Thursday, June 23, 2011

Week One

My day began as my alarm clock woke me up for another wonderful morning at Brown. I showered quickly and dressed myself before meeting Andrew, who was waiting outside my dorm building. We walked to the cafeteria with our umbrellas in hand, shielding us from the rain. The breakfast today was rather good. There were potatoes, eggs, and french toast. I drenched my food in ketchup and made my way to the Bio-med building for lab.

Today we experimented on DNA and restriction enzymes, all very complex concepts. It was reminiscent of my school's late AP Biology class and the experiments we had performed. The class is very fun and interactive. Our first test is tomorrow, which is very nerve-wracking.

After class, I went to lunch and ate with an eclectic assortment of people. I realized that I have been eating a lot more at Brown. I scarfed down my meal and departed with my classmate, Cameron. Our destination was India Point Park Bridge, which was about a mile away from the main campus. Once we returned, I went to play cards with friends in the Portland lounge for a couple hours.

As the rain gradually worsened, the Brown cohort reassembled for a meeting with other partnership program members. There was plenty of pizza at the meeting and the information was very helpful. I went to study with some of my Biotechnology classmates afterward. The night ended with homework and studying.

Representing the ILC

The majority of the Summer@Brown students that I have talked to have been to a number of summer sessions at Ivy League schools, yet of the thousand participants, there are 160 scholarship students. Tonight I met about 15 students that are involved in scholarship programs such as Joyce Ivy Foundation, Sophia Academy, Mind Matters and several other organizations. (Other organizations not represented include: Jack Kent Cooke, KIPP Schools, Schuler Family foundation, Providence St. Mel, The Young Women Leadership Foundation, Mission High School, HighSight, PRISYM, Blackstone Academy, Inman Page Alumni Association, Memphis Prep, Dynamy, Global Learning High School, Street Squah, Dryades YMCA, Bronx Insitute, Cristo Rey schools, Steppingstones, Summer Search, Link UnLimited, Nobel Network, Partners In Health, Global Youth Leadership, The Met School, Hope High School, University of Chicago Lab School and still others.)

Dean Rose split off the group of students into two groups lead by some scholarship college students. Each of us wrote what he found interesting about Brown, what he found difficult and what he wanted to ask the students. After reading off the feature that interested the student, the Brown students proposed solutions to the difficulties of Brown. We did not get to the questions, but I think most of the students received their answer when the Brown students told us about their experience in college application.

The next step after listening to the Brown students is to prepare for applications. I have all the help I need from my Brown Mentor, Grace, Amy, my RA, the students from tonight, my High school teachers, my parents, my peers and my councilor. I am fortunate to have so many people that I can ask questions to—it is part of the ILC to not only allow to students to visit an Ivy, but have the resources to get in as well. Now it is my turn to evaluate myself to find what school compliments my qualities. Brown is my first choice in college right next to MIT. What assures me in my answer is the familiarity of the campus; I can picture myself at Brown with an accepting, diverse student body, but not the Brown that I am currently attending—as I am told by current Brown students that the culture is entirely different. Everyone I have spoke to has also said any school will morph a student into a particular type of person; it is a daunting choice just like the science of choosing a name that may influence a baby for the rest of his life (reference to Freakonomics).

Rainy Days and Thursdays

Yesterday afternoon, I finished up my homework in the Bronson dorm with Jose and Andrew. We did finished up the assignment as a group and I am proud to say that I am getting a lot better at determining changes in supply and demand situations. Practice makes perfect.

I also went to a dorm decorating party and made a poster to cover the blank wall above my bed. Things are getting a lot cozier in J005. All my floor mates agree.

I attended a speaking seminar with Rachel about careers in the medical field in Salomon Hall. Sumner, an RA in Bronson, talked about his current computer science concentration at Brown. I talked to him afterward to hear more about it while Rachel talked to the main speaker, a college lecturer with a Ph. D. Sumner told me that he was applying for an internship at Pixar Animations and that I was more than welcome to stop by the Bronson house to chat about it later. I’m making connections here.

After the seminar, we went upstairs to watch “Freakonomics”, and economics documentary spanning statistics of different topics such as baby names to sumo wrestling.

Macroeconomics this morning went by very quickly. Professor Coleman brought up some new material on comparative advantage and then he skimmed over the next two chapters and what we would be learning in the near future. So far, we have looked through and discussed 267 PowerPoint slides. Out TA, John, blitzed through a review of last night’s homework in under an hour. Economists talk very fast.

