I'm sitting in Risley Dining hall and it's a really interesting thing. I spent 2 years of my life here, and now it still feels like coming home. My wife and I were married on the Cornell Campus over 25 years ago - and had our reception in Risley hall. Not much has changed. It looks like the same menu roughly (maybe a few more salad choices and more alternative menu items), though lunch is $9 (though I was on Campus Dining and didn't pay cash back then). Other than a few different clothing choices you could be here 25 years ago and it would still "feel" the same. People crowded around one table to the point where there's almost no room, some students working, others sitting alone. Of course there's ubiquitous wireless now so I can whip out my laptop and post to this blog - we didn't have laptops back then, and moving my Apple II setup around wasn't really a choice :)
There is a Risley does Hogwarts event on Friday that I'm almost tempted to attend :) It certainly would give me a better feel for the people. I had some nice chats with the professional staff at the lunch counter and check-in. Very nice folks - every bit as nice as I remember the Risley Dining folks from the 80's.
The conference so far has been a success - made at least 2 good networking contacts already. Looking forward to more.
I must say being here brings back a flood of memories and emotions I welcome. Oh to be 20 again. Or to go back and talk to myself when I was 20 to give myself some pointers - like buy Microsoft stock NOW and sell it in 1999 :)