Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Meeting the Mentors

On top of a wonderful Brown dinner, it was my birthday. I think it was a great way to spend my birthday, otherwise I would have been on my computer wasting my time. Instead I got to meet people that changed my entire opinion of Brown; I am even considering Brown as one of the colleges I will attend as an undergraduate. 
Unfortunately, more students would not commit enough to come to the dinner and all I can say is that they missed out on a wonderful evening full of stories of Brown and explanations of the deep connections of alums that runs through San Francisco.
Before coming to the dinner my opinion of Brown was a structureless school that is unchallenging and offers students excess freedom in classes. Although I had these skepticisms running through my mind when I talked to some of the alums, my opinion changed like some of the alums’ experiences coming to the Brown campus changed, they were slowly won over, but won over nonetheless.

I also realized that what I was told as a freshman, and was repeated this evening, was true: undergraduate school is were you explore, you do not have to have a structured plan and it won’t kill you to stray from your high school dream. I must have forgotten it along the way.

I also realized that the free core is not a bad decision. For example, I have to take classes where there are people I cannot relate to partly because some students do not have the same interests as I do. In Brown, I can bypass the awkward stage and dive head first into the studies I love and make friends faster in the environment I can thrive in. In this same environment, I can discover my true passion intentionally or unintentionally with each class I take. I can finally see what my friend Beilul Naizghi saw in this school; it is truly amazing.

Yet there is always the counterargument. I am still skeptic of the unstructured core, and I am still interested in technical school, but I am somewhat resolved to have a technical school as my graduate school and leave my time as an undergraduate at the school I like the best. The weather also detracts, but I can always overcome the Indian summers and the Frosty the Snowman winters.

After hearing the testimonies of the alums, I cannot wait to have stories of my own to tell my friends when I get back. I really cannot wait for Tuesday, but I have to admit I am not in any sense ready. I have to organize what I am to bring and coordinate with my cohorts, all in six days.

And as I mentioned, it is my birthday today so I will tell you about my cake. I can’t really compare it with the food we had at the Hyatt, but despite how my cake might look, it was sweet and moist, and I think I prefer it over the cupcakes. However the chocolate cupcake put my upside down pineapple coconut cake to shame. We also had some slider sandwiches that were delicious, but I accidentally put a lot of Dijon mustard on my sandwiches, which I can describe as putting too much wasabi on some sushi. 

I thank all of the Brown alums who came tonight that offered themselves as sources for my cohorts and I to use. I also thank Simon Hong who organized this dinner and for creating the chance for four fortunate students to talk personally to alums. I can't wait for the other activities we organize, and I wish more people took this opportunity.

1 comment:

  1. Erinn,

    I said it at the time but it always bears repeating--Happy Birthday. We're so glad you could spend it with us at the Hyatt with our Brown alums instead of wasting your time in front of your computer. (YOUR words--not mine.)

    I was very impressed with the way you all seemed to bond with the Brown alums that shared the evening with us. You all seemed so interested in what they had to say. Their experiences and thoughts about Brown are far more valuable than anything you might read on the Internet. This is what the ILC is all about.

    Good company and stimulating conversation is always great but how about that food? What a spread. So the Dijon mustard was a bit spicy for you? A lesson learned at no extra charge to you.

    I'm so glad that we made the detour to show you all the Hyatt's atrium. It's always been a big crowd pleaser and a lot of tourists stay there just for the view. Even when I was young (when San Francisco was still just a gold rush village) it was a very popular place to take the young ladies and impress them.

    They used to hold concerts there on Friday afternoon and the music would get the large sculpture to oscillate and it looked like it was bouncing up and down. Very cool.


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