Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Starting the Connections

The big sport in New England is ice hockey. Tonight, the Boston Bruins are playing Vancouver Canucks and every time Boston scores, I can hear cheers outside my hotel window. The TV is off right now, but I yell along with the die-hard fans.

The ride over to Boston was quiet because we were still drowsy from our first night, but the contagious energy from a passing school bus with children waving and screaming out the window put a smile on our faces. I waved to a little boy who yelled to me, “Don’t go to school! It’s not worth it!” School is still in session here because the districts have to make up for all the time when schools were closed due to snow days.

Our beautiful, sunny day started at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, more commonly referred to as MIT. Our tour guide, Emily was very humorous and articulate but she did not expand too much on what MIT had to offer. She constantly raved about the school’s pranksters called “hackers” which was interesting but beside the point of the tour. I am not a math and science person so I am not considering applying to MIT. The campus was beautiful and quirky, but not my ideal match for college.
We ate lunch at a campus burger joint where we had joyous conversations about being in the Ivy League Connection and our feelings about MIT. We noticed that many people stared at us when we walked around campus and in the eating area. Ms. Larson, who walks faster than I jog, led the way back to the car. We were on our way to Boston University.

I co-piloted Ms. Larson as we navigated through Boston on her SmartPhone. East coast traffic is quite hectic and the sound of car horns is omnipresent. Pedestrians and runners dart through traffic like they own the world, which is unbelievable. Ms. Larson is an avid runner and she critiques the running population on their form while she drives through mazed streets. It’s entertaining.

Boston University was much more appealing to me. The freshmen dorms looked comfy and there were two long roads for student housing. The academics were much more diverse and I found myself interested in the college of communications. Erinn seemed to gravitate to biomedical engineering, Kathleen and Andrew liked political science and economics, and Frank was interested in science and biochemistry. We all found something we liked at Boston University. Our tour guide, Rob Mahoney, is currently studying to become a history teacher. He was really friendly and informative on our personal tour (it was just the six of us with him).

We had a slight break after Boston University before dinner. While Ms. Larson went to browse running shoes at the Marathon Sports store, the rest of us went across the street to the Boston library to explore. The book section of the library was a bit boring, so we busied ourselves with some photoshooting.

Unfortunately, tragedy struck when we stopped to relax at a public park. While we were chatting, a bird decided to drop a load on my right shoulder and arm. Apparently, that’s good luck but I wasn’t feeling it. We were supposed to meet up for dinner in 20 minutes at L’Espalier, the BEST restaurant in Boston. I wiped off as much brown matter as I could before I drenched my shirt sleeve in Tide-To-Go. I highly recommend this product. It saved me from weird looks from passersby and probably restored a presentable appearance for dinner. NEVER SIT UNDER A TREE.

I asked the doorwoman what L’Espalier means. She said that it was a description of ivy vines crawling up a wall. What a nice name for a restaurant. We ascended the building in a fancy elevator into the most amazing dinner I ever took part in. We dined with Chelsea Moylan, the assistant director of Admissions of Brown University and Grace Yuen, a 2010 alum from Brown University. Our four-course meal consisted of delicious fusions of flavors. I tried duck, escolar, mango mousse, and a fromage blanc curd for dessert (which is a fancy cheese). I would’ve taken a picture, but I checked in my bag at the front desk. Fancy! Our conversations revolved around admission expectations to fun activities on campus. Whenever there was an awkward silence, I drank a lot of water. Afterwards, we realized that we all would eventually see each other again at Brown. We parted with raised water glasses for a group picture. That was a memorable and delectable evening.
Oh yes, and I was matching with the valet parking people.
The ride back to Hotel Providence consisted of delirious exhaustion and Kathleen’s version of Eminem’s “Not Afraid”. She is so talented! It is past midnight here.

BOSTON BRUINS WON! 4-0! Time to sleep.

Mr. Ramsey has excellent taste in restaurants.


  1. Erin,

    Looks like you're all having an impact on the people you're around. First the Bostonians want to riot when you come to town and then the flying rates want to take a dump on you--and you haven't even started class yet.

    I appreciate all of the photos you all are putting into your blogs but when you write and tell us that Kathleen puts Eminem to shame, then I have to ask whether any of you have a cell phone video camera so you can share these things with us. I feel so left out.

  2. I never thought of asking what L'Espalier meant. It *is* a very elegant name.

    I'm glad most of the group liked BU: when our group visited last year, we didn't leave with such a positive impression and I didn't apply. Although it was tempting to apply to all the schools I visited with the ILC and many more, I had to narrow down my list (and I should have narrowed it down even more). My advice is to start seriously thinking about the main reasons a school should or shouldn't stay on your apply-to list, so that you won't have as much stress later on.


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