Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Beginning of the End

Presentations are over now in macroeconomics. Out of all of them, I was thoroughly impressed with Kathleen's group. They did their project on the economy in China. Kathleen really stood out from the group as the leader. They did a lot of research and they were clear and concise in their presentation as public speakers.

Since tomorrow is our final, I decided to do some studying in the Science Library. My test partner, Ellen Kim, treated me to frozen yogurt as we went over all of our notes. We did not get too deep in our review because Professor Coleman told us not to stress about the test. As the instructor, Professor Coleman is evaluating us for our participation, attendance, and contribution in class. The test we are taking tomorrow is pretty much for self evaluation and to see where we stand in understanding the material. Since I have a partner, I felt obligated to study at least for an hour and a half after lunch. I do not want to let Ellen down if she needs help on a problem. I am grateful that she chose me as a partner and that she has faith in me. Personally, I am a little apprehensive about this final, but I have done the best I could in this course, so I will take it with confidence and with no regrets.

The main event today was the college fair. There were a lot of great New England college representatives there. Some of my favorites were New York University, Ithaca College, and Boston University. When I went to the BU table, I saw a familiar face. Chelsea Moylan, the BU representative that we shared dinner with at L'Espalier, greeted me and it was great to see her. I told her that I totally enjoyed my stay at Brown and that I wanted more information from Boston University. The people waiting in line for her information were impressed that I knew her. Another person that I connected with was at the Brown University booth. I introduced myself to the Northern California admissions officer for Brown. His name is Peter Newcomb. Ms. Larson organized a meet-up with him tomorrow. I was glad that I was able to tell him who I was and where I was from because apparently admissions officers remember that sort of thing. I cannot wait to talk with him more tomorrow.
Today was the last full day for some of the Summer@Brown students. There was a dance at Sayles Hall and it was so much fun. Andrew and I danced on stage when the Bay Area song "Teach Me How to Dougie" started to play. Everyone at the dance cheered for us and danced along. We are representing California with our intellect and style.
My day ended on a very emotional note. The 007 team in the basement floor of Jameson in Keeney quad had our farewell floor meeting. We sat in a circle and went around talking about things that we learned while we were at Brown, whether it was from our classes or from each other. One of the things that we talked about was being ourselves at Brown. When students are at a summer camp, they want nothing more but to fit in and have friends. Sometimes they try too hard and become someone that they are not. We expressed to each other that we appreciated how genuine and real everyone was on our floor. Everyone is so different, weird, and unique, but we get along like we have known each other for three years rather than three weeks. I brought up the importance of being socially active. People cannot wait for others to start a conversation or introduce themselves. Sometimes you have to be the bold one to step up and be strong. That is how you meet people. That is how you make connections. You have to stop waiting and start doing.
We spent hours complimenting and talking to each other about how much we have been inspired and touched by everyone on our floor. One of my floor mates, Lena Kesden, told us that she has done a lot of summer programs in the past, but this was the first one where she was very upset with leaving. Our floor has become so close and so loving that it is going to be hard to say goodbye. I have been blessed to know all of these talented, brilliant, and exciting people that I am proud to call my floor mates and my friends. We cried a lot tonight.

I have learned a lot about macroeconomics and college life here at Brown University. Most of all, I have learned a lot about myself. I learned that I can fit in with, get along with, and work with all different kinds of people from all over the world. I learned that I can make a bland room a beautiful and welcoming home. I learned that dorm food is delicious. I learned that college professors are influential guides, not hovering supervisors. I would definitely stay here if I could to be immersed with college life and wonderful people. It is almost time to go home, but I will be going home a stronger and more confident person because of this experience. Every night, I go to bed feeling extremely fortunate to be here at Brown. Tonight is another one of those nights.

Wesleyan and Amy Tan

My hotel roommates and I woke up this morning at 6:30 AM although we set our alarm for 5:50. Luckily, today’s breakfast meet-up was at 7:45, so we had plenty of time to get ready for yet another long, progressive day. We proudly waited for everyone to meet up with us in the lobby as we were five minutes early. My punctuality and time management has improved since the beginning of summer, thanks to the Ivy League Connection, especially with Mr. Ramsey’s strict, constant reminders of not being late.

