a final set of five courses focused my meandering thoughts on the different academic systems.  In having to select a small number of classes that would maximize the breadth of my courses, I recalled how much I enjoyed my distributions at Cornell and just how important and challenging the selection of them is.

I am pleased with the courses I’ve selected for next Fall.  I have two advanced courses in my major along with a related graduate class to provide depth of knowledge in my chosen major.  My two chosen distribution courses are each cross-registered across a few departments.  Those two classes are affiliated with four different departments, yielding a broad range of perspectives.  Such a selection of courses is hardly unique.  I’ve compared with friends and all of us have wonderfully varied schedules, all providing the depth and breadth that characterizes the academics of Cornell’s College of Arts & Sciences.  When I catch up with buddies when I get back to Cornell next August, our conversations will be punctuated with factoids from economics, art history, anthropology, math, and philosophy amongst other topics—all this from a group of chemistry majors.  I love being abroad but I can’t wait to return to Cornell, to those people, to that variety of subjects.

How to Manage Time as a Cornell Student

by: Jillian Holch

It seems like everyone, especially at Cornell is always busy.  Not only do we take the most challenging course loads, but we also spend what little free time we have in various club meetings, sports practices, A Capella rehearsals, etc.  And on top of all of this somehow we manage to maintain our friendships in our various social circles.

For the first half of my semester, I was one of those extremely busy students.  I was taking 5 classes, and was in a play at the Schwartz Center of Performing Arts, meaning I had rehearsal 6 days a week, 4 hours a day.  On top of that, I DJ-ed for WVBR (Cornell’s student-run radio station) from 3-7 on Wednesdays, had meetings every Sunday evening as a member of Risley Theatre’s executive board, and this semester I also decided to join a sorority.  I did not have much free time, and learned some serious time management skills. I thought for this post I would impart to current and prospective students my strategies for figuring out how to manage your time as a student at Cornell.

First, find your ideal study spot. Everyone has different needs for their ideal study location.  Some can focus around others, overlooking a great view of campus, or even on the arts quad when it’s warm enough outside.  I cannot study in my room, so I would always book it to the library after rehearsals, in between classes, or whenever I had some time to spare.  I prefer to study in the stacks of Olin Library, because it is a prime location on Central Campus, isolates me enough to focus, but has windows to let me know there is still life outside.  One thing I love about Olin though is that right near the entrance is Libe Café, which makes for a great study break or even an easy way to quickly get snacks to munch on while I work!

This brings me to my second tip…FOOD!  I don’t care if you have three prelims in one week.  You need to eat.  Willard Straight has so many options for meals (Ivy Room, Okenshields, Cascadeli, even the free popcorn and hot chocolate at the front) that it is easy to quickly grab a bite to eat and then run off to Uris or Olin.  If you are in the dining hall and about to go study, grab a piece of fruit as a snack for later.  Healthy snacks like fruits and nuts are great for studying, because they will help you focus.  There have been times that I have been working and I have stopped what I am doing to go and get a piece of fruit or a yogurt, and felt so much more relaxed and ready to work afterwards.

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The entrance to Willard Straight Hall, where Okenshields, the Ivy Room, and Cascadeli are located. Here, you will always find hot chocolate and pop corn… for free!

Third, if you know that you have a busy semester ahead of you, plan your class schedule to accommodate.  If you are the kind of person that likes getting all your classes out of the way as early as possible, try and make sure your days are finished by noon or one, so you have the rest of the afternoon to do homework.  Or, if you are one of those people that wake up early to do their homework, have your classes start after noon.  Plan out breaks in your schedule for lunch or study times if you have classes all day.

Fourth, take advantage of your weekends.  I know that it is nice to sleep in on Saturday afternoons, but that is prime study time!  Saturday afternoons are perfect times to get to the library because there is nothing going on.  Also, because there is not the pressing concern of knowing an assignment is due the next morning, it is a lot more relaxing.  This also gives you the entire evening and night to hang out with your friends.  But speaking of nights, it is okay not to go out every once and a while and stay in.  Just because you go to the library on a Saturday night, or even just study in your room, your friends are not going to hate you.  It is okay to give yourself a break every once in a while to breathe.  Your friends will understand.  They are Cornell students too.

