Saturday, July 10, 2010

First Impressions

It was time to leave Boston. As much as I enjoyed my stay in what is considered the capital of the New England, I was anxious to finally relocate to Rhode Island, where my Brown adventure will soon start. And, as Mariana mentioned, we were debating about the World Cup soccer game that went on today during the trip. Although I lost, betting that Uruguay would win, I still have hopes for Spain.

We woke up a tad bit late for our trip to Harvard. But fortunately, we were able to get dressed, pack our luggage and meet everyone else in the hotel lounge in less than 15 minutes, a record in my life I might add. 

As Don predicted, our phone alarms failed to wake us up. Observing that, I will be sure to use the loaned alarm clock at Brown tomorrow, since it seems our cell phones refuse to do what we say. But this was in the back of our minds once we arrived at Harvard Square, ready for a day of exploring.

All of us were very enthusiastic about finally getting to know this very prestigious university where many famous alumni, including the Kennedys, Tommy Lee Jones and Al Gore, attended previously. It is the oldest institution of higher education in the U.S., having been founded in 1636. Though the weather was not doing us any grace, we did not let it distract us from touring the campus.

The Harry Widener Elkins Memorial Library 
Walking through the Harvard Yard 
The admissions office at Harvard 
The first benefactor(donator of money) of the university: John Harvard. 
Our group rubbing John Harvard's foot for good luck, as the myth goes. 
Personally, I have to say that Harvard did not draw my attention as I thought it would. I'm not sure why that is, but most likely it's because I've grown out of that stage where one only likes certain colleges because of the prestige and the global recognition. I now focus on the academics, opportunities, campus life, student body size, etc to determine a good college for me. 

Although Harvard exceeds these expectations, it still did not appeal to me. It could have been the compacted space of the campus; it made me feel very squished, in a way. Or perhaps the fact that a quarter of the students are accepted because of their exceedingly good academics and not because they are well-rounded with extracurriculars and leadership positions as only 50% do. 

The last quarter of students are accepted because of their rank or title in the world; examples would be people of royalty, wealth, and family name recognition. They are accepted merely because they are important people in the world. I know I can find these unbalanced admissions in many prestigious universities, but it is something we need to fight against. Ms. Kronenberg and I were speaking about this topic after the Harvard tour. Overall, I can say that the tour did make me wiser about choosing colleges. 
State building in Providence 
After we had a nice reunion with the Brown Session I group, who were very excited to share their experience and advice of Brown to us, we left to go back to the hotel to finally move to Providence! The hotel is really nice, but we're only staying overnight, until we can move into the university tomorrow. I am very excited to finally see the campus. We took off to Mill's Tavern in Providence to eat a nice dinner. 
First up, came the ratatouille which was really good. 
My highlight of the meal was the filet mignon, which came in a type of cherry sauce that really brought out the flavor of the meat. 
Mariana ordered the New York steak. It was simply yet beautifully presented. 
The food was yet another delicious meal we've had in the East Coast. I ordered the Filet Mignon and ratatouille. Lucero ordered the salmon which, from her experience, was really good as well. 

I cannot wait to start our adventure to tomorrow. We will also have our alumni brunch as well. The Brown Session I group leaves and we are saddened to have them leave us. But stories always have beginnings and endings: this is their ending, but our beginning.

1 comment:

  1. Lupe,

    Normally I'd start off my comments writing about the disgustingly good looking dinner fare you had.

    Tonight, though, I just can't get my mind off of the cruel way you all made fun of me.

    Here I offered you all brand new travel alarm clocks so you wouldn't suffer the same fate as so many of the rest of our ILC students this year have endured: waking up late because their flimsy alarms let them down.

    I traveled all over West County to buy something few people use anymore and spent a fair amount of my own money to provide you all with a reliable means of waking when you were supposed to. I checked them all out to make sure they worked and I even put brand new batteries in them so they wouldn't fail you.

    And now I learn that you didn't even use them and you joined the ranks of the rest of the ILC team and woke up late.

    I can imagine how you all were laughing at me behind my back almost as soon as you departed from El Cerrito High.

    Oh, how cruel you all are.

    By the way, here's a lesson that EVERYONE needs to learn: hotel alarm clocks and telephone wake-up calls are notoriously unreliable and only the ignorant or those that don't have a need to be somewhere on time use them.

    Thank goodness I don't have thin skin and like you all or I might really have hurt feelings. :-)