Jesse Gonzalez: ' Don't forget to read for fun!'

Tue, 04/25/2017

Jesse Gonzalez

English & Spanish

Hillsborough, NJ

What was your most profound turning point while at Cornell?

Probably Intro to English Literature with Professor Masha Raskolnikov. I took it as a first semester junior, and it was the hardest English course I've ever been in at Cornell. Professor Raskolnikov demanded excellence and was not content to let me slide through with passable work when I had it in me to produce something better, and for that I am grateful. That class, above any other, I think, is what truly opened my eyes to the depth of the English language and how the study of it transcends simply reading and writing — it is thinking in its purest form.

What has been your main extracurricular activity at Cornell?

My main involvement would be with the Latino community here at Cornell through my work with the Puerto Rican Students Association. It is an incredibly vibrant, loving community that has given me so much, so it's important to me in my last year to give back to the underclassmen and ensure the sustainability of a space so vital and so dear to my heart.

If you were to offer advice to an incoming first year student, what would you say?

Don't forget to read for fun. It sounds lame, but any problem you encounter in your life, I guarantee someone has written about it. There's something reassuring in knowing that the problems we face are universal. Also it makes you smarter.