Lastly, don’t freak out if you get to Cornell and don’t get into the groove of studying or time management skills right away.  It took me until first semester sophomore year to develop these healthy habits, and even now and then I struggle a bit.  You will find your own ways to manage your time.  It is just about figuring out what works best for you.

5 Restaurants You Have to Try in Collegetown

by: Jonathan Yuan

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A view of Collegetown Bagels

To the future Cornell University Class of 2018 – biggest congratulations on your acceptance!  I’m sure you’re thrilled at the prospect of studying among some of the brightest students around the world, under the guidance of some of the most brilliant professors in the United States.

But here’s something you might not often hear about from reading college guides – you’ll also be coming to one of the greatest towns for foodies in the United States!

As the Ithaca Independent reported last year, Ithaca “is so dense with restaurants, the New York Times called Ithaca a ‘gastronomic oasis.’”

So whether you’ll be coming to Ithaca as an accepted student, a prospective student, or as simply a visitor, be sure to visit not only Cornell’s nationally-ranked and award-winning campus dining options, but also take a peak at the numerous delicious restaurant choices in Collegetown – a quick two-minute walk from Central Campus.

Here is my entirely subjective list restaurants that you should absolutely try in Collegetown:

5) Mehak

This is not only a great Indian restaurant located in Collegetown, it’s probably one of the best Indian restaurants in all of Ithaca.  Whether you’re a fan of chicken tikka masala or need a weekly fix of some crispy garlic naan bread – Mehak’s got a broad menu of classic Indian favorites for both you and your vegetarian best friend.  And its flat-price lunch buffet is a killer deal.

4) Aladdin’s

I’m not the biggest fan of Mediterranean food, but some of my friends swear by this Collegetown staple.  It caters to the traditional Greek and Italian palate, serving a broad menu that ranges from chicken souvlaki and pitas to different pastas and salads.  Plus, it’s one of the classier and more high-brow options in Collegetown – a perfect restaurant to take your date on before a formal.

3) Plum Tree

If you’re a fan of sushi – Plum Tree is definitely the place for you.  With a huge selection of sushi rolls along with other Japanese classics like yakitori, udon, and rice dishes, Plum Tree offers the perfect ambience to end a hectic week with some elegant Asian food.

2) Ruloff’s

Sometimes, all you want is a nice, juicy burger coupled with fries, and there’s no better place to get that in Collegetown than at this classic American restaurant-by-day, bar-by-night.  Come for the variety of burgers and sandwiches as well as for the delicious weekend brunch specials!

1) Collegetown Bagels

CTB is truly the lifeblood of Collegetown.  This quirky restaurant embodies the eccentric and artistic spirit of Ithaca, while serving great food. Don’t let the name fool you, though – while you can find an astounding assortment of bagel and bagel sandwiches here, you can also find a wonderful selection of soups, sandwiches, desserts, and ice creams.  The store is always teeming with customers; be sure to stop by for a coffee or a bagel and stay for a conversation with a Cornell student or an Ithaca local.

Dragon Day 2014

by: Sarah Marie Bruno

Every school has its share of traditions—strange activities and festivities that would, to any sane outsider, appear like some strange pagan ritual. Cornell is no exception to this rule, and I would like to tell you about my own favorite Cornell tradition: Dragon Day, a tradition that is over 100 years old.

Each spring, the first year architecture students construct a dragon. Then, the day before Spring Break begins, they march the dragon through campus in a huge parade.

The Dragon emerges out of the architecture school.

The Dragon emerges out of the architecture school.

Architecture students who are not responsible for carrying the dragon dress up in costumes and form the dragon’s colorful entourage as it makes its way from the architecture school to the engineering quad.

This year, even Putin, Hillary, and Kim Jong Il, were in attendance.

This year, even Putin, Hillary, and Kim Jong Il, were in attendance.

Once the dragon reaches the engineering quad, it comes face to face with the Phoenix, built by the engineering students. In past years, the dragon and phoenix would then engage in a battle, usually involving flames. While actual flames are no longer allowed, the battle is eagerly anticipated by all participants!

Students pose by the Phoenix as it awaits the coming of the Dragon

Students pose by the Phoenix as it awaits the coming of the Dragon

This year both the dragon and the phoenix were met with a surprise when the physics students decided to get involved in the tradition, constructing their very own mythical creature. They chose to build a unicorn, modeled after the character “Twilight Sparkle” from My Little Pony, which came galumphing out the Physical Sciences Building and joined the parade.

