Thursday, July 7, 2011
Next, we went to a restaurant called LUCE, where I ate the best mushroom ravioli ever. Rather than alfredo sauce, the sauce used in the mushroom ravioli was called “black truffle cream sauce” and was made of a type of mushroom.
Upon arriving back at Providence, Rhode Island, my cohorts and I bonded more through a walking trip to CVS Pharmacy. Afterwards, we met back up at the hotel, where we set off to Boston, Massachusetts again. This time, it was for an extremely formal dinner with Amy Tan, a graduate from Brown University. We ate at No. 9 Park, a restaurant located next to the State Building. Nearly the whole menu was in French and everyone needed waiters to explain what they were about to order. I had a glorious meal of lobster tortellino, duck breast and leg, and three different types of ice cream. During the meal, Amy talked to us about life at Brown, as well as its curriculum and class options. She told me about a Biology professor that even offers to have lunch with his students.
The drive to Middleton was about an hour and a half. We found parking and walked into the admissions office. After getting water and going to the bathroom, we went to the information session, where we learned many interesting facts about Wesleyan:
- It was quickly addressed to us that seniors should NOT apply to Wesleyan if they are only going to stay inside of their comfort zone because they would quickly be pushed out of it. While students will get an adviser and can get tutoring, students need to take charge of their education. It was stated that the school was definitely not for dependent people
- Wesleyan offers 900 classes a year. There are no minors at the school, however, they have 10 certificate programs, with subjects such writing and international relations; you have to have a major to be a part of this certificate program. Over 30 percent of students are double majors, which is easy due to the open curriculum. Wesleyan has open curriculum outside of requirements for the major. They also have a Bachelor's Master Program, which is a five year program for those majoring in the sciences (fifth year is after graduation and is tuition year). To obtain a full degree, Wesleyan students take 32 classes, so 10 classes a year.
- Wesleyan looks for students who can balance academics with extracurriculars. The school has 200 clubs/organizations. There are 29 club sports and lots of varsity sports. 25-30 percent of students participate in varsity sports.
- Wesleyan uses the Common Application, and they have an optional supplement prior to filling out the Common App., but the supplement doesn't have essay prompts. There are no GPA and test score formulas. Wesley is very critical of students' high school transcripts; if it is apparent that a student is not challenging themselves, then anything else the admission officers see in the application is deemed "irrelevant." They require the SAT and two SAT subject tests or the ACT. The school also looks for true investment in academics and extracurriculars, not someone who joined 35 clubs and quit them all after a month.
- Most people study abroad during their junior year, for one semester, sometimes even for a whole year. Students travel to places such as France, Germany, Spain, Montreal, Italy, etc.
After the tour, we headed to Luce, a restaurant only a couple of blocks away from Wesleyan, for lunch. I ordered rigatoni, a delicious pasta. We had a long and interesting debate and discussion about women leaders and women running for United States president, such as Hilary Clinton and Sarah Palin, the CAHSEE and whether we believed it should not be a requirement for English Language Development Students or not, and got an insight about The Dream Act. Overall it was a very interesting and fun lunch.
Once we got back to the hotel, we had almost two hours to rest before getting ready to go to a very formal dinner. As a group, we stopped by the local CVS to pick up some toiletries before heading back to the hotel. Mariko went to work out, while I took advantage of my time by reading a magazine I bought and then by taking a short nap.
We met in the lobby at almost 7 in the evening to drive to the Number 9 restaurant in Boston. After having trouble getting there due to street sign confusion, we successfully managed to get there thanks to the Google Maps application on my cell phone. The reason why the dinner was so formal was because it was with a Brown University Alum (class of 2009), Amy Tan! (No, she is not the Amy Tan that wrote The Joy Luck Club!)
The food was absolutely great, and Amy was really informative. Amy was multiracial (she is Dutch and Indonesian with Chinese descent) who lived in Houston, Texas from when she was in 8th grade to her high school graduation. She applied Early Action to Yale but did not get in, which she found disappointing at first. She feels that going to Brown was definitely the right decision. Amy was an International Relations major, which was interesting because she admitted that she entered Brown believing she was going to get a major in Chemistry. She is tentatively pre-law and is enjoying the firm she is currently working in. She gave us a lot of advice on Brown and what to expect at our summer program and if we end up going there for college. I absolutely loved talking to her. She was very fresh and very nice.
We arrived and immediately went into the informational session that started as we entered. There was an admissions officer along with a current Wesleyan student that talked about why this particular university was so special. The school has an open curriculum which means that students don’t have to take any classes that are outside of their major. There are, however, FYI classes that stand for Freshman Year Initiation classes. The school is very small with a total population of about three thousand undergrad students and 200 graduate students. This allows undergraduate students to do research from their first year in college which is very unique and is very rare in other universities.
