Famers Market in Fall

The Saturday on Thanksgiving weekend we decided to walk to Farmer’s market again. i had not been there in a while and it is nice to explore the city again now that the seasons have changed it so much.

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It is amazing how places can transform in the Fall. Walking to farmers market in the cold is rough, but the awesome breakfast burrito and the view on a half-frozen Cayuga lake is worth it.

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Thanksgiving (and more snow)

ThanksgivingFriendsgiving was on a lovely and super cold day. When I looked out of the house there was just so much snow. The impressive thing was that it pushed down the branches of all the trees, so our garden looked completely different.

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For lunch we went to Salvation Army to help feed the less fortunate. The absurd thing about the American society is that there are actually people that cannot afford to cook dinner for their family. There is almost no social security. Even worse, most people only volunteer on Thanksgiving. In fact, there were more volunteers than people in need.

In the evening we went to the house of one of our housemate’s friends. The dinner was completely vegetarian and it was the best (and most) I have eaten in a long time.\

Halloween

Every year, my co-op (I will post about what cooperative housing is another time) hosts a Halloween party. It was new experience for me, not only because I have never attended a big American Halloween party in my life, but also because it was amazing to see how the house transferred into a dance floor.

Of course, it left a huge mess in the house. Then again, this was a reason to finally do a proper cleaning of the first floor. I was able to observe that people — even though they were drunk — put there beer cans in the recycle. It seems like alcohol can enforce environmental friendly behavior, but I wasn’t able to collect enough data to confirm this hypothesis.

DJ Jack
Dining Room converted into a bar

Diwali

I attended my first Diwali celebration.  Still not really sure what they are celebrate but spending time with all my friends was wonderful.

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Also, there was a birthday the same day and we were able to surprise her with a self-made cake. We made the cake the day before. It took several hours but the result was worth it. At first it looked like a giant Oreo, but the cream cheese frosting made it just awesome.

Preparing the batter
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Homecoming

It is one of theses traditions you have never heard of when you come to the states. Basically, Homecoming is an opportunity for alumni to return to their school and celebrate their college days. It is (as many other festivities) also a chance for anybody else to party.

I wasn’t sure if I like it. The fireworks were pretty impressive though. I just wonder how many students could have been funded by the money spent on this.

The Commitment

You often hear about the analogy of marriage and Ph.D. studies. While it is may found funny there is some truth to it. You ask that one person to support and take care of for the next five or six years.

I feel like I have found an awesome adviser. He will probably be one of the most influential people in my life.

Porchfest

It’s just these little things that make Ithaca amazing to live in. During Porchfest citizens host concerts at their porches. So, this does not happen at some dedicated field, but in the heart of the town.

This is not a big festivity and does not attract many visitors from outside Tompkins county, but that is part of its charm: it is original and down to earth.

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Why I’m at CorneIl

I don’t really believe in rankings or any kind of prestige. Of course I was amazed when I came here and am proud to work with super smart people in my field. However, I wasn’t really sure if this is really the special place I imagined it to be.

Last week we went to a speech by Hans Rosling. The presentation was very impressive and I was very glad I could attend it. During the QA this one woman asked “what can I do to help my country?”. I realized, Cornell is full of people that want to change the world. Many of us, come from outside the US and want to improve life in their home country.

I realized, this is why I am here. I want to change the world.