The author is a student at Cornell.

I’m a student at Cornell University studying government, but one afternoon on campus was unique.I started my day at the on-campus farm, meeting the sheep, pigs, and cows. After that, I had lunch at the student-run, on-campus luxury hotel.

As a government major at Cornell, I hadn’t expected agricultural enrichment to be part of my college experience. However, my love of plants and animals consistently leads me back to the Cornell barns and fields — despite having no immediate relevance to my degree.

Usually, I don’t have time to trek to the barns during the week, but one day, Cornell unexpectedly canceled classes at the end of last year, allowing my friend and me to have an adventurous early weekend.

After a lengthy search for a parking spot (Cornell’s parking, or lack thereof, is notorious), my friend and I waded through the mud into the barn. As my friend was an animal-science major and researcher who worked there, she lifted the latch and led us inside, starting my unique day as a Cornell student.

I started my day on Cornell’s farm and met all the animals.
The sheep pen in the teaching barn.

Hundreds of animals call Cornell home. We first visited the pigs, and then we stopped to see the sheep — all 286 of them. Like the rest of Cornell’s animals, they’re used for research and teaching purposes.

I learned that 2023 was an unusually prosperous year for the Cornell lambs.
An older lamb at Cornell.

In a separate pen were the lambs. We watched them frolic and play for a bit, petting their lanolin-rich wool. According to my animal-science friend, an unusually large proportion of the Cornell lambs survived and thrived this year.

After holding the lambs, we took a break to talk to a farmer outside.
The mucky backyard of the Cornell farm.

The fresh air was a great relief. We ran into a member of the farm staff and chatted with him about the animals and different experiments. I was thrilled to learn that the pigs weren’t destined to become bacon but were to be adopted in the upcoming month.

I wasn’t prepared to meet the fistulated cow.
Cornell’s fistulated cow.

Cornell’s fistulated cow lay in the corner of the barn next door, the prominent gaping hole in its gut concealed by a Tupperware-like cover. I averted my gaze, squeamish at the sight.

It’s a tradition here at Cornell to “exam” the fistulated cow — something many alumni and students brag about.

As a humanities student, I’ve had a remarkable number of opportunities to penetrate the abdominal cavity of a cow here at Cornell, but despite the many offers, I fail to be tempted.

On my way back to the main campus, I thought back to my days as a government major posing as a farmer.
The author mulching a pawpaw orchard on a tractor.

Just behind the barns are the Cornell Orchards, spanning over 3 acres. I spent a summer there pruning apple trees, tending vineyards, and conducting experiments on fruit, wine, and cider.

I’m lucky that I get to explore all my passions as a Cornell student on campus.

We stopped at the Dairy Bar, which had our favorite flavors.
The author, left, and her friend enjoying treats at the Dairy Bar.

On the other side of the barns is the Cornell Dairy Bar, where students and visitors can enjoy homemade ice cream crafted from the goods produced by Cornell’s research cows.

I enjoyed the Clocktower Pumpkin and Holiday Merriment flavors before lunch.

A short walk later, we were in the heart of campus at the Statler Hotel.
The Statler Hotel.

A five-minute walk down the street later, and my friend and I were at the ritzy Statler, the on-campus hotel that also serves as an educational facility and is home to three restaurants for students.

It’s known as the Nolan School of Hotel Administration and is one of the eight colleges within Cornell. The students run the establishment as a part of their hotel education.

Pro tip: Whenever I’m low on essentials, I swing by the Statler lobby as a “guest” in need of a toothbrush, sewing kit, slippers, etc. The front desk usually can provide those.

In the lobby, I almost forgot I was on my college campus.
The lobby of the Statler Hotel at Cornell.

We weren’t at the hotel for a coffee chat or class, though. Our purpose was to feast. Weaving through the clacking high heels and leather dress shoes, we made our way to the bathroom and washed our hands under the fancy chandeliers.

We made a beeline for Mac’s, one of the Statler’s restaurants.
The student center at Statler.

Before grabbing lunch, we stopped at the student center and discussed our food options. We settled on eating at Mac’s, the most economical of the Statler’s restaurants, but the food still has the quality worthy of a luxury hotel, and it’s covered by Big Red Bucks, Cornell’s meal plan.

Over our meal, I felt grateful for the variety of experiences at Cornell.
The author’s lunch at Cornell.

At Mac’s, I devoured a coconut-milk smoothie with fresh berries and rainbow tortellini soaked in pesto-Alfredo sauce. I splurged for a side of garlic bread.

My friend and I finished our meal, then went our separate ways: her back to the Dairy Bar to work, and me to the arts quad for a meeting with my editor at The Cornell Daily Sun. But first, I made a stop in the Statler lobby to get some new bedroom slippers.

This wasn’t what I imagined college life would be like, but Cornell makes it all possible.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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