Clocking in five and a half hours of sleep, I grudgingly woke up to finish editing our group project this morning. I was looking forward to getting the presentation over with. When class started, I looked around to find two of my group members missing. Apparently Ellen was locked out of her room in the morning. She arrived soon, but Thomas was nowhere to be found. After three presentations were made and an hour and a half of class had passed, I walked all the way back to the dorms to look for Thomas. I knocked on his door to find out that he had overslept. Because of this setback, we were the last group to present. I introduced our presentation on the topic “globalization and China” and talked about the importance of China’s economy. I had to memorize quite a few statistics, and fortunately, I did not forget any. I feel that we did an acceptable job, and I received positive feedback from my peers, which made me very happy. I’m just relieved that we’re finally finished with the project.
Our group presentation
I attended the 20th Annual Summer@Brown College Fair at 6 PM. There were 120 colleges from all over the nation. The big name ones including Ivy League schools had long lines of students waiting to talk to the representatives. The smaller, liberal arts colleges had less people so I had more of an opportunity to talk to them. I picked up information from UPenn, Princeton, Yale, Swarthmore, Haverford, Harvey Mudd, Smith, Tufts, and Wellesley. The representatives were all very open and eager to share about their schools. I asked many questions and learned a lot about colleges that I will consider applying to.
A few of my macroeconomics friends met at Marcy to study for our final tomorrow, but we didn’t get much work done. We are allowed to use our notes and a partner for the test so I’m not stressing over it. What I’m dreading though is leaving these friends who I have grown so close to.
During check-in tonight, we had an emotional farewell chat with our RA, Elisa. She is so sweet and kind and hands down the coolest RA ever. She gave me advice for the college admissions process and told us to feel free to contact her after we leave.
My RA and I in front of her room
I can’t believe that tomorrow (technically today) is the last day of class. Most students will be leaving after class, and I can’t bear to say goodbye—to the people or the college. I am in no way ready to leave this place I’ve learned to call home. Prepare for waterworks.
Originally, we had planned to visit Bowdoin University in Maine. This was not possible because it would have meant 9 hours driving there and back, which would frankly be too draining on our wonderful chaperones. I had been looking forward to seeing Bowdoin because I had heard that the surrounding countryside was beautiful, so I was disappointed that we couldn’t make it. However, I did enjoy myself at Wesleyan today and I am glad that we managed to have a productive day despite the change of plans.
Wesleyan University seemed somewhat different from BU and Dartmouth. Like Brown, Wesleyan has an open curriculum, meaning that outside of one’s major there are no required classes. Wesleyan does suggest that students take a certain number of classes from broad subjects such as science or humanities, but students are free to disregard the recommendation.
Wesleyan focuses very strongly on science and the arts and I feel that since I don’t currently plan to major in either science or the arts, Wesleyan probably isn’t the right fit for me. I am trying to keep in mind that it’s difficult to get a full picture of a university when very few of the students are on campus. If I visited Wesleyan during the school year, I might feel differently.
We at lunch at a nearby restaurant called Luce. The food was tasty and the cool, air-conditioned room was quite the thing after our long tour in the hot sun. We had some very interesting discussions over our meal about the CAHSEE, illegal immigration, and women’s roles. It was a good warm-up for our upcoming class.
Once we got back to Hotel Providence, we had a couple hours to relax before driving to Boston to meet Amy Tan, a Brown alum, at Number 9 Park Restaurant. All seven of us walked to the CVS conveniently located a few blocks from our hotel and made a few small purchases. I spent the rest of my time working out in the small fitness center downstairs. I still had plenty of time afterwards to shower and begin to work on my blog.
Finding Number 9 Park was quite the adventure. We took about a detour through Boston trying to locate the restaurant, viewing northern Boston and the Italian part of town. Once we arrived at the restaurant, we sat down with Amy Tan and discussed her Brown experience. Amy is an ’09 graduate of Brown University and was quite happy to share her insights about campus life and admissions. She was kind and friendly to all of us, and it felt easy to talk with her more casually and openly. I am amazed that everyone who I talk to about Brown has only made me more interested in it and I am eager to experience Brown for myself.
And now, it’s almost one o’clock and I should really be getting to bed. Goodnight everybody!
I thought that all of the campuses had all the same to offer on paper but when I was on their campuses, each had their own feel that made each experience different. I liked Wesleyan’s feeling of activeness even in the summer.