It was raining again today, so I after a delightful veggie melt, brown rice, salad, and sausages, I chose to stay in my room and do my big vocabulary assignment. It fit on five pages of college-ruled paper.

The ILC Cohort #1 met up with Ms. Larson on the corner of Benevolent and Brown Streets at 4:45 to meet up for a partnership dinner in Arnold Hall. It was great to see our chaperon again. Being ILC students, we were early and ready to begin. Dean Rose and Jaqueline Newcomb welcomed us and other students began to trickle in from the rain outside. Some of the different partnerships included Minds Matter and the Joyce Foundation.

There were about 30 people at the pizza dinner and after a brief introduction, we split up into two discussion groups. We were instructed to fill out an index card explaining what we liked at Brown, what we found challenging at Brown, and a question to ask the panel of current students that were in our groups. Our Brown students were Paul, Maria, and Thai-Son. They went through our index cards and talked to us in depth about applying for college and what they contributed to at Brown. I really enjoyed this dinner. I felt as though the current students understood what kinds of situations we were in and the fears that we had for the application progress. I talked to Paul after the discussion, and he told me to e-mail him so we could talk more about what interested me and what I might like to do at Brown. After our 5-minute conversation, he gave me a big hug and encouraged me to apply. Everyone is so helpful and loving here!

I’m done with all my homework and I plan to chill for the rest of the night with Rachel and Steph. By the way, never leave your dorm room unlocked. That was the main thing that all of the RAs and administrators here are stressing (besides curfew of course). Steph just moved in to the 007 hall and she totally left her (and her roommate’s) door unlocked. This was just a shame so the rest of the hall welcomed her by TPing the entire dorm. Lesson learned.

Brown Partnerships Rule!

Our class is moving at a fast pace. Every day we cover numerous concepts, and Mr. Coleman leaves some material for us to master on our own. Today we learned about globalization, international trade, trade protection, business cycles, and inflation. We continued to graph supply and demand but this time, for the world economy as opposed to only one country. We also turned in our first assignment, and our TA, John, spent the last hour of class reviewing the problems.

I spent the afternoon working on homework while catching up with recent episodes of The Voice. I went to the library for an hour to finish a long worksheet on vocabulary about our recent financial crisis, which we will discuss tomorrow.

At 5 PM, Ms. Larson joined us for a pizza dinner with the Partnership Scholars at Brown. The dinner was held in the Arnold Lounge in Keeney Quad. We met numerous students from Partnerships in similar situations as us as well as five Brown students who are first generation college students. They shared their experiences about coming to Brown and answered our questions about college and the application process. We split into two groups, and in each group, the students wrote three things on flashcards: what they enjoy about Brown, a challenge they experience, and one question to ask the Brown students. The Brown students randomly picked a flashcard and tried their best to answer whatever questions we had. They advised us to seek help from the resources around us and start college applications early. The event was very informative and inspiring, especially hearing from students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds but end up with a full ride to this amazing school.

Tomorrow is Friday! I have many things to look forward to: class on the financial crisis, yoga, and a showing of Inception. I will go finish my homework now.

Rain here, Rain there, Rain everywhere!

There was rain yesterday, but today it just piled on even more. Like yesterday this made it extremely difficult to get out of bed. But I did and headed down to the dining hall. Because I got up a little late it was much more crowded, but I take everything as a learning experience. So tomorrow I will wake up earlier so I do not have to deal with the breakfast rush. But aside from that my day carried along nicely. Class went along excellently, we talked about supply and demand some more, this is the true foundations for economics. Also we went over different matters of globalization and trading in the world economy.
After class I went to lunch and ate with an eclectic group of people that I did not know too much. But after lunch our relationships grew from unknowing to strong acquaintances. After lunch I headed to my dorm to do some extreme homework. I decided to get it over quickly so that I could go to bed early tonight. Our homework was to go look up certain financial terms, and answer a few short answer questions. Basically the assignment was getting at the reasons for the financial crisis in 2008.
I finished my homework at around 3 so I looked at my bed, heard the beautiful sound of the rain, and enjoyed the beautiful Providence area while I closed my eyes and took a nap. I was woken up by the strong knocks on my door by Frank. He was waking me up so that we could all attend a discussion panel with other scholarship groups at Brown similar to the Ivy League Connection. We had pizza and discussed certain issues and other features of being a scholar at Brown Summer College. This experience was great, and in addition we were able to see our lovely chaperone again.
After the discussion panel Frank, Erinn, and I headed to the Science library to do homework, study, and even socialize for a while with other students. This went well and after w returned to our respective dorms. Today was a good day overall, and I look forward to what tomorrow holds.
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