Am I dreaming or what?

The noise of the mind drowns the voice of the heart; calm the mind, find your Self and you will hear the heart.

A view of the clock tower from close to the library. To reach the top you have to climb 161 steps
A view of the clock tower from close to the library. To reach the top you have to climb 161 steps05-Apr-2012 12:19, Canon Canon PowerShot G12, 4.0, 6.1mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 80
To think I would even imagine my son would be considering attending an Ivy league school twenty years back would not have been just ridiculous but was just non-existent. His list of acceptances missed his dream school(s) but getting acceptances from Cornell, U Penn, RPI, Carnegie Mellon and Penn State was no less satisfaction. The choice came to Cornell or U Penn. After a bit of research, the two were mostly on par with some edges to each. We decided to do a campus visit to Cornell last Thursday. The drive was about four hours as Google Maps indicated. So I thought we could do it in 3 1/2 and we started at 6:40. We had to be there at 11 for a meeting with the Dean of the physics department. A bit of a confusion following the car GPS and we lost about 20 minutes before getting on track. The drive up the Northeast extension and then onto Rt 22 was uneventful. Going up north on Rt 33 and Rt 81 we could see Spring was far from settled compared to the warmer March we had in Philly. Our goal was to get to Cornell onto so there was little to look around with the mind restless. We finally reached Cornell after racing down Rt 79 with a huge truck bearing on us to pass. The city of Ithaca is amidst an Idyllic setting with a very small town feel. A gas station here and there with some shopping. The road into Cornell was lined with quaint houses amidst wooded backdrop.

It was a cloudy and very chilly, breezy day; a switch from 60s to 30s with wind-chill was bleak
It was a cloudy and very chilly, breezy day; a switch from 60s to 30s with wind-chill was bleak05-Apr-2012 12:32, Canon Canon PowerShot G12, 4.0, 6.1mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 80

Once we drove into the gates, it took as 10 minutes to get some information, map and find parking.  The day was almost blustery, with a wind chill – a sudden transformation from the pleasant Philly spring. The campus is spread over a large area with the roads traversing uphill the way we were headed. It was quite a walk that reminded me how long it has been since I had a pacy one. The meeting with the Dean went well though I missed it as I was behind and was waiting in the cafe below. After this we grabbed a bit for lunch at the Amit Bhatia Cafe, though hot food wasn’t there. Coffee was great and then we headed to Day’s Hall where the campus tour would start. Our guide was a refreshing Freshman who was very lively and good at walking backwards. She took us through the many departmental buildings, the on-campus church built sometime in the 1930s at a cost of a mere $30,000 as someone didn’t want to have an education w/o God nearby. The Clock Tower stands out on the campus – it is your North Star to get where you want to. The tower has about 161 steps leading up to the top, but it was too windy to try that. The tower was blaring with music – apparently that goes on every day, the whole thing managed by students who do play a Sunny song on a rainy day for prank. Talking about pranks, one of the well known pranks was a HUGE pumpkin that somehow made it to the top of the tower with nobody knowing how. Finally the school had to announce amnesty for those culprits who did that and about a 100 groups came forward claiming to be the one!! The tour took about 90 minutes and gave us a glimpse of the vast campus dotted with old, stone buildings – what you would imagine of an ivy school.

05-Apr-2012 12:37, Canon Canon PowerShot G12, 4.0, 10.775mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 80
05-Apr-2012 13:17, Canon Canon PowerShot G12, 4.5, 24.978mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 250
We stopped at the Statler Hotel which is managed by the students of the Hotel Management program. This school is world renowned and anyone’s dream who would want to be in Hotel Management. We grabbed bite at the Mac’s Cafe below and then headed to Day’s Hall for a trip for those accepted. This time around we toured one of the dormitories on the North campus. The dorm rooms were small but well maintained. The buildings themselves were well maintained with a Resident Student Prefect on every hall – one each for each gender. The final stop was at one of the huge dining facilities and I was very impressed with the facility. I had seen such huge and well maintained cafeterias at some of my large clients such as Citi or Chase. Cornell dining is ranked in the top 10 across all campuses for many years, thank in part to the renowned Hotel Management program – they practice what they preach.

After the tour, we decided to drive back home. It was 5:10 when we started. I would have loved to stop at the town of Ithaca, but wanted to get home early too knowing it was a 4 hour drive. Without stop and causing a bit of concern with my speeding, we were home a bit before 9 for dinner.

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