Sunday, July 11, 2010

Going Up a Roller Coaster... what I felt today about arriving at Brown University. Everyone who has experienced the Summer@Brown trip has enthusiastically (and I really mean enthusiastically) told me about their growth from the trip. With everything all the students have told me, it would be neither an experience I would forget nor would regret doing. 

Parallel to an amusement park ride, since the first time we were told that we going to be at an Ivy League school in the summer, each day has been building inside me a curiosity, an excitement, a thrill that dared me to take hold on its precious adventures. I like to live my life by a certain philosophy that is similar to this: when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. However, how you make the lemonade and what you do with it afterwards is up to you.

We said goodbye to the Hotel Providence, which, although was very nice and accommodating, it was not Brown, and left for the school we waited forward to visiting for days, or more specifically, months. Our first thing on the to-do list was to register for our class. It went pretty smoothly and then we headed off for the Brown Alumni brunch.

To summarize the brunch for the sake of explanation, it was mind-changing. A current student undergrad, Lizette, talked to me and Lucero about her Brown experience. She told me about the PLME (Program in Liberal Medical Education) program they offer at Brown. Although she told me that the admissions officer, Mercedes Domenech, whom we met at the La Strada brunch, knew a lot more about the program, she explained to me about the confidence and determination one must have when applying to Brown and to PLME.

It was also great to meet up with the Brown Session 1 folks as well.

PLME is a program where if a student decides that he/she really wants to become a doctor without a doubt but still wants to have a liberal education without too much focus on science majors, it will allow the student to focus on another non-related major, such as the humanities, while still being able to practice in the medical field. It also gains you access to the Alpert Medical School after the four undergraduate years.

Joey Perez, who is a family physician, gave me some great advice about pursuing a track in medicine. He told me to never let anyone discourage me and if it's something I really want to do, it will happen. Sure, it will be hard work, it might stress me out a lot, but it'll be worth it in the end. The support offered at Brown, he said, is very encouraging, especially with minorities, since there is little diversity of minorities in the professional world. I realized that if I do not see the change in the world that I want to see, I must become that change and pave the way for everyone else. I left the brunch with a smile on my face, having this in mind.

Group shot after the brunch 
Finding fans and sheets was a difficult task as the time for renting all these necessities was during the brunch. Fortunately, Guy Sanchez offered to bring us these items and we were so grateful! By the time we were finally organized and ready in our dorms, it was time to go to the orientation. 

After having an ice cream social, a check-in and the many things the other 1300+ students at Brown had to do, we were finally able to rest in our dorms. My roommate, Jacqueline Nelson, never arrived because according to her friends from Chicago, she did not have enough to cover out-of-pocket expenses for the duration of her stay, so she couldn't make it. However, a student, Kristi Sun, was placed in a boys' floor by mistake and ending up rooming with me! She is from San Jose, California which is really nice. 
Dorm room before... 
Dorm room after. As you can see, Brown isn't exactly known for its housing. 
The hallway outside my dorm. Lucero's single is actually the third door from the left. 
The rest of the girls in our group come from many parts of the world: Panama, Thailand, Turkey (3 girls actually), Mexico, Chicago, New Jersey, Detroit, Bangladesh, Oregon, Canada (our RA), New Orleans and England. There was a big diversity and I liked that. 

After everything had been said and done, I made a couple visits to Thayer Street, which is very similar to Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley. I will remember to take some more pictures tomorrow. It has cute boutiques and a wide array of restaurants. I'll be sure to try them out later in the days to come. 

Tomorrow is our first day of class, I can't wait!

1 comment:

  1. Lupe,

    I think they refer to your accommodations as 'spartan' and 'utilitarian' and not much more than that. As you can imagine, if you were to stay there for the year you might embellish the room a bit--if that's possible. I couldn't help but notice the fan.

    The young ladies you described sound like a regular United Nations of representatives from around the globe. I hope you snap a few photos of them and tell us more about them.

    I look forward to reading your thoughts about this experience once you've completed it to see if it affects you in the same way you've heard how it affected the others.