After breakfast, we went on our way to Connecticut, or more specifically, Wesleyan University in Middletown. Prior to the actual tour, my cohorts and I met Chris Lanser, the Associate Dean of Admission. He gave us information about the college, which included the fact that it was an open curriculum college. Also, because of the fact that there are no minors, about 30% of the undergraduates had double-majors. Wesleyan encouraged students to explore as many different classes as possible. I really appreciated its emphasis on student independence. Also, the grass was noticeably so much greener than any other grass I had ever seen. The campus was beautiful.

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.

"Be Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable" - Wesleyan

Even though we have only been in Providence for about four days, I think everyone is started to get used to running on at least three hours of sleep and eating a really quick breakfast. I slept like a baby, but unfortunately woke up at seven twenty this morning, which only gave me twenty five minutes to get freshened up and dressed for our big adventure. The adventure? Going to the information session and tour at Wesleyan in Middleton, Connecticut!

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. 
We left the information session early to have a quick but informative meeting with Christian Lanser, the Associate Dean of Admission who is admits students from Northern California. A 2009 Wesleyan alum named Kora was also there to answer any questions we had that weren't covered while we were at the Information Session. Kora is a government and Italian Studies major, and went to Bologna, Italy for a semester because it was a part of her Italian Studies major.

After the meeting, we went on the tour. Our tour guide was Jessica, a rising junior at Wesleyan who is a Film Studies major. Majority of what Jessica talked about was covered during the information session, so while I listened to see if I could find out any more information, I tried to get a good look at the architecture and structure of the campus. Unlike Dartmouth, which is more isolated and close together, and Boston University, which was large but had a cozy aura to it, Wesleyan was very spread out.
While I felt that Wesleyan was in a very nice area and the buildings were very nice, I didn't feel very connected to the school. I felt like they were looking for a certain type of student, typically students who are more into mathematics and science. While I do like both subjects, I am leaning more towards majors involving business, general education, and English. Who knows? I don't know what I will be like when I enter college, but I wish that Wesleyan was a bit more open.

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.
After a very long drive back from Boston, we have arrived. We will tour Wellesley tomorrow, and I'm excited to be continuing this college tour journey!

Wesleyan in Water

This morning we had breakfast at Aspire again and set off on our journey to Wesleyan University in Connecticut. The drive was fairly easy and we passed by a lot of trees. All this green I’m seeing in the East Coast makes me appreciate it a lot. Kudos for green!

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.

Personally I don’t like the open curriculum system because I absolutely love structured programs and I think a core curriculum would be better and more organized for me. However the research opportunities are amazing and is really impossible to find in a UC system.

The university is very proud of their commitment to keeping the school diverse in both ethnicities and ways thinking. About 9% of the students are international and there are study abroad programs available to students who want to take a semester or even a year of schooling in another country. I, myself, have never seriously considered studying abroad much, but it can be a possibility. I’m beginning to realize that more and more students are talking about studying abroad and it seems to be a growing trend.

Something Wesleyan is very proud of is their Filmography Program. There are about 400 Wesleyan Alumni in Hollywood known as the “Wesleyan Mafia” who are valuable connections to students who want to pursue a career in motion picture. That was really interesting, but I’m not really a film person.

I think the open curriculum attracts a lot of students as well as the bountiful research opportunities and I will definitely tell people about this school, but I wouldn’t apply to this school.

We had a delicious lunch at Luce Restaurant over discussion on the Dream Act and how it didn’t pass. I think everyone agreed that it was a huge disappointment that it didn’t.

That night we had dinner with Brown Alum, Ms. Amy Tan. There was great discussion on Brown’s diverse student population and the problems caused by social gaps. For example, a person who has had to work hard their whole life and didn’t have both parents in their lives might resent someone who has lived a very privileged life. I found that really interesting and can imagine that situation.

