There's nothing quite like celebrating your birthday on the other side of the country. In the past two weeks, I have gotten to know a large chunk of the Summer@Brown students, staff, and speakers. We are all familiar with each other's faces on campus. We are not afraid to acknowledge each other and say hello. I have learned how to talk to, get along with, and cope with different types of people during my stay at Brown. I spend most of my day surrounded by students, and I use that time to grow socially. There are times when I sit in a circle in big groups and we all gossip and tell jokes. There are times when I play Frisbee with a smaller bunch and we chat a little between throws and catches. And then there are times when I get to talk one on one with people. I get to find out what a person is like and what they believe. I do not agree with every single thing that people believe because I do not have to. Sometimes, our conversations get really deep and emotional. Along with my academic growth, I have really learned about people. Not to be too mushy, but there is something to love in each person.
In macroeconomics, we took a tangent off of the planned curriculum to talk about what we (the students) were related to and and interested in. Professor Coleman asked us to find what were some of the biggest problems in our home countries (for international students) and states. I learned a lot about how involved other students were with their countries' politics. The Californians in the class brought up issues of the budget deficit, marijuana, and illegal immigration.
Ms. Larson met up with the cohort for lunch today. We went to a Korean buffet but we ate in front of the Science Library. It is always great to see our chaperone. She has done so much for us here on our adventures. Throughout the trip, Ms. Larson has given me great advice about preparing for college and life in general. She gave me some blank journals for writing and drawing for my birthday. I also got some birthday cards from friends back home! I love picking up mail at the mail room.
Some girls from my floor along with some additional friends brought me to a free radio station-sponsored concert at Waterplace Park (which is a mere 0.7 mile from campus). The band Young the Giant was performing. Apparently they are really popular on the east coast, but I have never heard of them. I danced and screamed for them in the front row and pretended to be their biggest fan. The music was great and the company was even better. The lead singer pulled me onstage and announced that it was my 17th birthday (one of my floor mates had told him before the show)! The band and the rest of Providence sang me "Happy Birthday". How cool is that?
Week two of Summer@Brown is over. This week went by very fast. Andrew and I are going to be working on our group project this weekend. It is nothing too big to stress out about. It is time to start my year as a 17-year-old. Watch out world.