Monday, July 4, 2011

It's Mars

I finished my blog last night to find that my floor mate had passed out on my bed. I did not want to wake her, so I ended up sleeping in her room. When I woke up this morning, I had no idea where I was.

Today was full of group work. While Andrew was at Cluster Wars (competitions and contests between floors), I did some reading on the California budget deficit on the main green. I was refreshing to do some work outside in the fresh air! Afterwards I met up with Andrew and Jose in the main lounge. I finished my part of the PowerPoint. We just need to compile our debate between cutting spending and raising taxes. We planned to work for two hours straight tomorrow and finish our entire project so we can practice presenting.

Ms. Larson met up with us again today. I introduced her to all of the people who were tagging along to fireworks at India Point Park. Everything in Providence is so accessible by means of walking. Walking around is much easier than driving. The roads are all one way and they are really confusing.

There was a lot to see at the park. We claimed some land on the grass and then Steph and I explored the area. A man with two macaws greeted us and let us hold his beautiful parrots. The one I was holding kept nipping at my earrings (which were shaped like little pieces of sushi) until one of them fell out. My friend Alina had to get my hat back after he yanked it off my head. I suppose that I get along well with animals. As we waited for fireworks, Steph and I scanned the sky for owls. We saw one but Ms. Larson insisted that it was the planet Mars. The fireworks were great, and we all screamed in celebration.

On the walk home, I talked with my friend, Gurrein, who is from India. She told me that India's independence day is on August 15th, and that it is a much more formal event than the U.S.'s 4th of July. The prime minister delivers a speech and there are no fireworks. Gurrein said that she likes celebrating in the United States, but sometimes it gets too crazy.

I'm planning on going to bed early tonight so I can be well rested for class tomorrow. Cohort #2 is leaving for Providence tomorrow! We really want to meet up with them and show them the ropes at Brown. Ms. Larson said that we might be able to see them on Friday. I wish them a safe and speedy flight! See you on the other side!

The Fourth

The 4th of July was a good day. For me, it was a day of adventure and disappointment. I ventured to Brown's library of music, but was disappointed to find out that all the libraries were closed on holidays. I went with my friend because he needed a haircut, but many of the stores on Thayer were closed for the holiday.

Although we were sullen from disappointment, we were able to occupy ourselves by going to Providence Place, the mall. My friends and I spent time in the arcade having fun. After the arcade, I made sure to read and prepare for class tomorrow. I wouldn't have time in the evening to read, so I made sure to set an hour aside to study.

The fireworks at India Point Park were amazing. I'm not a big fireworks guy, so I was slightly bored, but I hadn't seen fireworks in a long time. Ms. Larson was with us on the grass, and we all watched fireworks together. It was fun to spend the night with the cohort!

An interesting thing happened back at Brown. I was sitting outside with my friend, when an old man started talking to another student. A Residential Advisor called the police, and had the man arrested. Apparently the old man was banned from being on campus; scary stuff.


Today is the last Monday we will spend in Rhode Island. It is also Independence Day, better known as the Fourth of July. The day was very hot and humid, a sudden change from the rain yesterday. Erinn was craving Dunkin’ Donuts so we set out at 10 AM to satisfy her cravings. Apparently Dunkin’ Donuts closes on the Fourth of July. Understandable, yes, but we headed to Providence Place Mall to see if its stores were open. The Dunkin’ Donuts in the mall was actually open so we were excited to try its famous donuts. Sad to say we were disappointed. Forty minutes of walking in the heat was not worth average donuts that couldn’t even compare to Krispy Kreme. No matter; it was the experience that counts. Providence is also very beautiful in the morning.


Downtown Providence
I met with one of my group members, Ellen, after lunch to discuss our plans for our project. We decided to divide the work between the five of us. I took the sections “why do we care?” and “evidence”. I have gathered a lot of information on why the United States should care about China’s economic growth. China has the second largest economy in the world after the U.S., and inflation in China directly affects prices of U.S. goods. Our group is meeting up tomorrow after lunch to synthesize our individual parts and create a presentation that we will be proud of. I have had trouble contacting two of our group members so I’m hoping that they received our emails. Tomorrow is our final day to work on our PowerPoint, and I’m sure it will be busy.