The physicists triumphantly march their unicorn in the parade.

The physicists triumphantly march their unicorn in the parade.

I enjoy this tradition, because it is a chance for students from the various schools in this large, diverse university to come together for one goofy celebration. It provides some lighthearted and creative fun before Spring Break. We Cornellians work hard at our studies, but we are not afraid to have a good time and make fun of ourselves. In future years, I hope to see mythological creatures emerging from the other disciplines. Plant sciences maybe? Audrey Two, anyone?

 

Organic Chemistry Lab: Expect the Unexpected

by: Julia Klein

When I told my friends that I had signed up for 8 am organic chemistry lab this semester, they looked at me like I had two heads. Quite frankly, I kind of wondered the same thing myself. Turns out, it was quite a good decision.

I figured that organic chemistry lab would be one of those classes “you just get through,” but this reality has been quite far from true. Although I did like organic chemistry lecture, I’ve always been intimidated by lab classes, which is kind of ironic given that I’ve spent years doing research. The consensus from my circle of pre-med acquaintances was that the class was hard and stressful (although you could probably say that about many classes at any school). While I certainly feel challenged by the class’ expectations, particularly running multiple experiments during one lab session, I have found it to be very intellectually fulfilling.

Before every lab session we are expected to prepare a procedure detailing the steps we must complete in lab, background information on the materials used and analysis questions for further comprehension of the material. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t time consuming to prepare this, but I’d also be lying if I said it wasn’t valuable. Through this preparation, I actually feel more ready going into this lab than into any other lab class I’ve taken. Professor Ruttledge (who, by the way, is quite the comedian, making for entertaining lectures) has designed a curriculum that truly bridges my textbook knowledge with practical experience. The disconnect between the course material and its practical application has disappeared in this lab course.

While I began the semester nervous and intimidated by lab expectations and the other students, I feel substantially more confident about both my fellow classmates and myself. It’s so nice being in a class where students prioritize helping each other.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned at Cornell it’s that you can’t always know what to expect from a class. I’ve had classes that defied my initial expectations and like “orgo” lab, I’ve had classes that have more than exceeded my expectations. Trust me, that’s really saying something if it’s me celebrating a class at 8 am.

So Many Languages, So Little Time

by: Moniek van Rheenen

As I look towards graduation looming ominously in the near future—where on earth did the last seven months go?—I can’t help but glance back with a certain fondness at the high school version of myself, staring blankly at the flickering cursor on Microsoft Word, trying in vain to figure out what made me unique enough to write a halfway decent personal statement.  I had been half-heartedly telling every inquisitive adult that I was planning on doing pre-med in college, but deep down I knew that my inherent dislike of AP physics and chemistry would lead to four miserable years of advanced math and science courses. What was I really passionate about?  The answer was painfully simple: having grown up listening to a mix of English and Dutch in my home and excelling in my Spanish courses, I knew that my heart lay in languages.  And on one memorable November morning during a school-wide lockdown drill, I sat down in an empty classroom and began with the sentence, “For as long as I can remember, I have danced to the symphony of voices….”