Then we ran to the cars to head over to our lunch spot for the day, Luce. While we ate we had a discussion of the high school exit exam and non- English speakers. Since we had nowhere to go immediately after lunch, we just sat and talked about Wesleyan and what we liked and disliked about it.
We went back to the hotel about an hour before the dinner with the Brown alum, Amy. We quickly took showers and did our hair to get ready for the dinner. Then we met down in the lobby where we got into the car to go to Boston. However, we got lost about 400 times. We wandered the streets of Boston until someone gave us more wrong directions. Finally we made it to the restaurant where Amy was waiting. We talked over dinner and asked a lot of questions about Brown and her experience.
When the bill was paid and all questions were answered, we went out front to take pictures. Then we headed back to the hotel to blog. Today was exhausting but we all stuck it out together and had a laugh.
Today was a very relaxed day. We weren’t nearly as pressed for time as we usually are. Today we drove to see Wesleyan. I really enjoyed our tour, even in the heat. Our guide, Jessica, seemed very genuine. What I particularly appreciated was the honesty of the all of the people we spoke with about the school. They told us both the good and the bad, and explained that Wesleyan isn’t for everyone, but that the people who find it a good fit, are generally very happy there. This was refreshing because normally the college tours only focus on the positive aspects of the school, which leaves people wondering what they aren’t being real about.
After the Wesleyan tour, we went to an Italian restaurant called Luce for lunch. The food was amazing. I had what was quite possibly the best ravioli I’ve ever tasted. During lunch we got into a few debates regarding current events. For example: non-English speakers not being able to graduate solely because the CAHSEE (California High School Exit Exam) is in English and double standards that women face in society.
Later that evening we went out to Boston for dinner at No. 9 Park. The food was delicious and the staff was extraordinarily friendly and helpful. We got the opportunity to speak with Amy Tan, a graduate of Brown. She had a very approachable personality which helped us all feel more comfortable with her and so we asked more questions. After dinner we all took a group photo and then thanked Amy.
We had an entire adventure trying to get gas on the way back to Providence. We struggled to find a gas station at 11:00PM before our cars ran out of fuel.
Ms. Larson is my hero.
It’s about 12:36 AM right now. I’m going to sleep. Goodnight!
On to the topic of class, where we performed our final protocol. All we did was microarray 6 samples of genes, checking for what type of tissue they came from. They originated from normal lung cells, malignant lung cells, both types, or neither. It was interesting viewing changes of color to tell us the origin of a gene. Afterward, we returned to the lecture room to discuss our results and put together conclusions.
Class was shorter today, by about 20 minutes. That's fine though; tomorrow will be hectic and jam-packed. We will start and finish our presentations, and take our final exam. I spent a lot of time preparing for the presentation, and have a little more work to do tonight.
Tomorrow is the last day of the program. It's the last chance for us to say goodbye to a lot of amazing people; our teachers, friends, and RAs. I'm going to miss this program.
After class I went to the College Fair that Brown had in its athletic complex. It seemed like over a hinder colleges were represented. I went to various colleges that appealed to my interests in either economics, or law. This was one of the most useful things that Brown had to offer during my stay. I really enjoyed meeting with admissions officers and hearing what they had to say. You could tell that the representative for the college was an accurate reflection of the college itself.
After this my close friend was departing back to LA .It was a fairly emotional time, but we all realized that the time had come and that we would see each other once again. Many of us have made a pact to apply to similar and some of the same colleges. I am interested to see how this turns out.
This was the last night that everyone had together so our RA’s hosted a dance. It was not very successful but we made the best out of what we had. I enjoyed the company of everyone and I will miss everyone truly. I have learned a lot and will bring back all of this information.
While waiting for the 1-hour incubation to complete, my friend Rachel and I did our teacher a favor. We prepared the fluorescent slide for her. We followed instructions very strictly to mix/create solutions of certain concentrations, so that the slide could be seen on fluorescent light. We don't know whether or not we were able to properly make the slide, but we'll find out soon.
Another extra thing we did was Laboratory 12 Part B. It involved another agarose gel--which I love making. You pour hot agarose with 4 microliters of ethidium bromide mix and it solidifies into a gel. That experiment was relatively successful.
After the various experiments we performed (and staying a couple hours after class to complete them) I went to study at the science library again. It's very important that I finish my figure presentation. I finished reading the paper, which introduced me to the topic. I also started work on my presentation.
The most nostalgic thing happened today. We saw the Brown II group! They looked excited to be in Providence. I was happy to see them and talk over Johnny Rockets. It was sad to realize, that Brown I's duration in Providence was coming to an end. After Friday, we'll see the Brown II cohort again for a college tour of Harvard. Time to enjoy the last two days at Brown!