Wednesday, January 31, 2007

An On-Campus Job, Only Off-Campus.

It’s only one week into the semester and I feel as if I’m already overwhelmed. I’m taking four graduate-level classes, working for an assistantship, helping teach an undergraduate class, and am trying to manage my finances.

*Whine* *Whine*

I understand that no one wants to hear about my life, but all of this pressure has lit a light bulb in my head. This one’s for you, Downtown Cortland.

I’m sure that I’m not the only one who is burdened by finances while attending college; however, I’m positive that there are a ton of work-study programs that help lessen this load. But, why not integrate our town with our school further? What if the work-study programs stretched into downtown Cortland?

Ultimate Music could help fund my college education while I work there on the weekends. This would help my situation and it would definitely bring more business to this music store. What if Dave works at Downtown Deli and, in return, it helps him buy his books and gives him some food.

I understand this could get sticky, maybe…

Well, Ray, what if you just go ahead and get a job there? Skip the whole college-involvement thing? Economically I would figure that this would work the same, but I would have to argue that the businesses on Main St. (all of downtown) would flourish with more interaction with the school.

Dave: Hey guys did you hear that I got into the work-study program down at M&D Deli?
Friends: No way! that’s awesome.
Dave: Yeah, they help me pay for school and give me free food; the sandwiches are amazing down there.
Friends: I didn’t even know that place existed!
Dave: You guys should definitely come down and try it when you get a chance; I’ll even put more pickles on your sub!
Friends: Definitely! When do you work next?

Not only has Dave exposed the deli hidden on Central Ave., but he’s also brought business.

It seems like this is another win-win situation. I figured that I’d just throw this idea out there. What would it take to do this? Cheers.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Washing Away The Old

What’s worse than having no clean clothes? Doing the laundry. Today, folks, I am writing to you directly from one of Cortland’s own laundry mats.

About ten minutes ago, the nice lady who works here decided to help an uninformed college student do his laundry more efficiently. This college student was me. Apparently the new “super washers”, aptly labeled the Speed Queen Commercial Washer, not only cleans the laundry better, but also do so in a more cost and detergent-using effective manor. Who knew…?

After I threw my now separated laundry into a machine I noticed that there were only a couple of people using the “old-fashioned” washing machines; the washers that I almost used. The attendant noticed that I was staring and interjected. She said, “I told them, but they’re being fogged by what they’re used to—what mom and dad brought them up on.”

This was a very interesting statement. It can be seen as a metaphor for all things relative to business (or even everyday life). When there is something better, why are we stuck with what we are used to? I guess this has been the problem when it comes to using new technology ( in a business, classroom, or even a household) all along.

[Side Note: This reminds me of my grandmother's strange stance against using a digital camera. She takes hundreds (literally) of photos and half of them come out like crap. If she had a digital camera she could simply delete the "bad" photos and upload the good ones. This would save her a lot of money and aggravation; however, she just doesn't want to let go of what she is used to. Silly, huh.]

As I sit her waiting for my super-load Speed Queens to finish cleansing two weeks worth of clothes I can’t help but wonder how long it will take for those old-fashioned washers to become totally obsolete.

These thoughts I am having don’t stand cemented only in the various laundry mats in Cortland; no, every business would benefit from removing the old and implementing the new solutions.

Maybe, Cortland, it would help if we got rid of all of the mom-and-dad style washers (yes that was another metaphor). Cheers.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


It’s finally starting to feel like winter around here. I’m back, folks; I apologize for the brief hiatus. I was home for vacation and then I was busy running around—I also had some technical difficulties with signing into the blog. But, I’m back.

The first day that it “really” snowed last week I went over to Labrador Mtn. to buy aseason pass and get a couple of runs in. Sitting peacefully on the lift (sitting on the lift is quite tranquil) I began to think. It seems to me that Cortland would benefit from the fact that there are two ski slopes in the area.

When I was younger, my friends and I would have to travel a little over an hour to get to a mountain. But, in Cortland, there are two with in 20 miles. I understand that skiing isn’t the most cost efficient hobby, but it just seems to me that our community could use it as another way to bond together. Maybe we could work out a special deal with the mountain for one day. Free rentals with the purchase of a lift ticket? I know Greek Peak has free lift ticket days.

I understand the notion that the initial view on this suggestion would stimulate a less than optimistic response. What would be the purpose of this?

I work at Mando Books so why would I want to hang out with the guy from the Sarvay commercials?

I can’t help but think of the possibilities that come with a community of one. Imagine a community that everyone helps everyone else—you wash my back and I’ll wash yours. Promoting a business and sharing customers would be that much easier.

Business Owner 1: I’m having a really hard time setting up a website to promote my business.

Business Owner 2: Maybe I could help out. I set mine up a month ago.

Business Owner 1: Thanks Pal. I’m so glad I went on this ski trip with you.

Ski trip or not, camaraderie between our community could pay giant dividends. More to come on this subject later. Cheers.