Little did I know exactly how much Cornell’s foreign languages program would change the course of my long-term plans for my future.  I fell in love with my Spanish major from that first intimidating day of SPAN 2090 when I sat down and the professor rattled off the course expectations in rapid-fire Argentinian Spanish, and when it came time to introduce myself I stuttered and stammered and realized just how much I didn’t know. I spent countless evenings with my nose buried in Cervantes or Lope de Vega or reciting lines of Ruben Darío and Pablo Neruda, basking in the cadence and the sweet melancholy of the words.  My advanced Spanish writing professor pushed my limits of creativity and encouraged me to play with the language: mold it; stretch it; twist the letters until they were my own.  It wasn’t until I mustered the courage to spend my entire junior year in Seville, Spain, that the Castilian language became a part of me, far beyond just a foreign tongue that I could read and understand but remained inaccessible in terms of fluency. In just over ten months I assumed the cultural air and nuances of a native sevillana, spouting colloquialisms with ease and being mistaken for a native Spaniard. My adventures across the country led me to countless friendships, adopted second families, and, as enormous fortune would have it, a special relationship that gives me the opportunity to visit one of the most timeless countries and learn the most beautiful language in the world: Italian.
Although I had fostered a steady fondness for Spanish ever since watching cheesy puppets dance across a television screen in elementary school, what really drew me to Cornell is its matchless-ness in its plethora of less-commonly taught languages, from Akkadian to Zulu. As the daughter of a Dutch expat father and an American mother with a knack for foreign tongues, my Dutch was nearly unaccented and I had mastered conversational fluency from a young age after spending long summer days and Sunday afternoons chatting with my ineffable Oma. Yet I hadn’t the slightest idea of the logic behind constructing a grammatical sentence and my vocabulary faltered when more complex topics took center stage in conversation. So naturally—and out of sheer curiosity, to be honest—I spontaneously stopped by the Dutch professor’s office one afternoon and enrolled in the advanced Dutch course for my freshman spring semester.  The class itself was intensely unique; on Monday evenings we would have full-length discussions about current events, literature, and culture, while on Friday afternoons I would meet with two other freshman heritage speakers in the professor’s office, and we would discuss basic verb tenses and sentence structures over an assortment of authentic Dutch sweets.  I never thought I would pursue Dutch studies beyond the final exam, but when the professor approached me to become the teaching assistant for a pilot distance-learning course between Cornell and Yale via the shared course initiative I leapt at the opportunity.  And over countless hours of class time, conversation hours, and independent pedagogy lessons over Skype, a future language professor was born.

My own summer study in the Netherlands—coupled with my insatiable desire to expand my polyglotism—led me to a language I hadn’t even known existed: Bahasa Indonesia.  On a whim I enrolled in the class this past fall, and through some unfathomable twist of fate I find myself sitting in Olin Library a semester later, clicking the “accept” button for a full Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Indonesia for the coming academic year. I am excited; I am nervous; I am overwhelmed; but above all I am so grateful to the winding multilingual road that has led me to the pinnacle of my Cornell experience.  And as I type in English, with my Indonesian textbook to my left, a Dutch dictionary to my right, a text message in Spanish blinking unanswered on my phone, and Italian music playing softly in the background, I can’t imagine having gotten to this point at anywhere else but Cornell.

Finding My Passion in Washington

by: Daniel Cohanpour

Hey all! It’s nearing the end of my second month here in Washington. My journey to getting here was undoubtedly a rough – and confused one. The months of November and December of last year were conflicted to say the least; as I was figuring out whether I was going abroad or spending the semester in Washington, my long-term prospects constantly flooded my mind. If I go abroad, will I be able to graduate on time? If I go to Washington, will I be able to gain that independence that I’ve been looking for? 

I ended up going to Washington, and at first, I must admit I found myself constantly thinking about those that had gone abroad. Most of my friends had gone abroad for the semester, and although I had spent the previous winter break working in Thailand, I felt that I still had the globe-trotting itch that I needed to exercise. I had heard great things about the CIW program, namely its courses and housing, but the first two or so weeks seemed pretty similar to my Cornell routine, especially in comparison to the city-hopping, food-tasting trip that many of my friends abroad seemed to be having (at least on my Facebook Newsfeed).

It has taken a while, but I can genuinely say that I think I made the right decision in coming here. I came to Washington to figure out exactly what my passion is, and I think I found it. My job – an Associate position at The Kaizen Company, a DC-based international development firm and government contractor – could not have ended up better. I love my co-workers and above all, the projects that I work on daily inspire me to want to continue in this field. My firm primarily works on capacity building and institutional development projects in developing countries, and with every new task, I become even more passionate about a future career in serving others. I am constantly learning new technical and financial skills that I never could have dreamed of knowing a few months back.

The people in the program are curious, fun-minded, and dynamic; the city’s beauty and history continues to amaze me; but above all, I can honestly say that I have found my passion. I have gained a sense of independence that I could only have gained by coming here and working, studying, and living on my own. I can now foresee a career for myself in international development consulting and contracting, and I only could have discovered this by actually choosing and carrying out an internship here.

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A Reflection on Studying Abroad

by Katie Mills, ’14

It’s hard to believe that it has been over a year since I took off to a life-changing semester in Copenhagen. At some points it seems like it was just yesterday, and I open my curtains expecting to see to European city streets instead of my Collegetown view, and at other times it feels like a memory of long ago.

At first I was skeptical of studying abroad. I had absolutely loved my time at Cornell, why would I ever leave for a full semester? Eight semesters already seemed like far too few. However after really considering it, I felt it was too special of an opportunity to pass-up. The chance to live and study in a foreign country was one I knew I would never get again.

