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I felt like the first turtle was about a young boys suffering when he leaves all that he knows and moves to a new town. When the boy finally decides to go out and try to acclimate to his neighboring environment he finds comfort in the beauty of nature, specifically turtles. This story relates to new freshmen because it shows that it is not easy to leave all that you know behind, but once you find a niche it will be easier to join the cortland community. The sentence “To go off to the swamps and woods was to abandon-in some social measure to reject- home, family, and community” portrays the way that alot of cortland freshmen’s families feel when they leave home. Although our parents know that we are not really abandoning them, it is extremely hard for them, as it is for us, to leave us and allow us to thrive as adults. This sentence shows that change affects everyone in a community, or family, in different but possibly equally traumatizing ways. Another notable sentence is “despite the dramatic intrusion, he would not let go of her”, I think that this means that although we feel displaced it does not mean that our friends and family will forget about, nor stop loving us, once we leave to go to college. Like the turtle protects his mate, our friends and family will protect and guide us through our college experience, they are not leaving us on our own. Also, do not let go of your friends when you go to college, hold onto friendships and build on them. Although this story was a bit hard to decipher, I feel that it conveys a message that getting involved in the Cortland community will stop the hurt.
-cassandra McNamara


Having to keep track of the hours I read for the past week has led me to believe that college gives massive amounts of homework to us. I feel overwhelmed at times because I want to socialize alot and get to know people but I need to get my work done. What do you guys think?
-cassandra mcnamara

Dear Class,

I’ve been looking for posts on the McKibben reading. I wonder what you are thinking about the lecture we are going to next week? Have any of you pursued a special interest in the environment? Please do share. KES

Rebecca Barry is a relatively local writer; she is a Finger Lakes author.  She recently wrote a novel called, Later, at the Bar.  Interestingly, this novel is written in a series of short stories.  Barry is going to be reading parts of her book at Mando’s Bookstore tomorrow (Monday the 17th) from 5-7pm. I encourage you all to go to this event! I’m hoping to be there. Get in touch with me if you want someone to go with and we can meet up.


“Rebecca Barry skillfully weaves together their stories as if she is making her way through a room full of friends, then finds you a seat at the bar, leans over, and spills all of their secrets. They are full of heartache and hope, and you will want to stay with them, until everyone puts down their drinks and starts to dance.”

-Hannah Tinti, author of Animal Crackers


“Rebecca Barry’s prose is a delicate, beautiful balance of wit and yearning. She is an artist of the everyday heartbreak, gently moving her brave characters through their lives, watching over them with concern as they (sometimes comically, sometimes tragically) cope with the infinite expressions of desire and longing that ache within their souls.”

-Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love


September 2007
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