After meeting with Ellen, I walked to the Orwig Music Library but found out it was closed. Unfortunately, all of the libraries were closed today. However, I discovered the Steinert Practice Center, a building with many pianos and soundproof practice rooms, near the music library. I spent a good deal of my afternoon there and enjoyed being in the air-conditioned, peaceful practice room. The pianos were also very nice and clean sounding.
Practice Room
The highlight of my day was, of course, the fireworks. The five of us met Ms. Larson and walked down to India Point Park, where a Fourth of July celebration was being held. The crowd was enormous. It seemed like the entire city of Providence came out to celebrate and watch the fireworks. The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra provided entertainment before the fireworks began. I was so excited when they played music from Harry Potter as well as Pirates of the Caribbean. The orchestra was spectacular. The fireworks started at 9:30 PM. The sounds of the fireworks were deafening and the actual fireworks, blinding. I saw an assortment of vivid colors and different styles of fireworks. I haven’t seen fireworks for a while so the show was refreshing. I enjoyed watching the show with my amazing cohorts. The thrilling night capped off a well-spent national holiday.
India Point Park
Crowds of People Waiting for Fireworks

Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra
Class resumes tomorrow. Brown Session 2 is also flying over tomorrow. I’m excited for them to come and experience the wonders of Brown! I wish you girls safe travels.

America's Birthday Party

In the early morning, I couldn’t tell that it was the Fourth of July. I expected a festival crowded around the river, just as Waterfire was set up, but I saw nothing.

After a long wait until my cohorts and I walked to the fireworks, I saw the patriotism of Providence. The festival featured a symphony playing movie soundtracks, food vendors and trinkets to buy. After exploring the area and listening to the symphony, we stared to look for a seat. It was only 7:30, with two hours to wait, and there were no places to sit. I estimate that more than half of Providence had come to India Point Park, where the fireworks were showing.

I can describe the fireworks like Don’s camera flash: it hurts to watch, but you must keep your eyes on the flash, less you blink and miss the show. The fireworks were beautifully choreographed. There were also some that I had never seen before, such as a firework that was only a flash and fireworks that looked like words. Although Fourth of July is associated with the colors red, white and blue, there was a significant amount that displayed red, green and yellow.

When the finale finished the show, I walked alongside the multitudes of people leaving; that is when I realized how much half of Providence was; then I was glad that I was walking instead of waiting in traffic like some cars.

Going to the Fourth of July celebration in Providence was a good beginning to the week when classes are ending. Now I must focus on any projects that is expected to be done by week's end.

All is Fair in Love and Cluster Wars

I woke up this morning feeling excited because it was America’s day, Independence day--also known as the 4th of July. But then my day began to carry on and I did not feel the same excitement I usually get during the 4th of July. But this was quite alright because every day at Brown is different than I have had any where else. 

After waking up fairly late my roommate and I headed to the cluster wars. A cluster war is basically Brown Summer College’s version of the Olympics except instead of representing your country, you represent your RA. We did various activities from water balloon toss to tug-o-war. These events were very fun, in the end my group accumulated the most victories, but the point system was based on sportsmanship points rather than actual victories. So the team who only won one game won the war, but I was satisfied because it was all just fun.

After the cluster wars I went to do further research with my group in the lounge. We are almost finished with the projects and we just have a few minor additions, and possible subtractions to make. I was thrilled with our progress and our all-around group cohesiveness. We will finish tomorrow definitely and present on Wednesday. I am positive that our presentation will go magnificently and not only will we have learned something from the process, but our classmates and professor as well will have learned something new.

After this we all headed down to India Point Park to watch the Fireworks. As soon as we arrived there were thousands of people, and by the time we got settled in the masses of people by the thousands began to herd in. By my estimate there were approximately 20,000 people, but with so many people my estimate could be completely off. But with all of the festivities, the beautiful fireworks, and the masses of people that special feeling of the 4th of July was ingratiated in my heart once again.

Tomorrow I am very excited to have Brown Session Two joining us in Providence. I cannot wait to see them and Mr. Ramsey. It is always good to see people from home in the same foreign land that you are in. I cannot wait to share all of my experiences and knowledge of Brown with them. I know that this group of young ladies will be very dedicated and excel at Brown.
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