Friday, June 17, 2011

A Day in Connecticut

It’s amazing how much the weather changes from one area to the next. This morning in New Haven, Connecticut, it had just rained and the air was chilly and breezy. In the afternoon in Middletown, it was hot and humid. Now in Providence, the temperature is beginning to cool down a little.

In New Haven, we visited Yale University. As we walked with the tour group, water from the trees overhead poured down each time the wind blew through. But the unfortunate weather did not overshadow the grandiose of the college. Yale greatly resembled a European castle, or in my opinion, Hogwarts, the wizarding school in the Harry Potter book series. The Sterling Memorial Library was magnificent. It was built to be a “cathedral for knowledge” with its design resembling that of a cathedral. Yale has taken over Dartmouth as my favorite college out of the ones we have visited. I prefer larger schools over smaller schools so Yale better suits my interests than Dartmouth or Wesleyan.

For lunch, we ate at the Union League Café with Yohanna Pepa, a current Yalie and former ILCer from Pinole Valley High School. Erin, Frank, Andrew, and Ms. Larson already knew her, but Erinn and I just met her today. She was very friendly and helpful in explaining the different aspects of Yale, including the rigorous course load, extracurriculars, and social life. She applied to Yale through Early Decision, which binds you to the school you are applying to. This was the right decision for her because she was set on Yale, but for me, I don’t have courage to be binded to a school. I’m considering applying Early Action though, which gives you the option of choosing to matriculate, or not, to your school of acceptance. Yohanna also showed us a picture she took with Sam Tsui, a YouTube star who Erin and Erinn love and are introducing me to. Her stories were very humorous and informative at the same time. For our meal, we all ordered sandwiches, and my eggplant Panini was absolutely scrumptious.

We also visited Wesleyan University, a liberal arts college in Middletown, Connecticut. The school was nice, but I didn’t get that “this is the school for me” feeling. One of Wesleyan’s highlights is its coexistence with Middletown. There is no distinct border separating the city from the college, but that aspect doesn’t appeal to me. I actually prefer being able to tell a college apart from its surrounding city. Many of Wesleyan’s buildings look like large houses, not college facilities. This may work for some, but it’s not my cup of tea. My favorite part of Wesleyan was its expansive green lawn where many students can be found during school days and events are sometimes held. We didn’t see anyone on it because students don’t stay around for the summer, but our tour guide pointed out that on nice days, hundreds of students can be found on the Green. Wesleyan also has an open curriculum, like Brown, allowing students to freely choose their courses. The open curriculum is one of the reasons Brown is one of my top choices for college because it gives its students freedom to explore subjects they might not have otherwise. Don’t get me wrong; Wesleyan is a fantastic school, but it's just not for me.

Andrew, Erin, and I received an email today from our Macroeconomics professor, Nicholas Coleman, introducing himself and welcoming us to his class. I can’t wait until we go to Brown in two days!

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