Friday, July 8, 2011

Leisurely Afternoon

Today was the most relaxed day this week. We met in the morning around 8:30, drove to Wellesley and toured there, ate lunch with an admissions officer from Wellesley, and returned to our hotel for a much-needed break. In the evening we went up to Federal Hill for dinner at Camille’s, where we were joined by Guy and Joan, a couple who graduate from Brown and Wellesley. Wellesley is an all girls school, so you can probably figure out who graduated from which institution.

As we pulled onto the freeway, I confess that my expectations of today’s tour were low. I thought that I would not be at all interested in Wellesley because it is an exclusively female college. I am pleased to report that after my experience at Wellesley this morning, my opinion has drastically changed.

We had an excellent tour guide, a rising junior named Anna. (Why are so many tour guides named Anna?) It was obvious that she had a lot of enthusiasm for Wellesley and she knew the campus really well. As with Wesleyan, I was a little put off by the focus on the arts and sciences, but Wellesley felt more welcoming to students with other interests.

Additionally, Wellesley had the most beautiful campus ever! I loved the Dartmouth campus, and I still do, but Wellesley has some pretty impressive landscaping. Despite the gloomy weather today, the grassy hills and trees were still enchanting. We didn’t get to see the campus lake, but I’m sure it’s also quite pretty. Unfortunately, many years ago someone dumped a bunch of hazardous waste into the lake. Although it was a long time ago and the lake has since been cleaned multiple times, students aren’t supposed to swim in there just in case.

This afternoon, we met with Lucy Pelham from the Wellesley admissions office. She told us more about Wellesley and about her experiences in high school and college. Some trivia that I thought was particularly interesting is that apparently Wellesley draws the most students from California (and Massachusetts).

I was really happy because we ate at Blue Ginger, a sort of fusion Asian restaurant. I must confess that I may be a little homesick, in that I really miss the wide variety of Asian restaurants in the Bay Area. I ordered yakisoba, a stir-fried noodle dish. I also got ginger ale. I decided that since the name of the restaurant was Blue Ginger, it just might be a good idea to try it out. I think it was the best I’ve ever had!

Tonight we dined on Federal Hill. It was pouring rain when we arrived at the restaurant so I didn’t really look around, but hopefully I’ll be able to go back at some point and do some exploring. Guy and Joan were friendly and helpful, and I found it very interesting to hear their different perspectives about their schools. We also branched out from the typical college advice conversations and had some very interesting dinner discussions. We revisited the topic of our ILC application essays, teen pregnancy and childcare services provided by high schools. I enjoyed hearing what Joan had to say on the subject.

The Wellesley tour was really interesting for me because it was the only school where I had any preconceptions. I definitely changed my opinion! I think that I would enjoy taking classes with only women. At least, I think that I would be okay with it. I suspect that once I actually experience that classroom atmosphere in the Women and Leadership course, I will have lots of new insight into academic life with only women. Originally I was more apprehensive about social life at Wellesley, but the tour guide assured all of us that there were lots of parties and they hang out with guys from Harvard and M.I.T. Joan also spoke encouragingly about Wellesley social life and told us that it probably wouldn’t be a problem.

Goodnight, world! I am off to bed.

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