After six hours on two different planes, Cohort #1 has landed back in the Bay Area. It is good to be back.
We started out this morning with a wake up call from the bell tower right outside our hotel window. It was chiming for no specific reason (Caroline pointed out that it was 9:47 AM) but we enjoyed some traditional (although out of tune) songs. We got dressed in our formal attire and walked up to Brown University. It would be my last time on campus.
Cohort #2 grazes the Main Green
As we walked to the alumni center, 1,400 students were checking in at Sayles Hall for the continuing Summer@Brown program. I saw my RA, Mikalei, supervising the sidewalk and I ran over to say one last goodbye. It is fun to see all of the people I've met at Brown and that I've become so familiar with.
The alumni brunch was a great way to end my experience at Brown. I met several amazing alumni like Nicole Parrish (who performs spoken word poetry), Natasha Go (an employee at the Third World Center), Christopher Belcher (a neuroscience major from Hawaii), and Dean Rose (the head of the Summer@Brown program). We talked to them during brunch in the beautiful alumni center that Grace Yuen took us to when we met up last week.
Kathleen and Natasha Go '10
I talked with Chris about his experience at Brown and how he adjusted. He did not get to see his family a lot and he had trouble getting used to the weather. Eventually, he adapted and life at Brown was bearable. I was interested in talking to Nicole because she is involved with a lot of extra curricular activities in addition to her studies. That is something I want to do. A lot of the current students give me advice not to stress about college, even though senior year will be tough. Talking to the alumni gave me confidence to be strong and do my best so that I might be able to join them at Brown in the nearing future. Anything is possible right now.
Brown Brunch at the Alumni Center
The next speaker was Jason Sello, a chemistry professor at Brown. He welcomed the new cohort to Brown and wished our group best of luck in our lives as we left. In he speech, Mr. Sello described Brown University exactly how I saw it when I was staying there. He said that in the end, "It's all about the people." At Brown, we were surrounded by such interesting people with new ideas and challenges. While I was there, I made various strong relations with both students and faculty. This is what Mr. Sello was talking about. This is what the Ivy League Connection is all about. We come to the east coast to some of the best institutions in the country and we meet people that influence and inspire us. I always get a buzzing feeling in my heart every time I think about how fortunate I am to have this wonderful experience. I am making connections that I know are going to get me somewhere far in my future. These people have really and sincerely changed my life with their confidence, determination, rigor, and humor. It really means a lot to our community to pursue an education on the east coast. We are expanding our horizons and options for college. There is actually something that exists out of California, and students at home need to realize this.
Frank, Kathleen, and Ms. Larson searching for Wi-Fi
at the airport in Providence
at the airport in Providence
We said goodbye to the second cohort as they drove away with all their bags to check into their dorms. I kept in contact with Caroline while Cohort #1 made our way to the airport. I did not miss the burning sensations in my arms from pulling my luggage around. I just made the 50 lb. limit with a 49.5 lb. suitcase. I felt pretty good about that one.
The plane ride home was full of peanuts, naps, and heart to heart conversations with Ms. Larson. I talked to her about talking, and how I have changed during this trip when it comes to having conversations with other people. At Brown, I found people that I could talk to and connect to. I learned how to be more open and confident about myself. It's very interesting to learn more about myself, but in the least corniest way, my experience at Brown was life- changing. I am still very homesick for my dorm room and floor mates. When we got out of our second airplane into Oakland Airport, my mom and Lucina Parada (who went to Cornell with the ILC in 2008) were there to greet me with warm hugs and chocolate chip muffins.
Andrew, Frank, me, Kathleen, Ms. Larson, and Erinn at the Oakland Airport
Cohort #1 will always be my #1 group. We are hilarious together and I am so glad we get along really well. It was fun to watch each other grow in these past 4 weeks on the east coast. We are back in the Bay Area as changed and enlightened young people. I have faith in my cohort's future. We are home at last, and maybe we will go back home to Providence someday.
The Cohort #1 "Awkward Octopus"