Now that I have been back for nine months I have had a chance to reflect on my experiences, and see how much I have grown. I learned to navigate a foreign land, and to get by only speaking a tiny bit of horribly pronounced Danish. I learned to live without an iPhone, something that I was beginning to think was nearly impossible. Most importantly I learned about a new culture. I am more aware, empathetic, and understanding of different cultures. I learned how to make the most of leaving a place I loved to enter a place where I knew no one.

Even in a new country, the Cornell community was all around me. There were about twenty students from Cornell also studying in Copenhagen, as well as students all across Europe and the rest of the world. One of the best parts of studying abroad your junior year is that so many other students are around you. Everywhere I traveled I was lucky enough to know people studying there. My Cornell friends in Europe were the best tour guides of new cities, and it was so exciting to get to share in their experiences as well.

My time abroad has led me to push my younger friends to study abroad as well. I now hope to travel more and continue to learn and grow through international experiences. It is really an eye-opening experience that everyone should consider if they have the opportunity to do so.

 

Research Opportunities and More by Sarah Marie Bruno

Coming into Cornell as a freshman last year, one thing that I was concerned about was whether or not I would be able to participate in research as an undergraduate. I soon learned that getting a research position is not a difficult process at all. I met Biophysics Professor Carl Franck during orientation week at a reception. He, like most Cornell professors, is incredibly friendly and approachable. He explained his research projects to me, but we eventually ended up discussing various magic tricks. He is actually extremely good at card tricks. In addition to showing me magic tricks he also invited me to come visit his lab the next day so that he could teach me some of them! Not only did I learn some fun card tricks, but he also showed me around the lab, and explained more of his work.

During the Spring semester, I saw Professor Franck again at the National Conference for Women in Physics, which was hosted at Cornell in January. There, I asked him about working in his lab, and he offered me a research position for the following year. So far, I have greatly enjoyed my research. We are studying the way in which the cells of the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum communicate with each other. We have found that the cells grow at different rates at various stages in the growth cycle, and that these differing growth rates may be due to chemical signals that the cells disperse via the medium. We have also observed the formation of groups of cells called “clusters” that stick together. We are developing a procedure for counting cells using a laser light scattering apparatus. Specifically, my project is to investigate the degree to which the Dicty cells are multinuclear—I have been taking phase contrast images of cultures of cells, and watching them grow and divide, in order to see how many of them grow into large, multinucleate cells before dividing into up to six or seven cells. In looking at this data, however, I discovered several examples of a pair of cells actually merging to form a larger, multinucleate cell. This result surprised everyone in the lab group, because we were expecting to see the cells grow and divide according to cytokinesis. Now that we are aware of this different behavior, we are investigating what might be its cause. Are the cells somehow signaling each other to merge? What is the purpose of this recombination? These are exciting new questions that I am working to answer this semester and next!

My research experience has been enjoyable also because my lab group is so friendly. It is a relatively small group—Professor Franck is the principle investigator, there is a graduate student in biophysics, and two other undergraduates. We have weekly group meetings in which we each have a chance to discuss our own findings and progress during the past week. We joke around with each other, and there is certainly a light atmosphere—we do serious work, but that doesn’t mean we have to be serious all the time! We also take the time to support each other in our other extracurricular events, such as cross country meets and musical performances. While I am certainly learning a great deal of biophysics due to this experience, I also feel that I am forming friendships. In addition to our group meetings, we also have weekly “journal club” meetings, in which we discuss papers that other labs have published, in order to gain a better understanding of other work being done that may help in our own research. Other than basic high school curriculum, I have no experience with chemistry or biology, so these journal club meetings have provided me with opportunities to learn more about the biochemistry that is important in biophysics. They have also been extremely interesting, and we have come up with some exciting research ideas as a result of the process.

While research is generally associated with the sciences, there are plenty of research opportunities for humanities students as well. Last year, I attended an information session on undergraduate research positions, and there were a number of professors from a variety of disciplines who spoke about the research being done by undergraduates in their fields. From my experience at Cornell thus far, I think that anyone who wants to participate in research will be able to find a position. Talking to your professors at office hours or even via email is really all it takes to get involved. You will find that there is nothing professors enjoy talking about more than their research!