hogwarts library


… according to pinterest \ this is actually the andrew dickson white library at cornell university /  a. d. white was the co-founder &  first president of cornell <founded 1865> \ he went to yale, was in the rowing team & competed in the first harvard-yale regatta in 1852!

<the harry potter libe was the bodleian library at oxford university>

shout out to ithaca & cornell

aier ranking

last week, the american institute for economic research published its top 75 college destinations <2014-2015 edition> /  organized around the size of the metropolitan statistical area, the top rated destinations are:  boston ma <major metro> | san jose-sunnyvale-santa clara ca <mid-size metro>| boulder co <small metro> | ithaca ny <college town>

ithaca ny was #1 among college towns and state college,  #5 \ pittsburgh was #4 among mid-size metros

just two years away from sending off a favorite young person to college, cornell university is currently the top choice & is located in ithaca  \ i am a strong proponent of having a strong liberal arts education even if the career goal is in a technical or scientific field / and though the commercial goal of education is important, equally important & lasting is a college education’s intrinsic value of providing lens & language to understanding the world \ or what others would refer to as education’s cognitive & moral goals <see sidebar below> / at cornell one has the flexibility to design one’s course work \ the university motto is: “i would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study” / thus you can take courses that may be peripheral to what you plan to do as a career but are enriching, opens up the mind & are truly interesting to you \ i think it’s important to always pursue what one is interested in & passionate about / you are most likely to excel in it \ and only good things can come out of preserving that part of you that always burns

cornell is the only one in the ivy league that has both endowed & statutory colleges <via the morrill land grant act of 1862>\ they are the new york colleges of human ecology, agriculture & life sciences and veterinary medicine, and the new york state school of industrial & labor relations <the four are administratively affiliated with suny> / the state-supported colleges have cooperative extension outreach programs that provide students the opportunity to apply what they learn in nearby communities & thus gain “real life” work experience \ invaluable!

there is also something homey & safe about cornell & ithaca that would give me peace of mind about the well-being of my young person / it is a beautiful campus, a beautiful place \ an added plus is access to the latest version of apples! / cornell is one of three universities in the u.s. with an apple breeding program <there is also cornell dairy (ice cream!) & the cornell sheep program (sheep!)> / and not to forget, the gorges are gorgeous, the view from libe slope is inspiring, and yes, the winters are brutal but beautiful \ and… new york city is just a bus ride away from campus

close to home are carnegie mellon university, university of pittsburgh, duquesne university in pittsburgh & penn state in state college \ all are good choices as well


the criteria:

Student Life:

  • Student Concentration: number of college students per 1,000 residents 

  • Cost of Housing: fair market rent of a two-bedroom apartment 

  • City Accessibility: percentage that walk, bike or take public transportation


  • Arts and Leisure: concentration of arts, entertainment, and recreation establishments
  • International Students: percentage of students that are foreign
  • Innovation Producers: percentage of workforce in the innovation fields

Economic Health:

  • Unemployment Rate: percentage of labor force without jobs
  • Entrepreneurial Activity: net change in number of businesses (3-year average)
  • Brain Drain or Gain: change in proportion of population with college degrees


  • R&D Per Student: academic R&D per student
  • College Educated: percentage of the population with a college degree
  • Earning Potential: median earnings

under the hood



sidebar | discussions about the purpose of a college education



this post is for my favorite young person as ideas about what college life could look like are pondered

reason #11 | brutal but beautiful winters

ithaca commons

ithaca, new york was recently named the best college town in america by the american institute of economic research / it ranked very high in academic environment and quality of life but middle-of-the road in professional opportunity <no surprise that students who make up half its population would build their careers elsewhere after attending cornell or ithaca college and enjoying ithaca’s many cultural and natural offerings> \  i visited last summer for a dragon boat race with my team <pittsburgh paddlefish> yes! ithaca hosts the annual finger lakes dragon boat festival / the pedestrian walk on ithaca commons was under construction but was attractively enclosed by eye-catching, sometimes provocative mural fences

12 reasons why


the full report