Sunday, July 10, 2011

East to West Coast

I once again misjudged the amount of walking we would do today. Since there is a triathlon, the road was cut off at the bridge. That meant that the group walked from Hotel Providence up a hill to Brown University. I did not know we would walk, and once again I wore the same heels that I wore to Boston. The walk was not as intense as walking all day through Boston, but the hill that Brown resides on hurt the balls of my feet. My lesson for the day: even if driving, bring extra shoes.

Brunch was located in the Alum Center on the Brown campus. The Alum Center was located outside Wristen Quad, which coincidentally was the Quad my dorm was a part of. I explored the Alum Center with Grace the week before; it is a house that many students would never consider entering. When I walked past the Center on my way to class every day, the appearance of the building labeled it as an official Brown house that students were restricted from entering. Just like the Alums, the Center is a friendly place, and today had friendly faces that I met.

I only talked to one person—Jason Sello; he was the Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Brown, as well as one of the speakers at Brunch. Although he attended different universities, he advocated that Brown had many research opportunities and would recommend anyone to who goes to Brown. He mentioned that Brown had a relax atmosphere, where students are able to explore their options without the stress of competition with other students.

He also offered wisdom in choosing which science to study. Science is particularly difficult to focus because chemistry, biology and physics have no distinct separation. Mr. Sello said that chemistry accommodates choice; biology is used in chemistry to produce organic chemicals, and molecular physics is involved in the formation of chemicals and is the foundation of chemistry. He also mentioned how important the staff teaching the course, which caused him to rethink his major in history. After more socializing, Mr. Guy called everyone into a room for the formal speeches.

The speeches were very inspirational. Adrianne and Mariko both presented speeches that were appropriate both in history and in experience, respectfully. Mr. Sello ended the brunch, and we all walked to Hotel Providence.

Packing and loading the car after brunch was quick. Then it was off to the airport. The airport was a reflection of how far we came; we saw the same Lemonade Truck the first day and walked the long trek to the check-in station. We left Providence and were heading home.

As soon as I stepped off the plane I knew I was home. The evidence resided in the lack of humidity and the clean smell of the air. I realized that I have taken advantage of how nice California is—it never gets too hot, and when it does it is a dry heat, and cool nights relieve hot days. I expanded my comfort of weather when I was in Providence, but California had the best weather. If I go to an East Coast school, I will appreciate the change in weather, and then come back and relax in the moderate sun.

Entering Hercules, I wondered whether the four weeks on the East Coast happened. I felt as though I came back from one of the Brown dinners—those days filled with tours and homework were only minutes in the whole scheme.

I have a lot to catch up at home, but the program was worth giving up my summer, which would have probably been filled with boredom. I also thank the sponsors who made my trip possible because I have changed as a person and am wiser as I make a life-changing decision.

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