Progressive Independence

Today was quite the adventure. The ILC’s original plan was to have our cohort visit Bowdoin University today, but we realized that making the four hour drive to Maine would be incredibly impractical, especially because we would need to be back in Boston for dinner at 8:00 PM. We instead decided to tour Wesleyan University in Middletown, Massachusetts, which was a pleasant surprise for me because of all of the great things I had heard about it.
When we arrived, my expectations were met or even exceeded. The information session and tour themselves weren’t necessarily extremely impressive, but it was still easy to see all of the positive things that the university had to offer. The campus itself was beautiful, with unique and breathtakingly beautiful architecture. We learned about the First Year Initiative classes, which were specialized classes created entirely by the professors, and how freshmen should really take advantage of this resource. I also learned about Wesleyan’s longstanding commitment to diversity of thought, interest, and ethnicities, which is something that is extremely important to me. Another feature that I liked was the progressive housing system, in which you are required to become more independent with your living situation with each year. This desire for social and academic independence among Wesleyan students was something that all of the speakers stressed, and one feature that was especially attractive to me.

Our cohort was able to sit down with the Northern California admissions officer for Wesleyan, Chris M. Lanser, as well as Cora Shen, who had graduated from Wesleyan the year before. Both of them were extremely knowledgeable and helpful, and really sold the school to me. From Cora I was able to get a better understanding of student life, which is something you are unable to get a sense of during the summer. She was also extremely helpful in that she came up to me afterwards and made sure to inform me of other things that may interest me, as well as elaborate on barely-touched topics.
Chris Lancer was able to provide insight to what admissions officers at Wesleyan look for. He said that although Wesleyan has a diverse student body, they look for students who are “comfortable with being uncomfortable”, and are ok with being pushed to try new things and think in new ways. They also look for well-rounded students who value and can contribute to the community, and can take advantage of resources that the community has to offer. . After this interview, I was essentially convinced that I should apply to Wesleyan.
Later that night we had dinner at #9 Park in Boston with Brown alumnus Amy Tan. This restaurant is one of the highest-rated restaurants in Boston, so we were all dressed our best. Amy answered all of our questions and also asked to us about ourselves and our interests. She informed us about Brown’s Third World Center (its center for diversity), what it had to offer, and what problem issues it tried to resolve or created. We also had other conversations about topics such as Teach for America and ethnic and socioeconomic discrimination. I found her to be refreshingly honest about every topic that came up, and also extremely diplomatic. The food was phenomenal, and we left the restaurant full and enlightened.
Finally I would like to complement Ms. Larson’s driving. She has been the most attentive, patient, and cool-headed driver, and was able to survive as we tried to caravan through Boston. Our “caravan” of two SUV’s got lost on the way to dinner, but this meant we were able to see a great majority of Boston. Ms. Larson has also been an excellent travel companion during our last few days, which is extremely fortunate considering the incredible journeys that we have made so far. We always have a great time, listen to the radio, and talk about topics of interest. Today she told me about her experience in the Peace Corps, which was extremely inspirational for me.

Overall today was a great day. I learned enough about Wesleyan that I am seriously considering applying to it in the fall. I was also able to get perspectives from admissions officers, current students, and alumni, which gave me a broader understanding of the entire college system.

Chatting Up Colleges

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.

20th Annual Summer@Brown College Fair

I also saw Chelsea Moylan, the Boston University admissions officer that joined us for dinner at L’Espalier. It was great seeing her again. Erinn, Chelsea Moylan, and I

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.

My classmates and I in front of my room

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.

Change of Plans

This morning began with a drive through the beautiful state of Connecticut. (Actually, first I showered and had breakfast, but that sounds less interesting.) We were on our way to tour Wesleyan University, a small, selective liberal arts and science university located in Middletown, Connecticut.

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!

Day 3: Lost in Boston

After having a rough start with our alarm clock, we got dressed and headed down to the hotel lobby for breakfast. We got into our cars and drove an hour and a half to Wesleyan University in Connecticut. I slept for most of the ride and when we got to the school, we headed up to the admissions building where we sat in on a short presentation. They talked about the academics and their annual Zombies vs. Humans game. Then we went into a side room where we met with Chris Lanser, the school’s Admissions Officer, and an alum who studied abroad. After many pictures, we ran out to catch up with the tour group. We walked through the entire campus and almost every building, including their impressive gym. The hour long tour was the longest of all of the tours we had and an hour in the heat had us all hovering around the water cooler afterward.

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.

Chill Day

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!


Seeing the blogs of the second Brown group make me remember how excited Brown cohort I was. We couldn't contain our excitement. It's good to see that Brown II is experiencing the same healthy feelings that we did.

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.

Coming Full Circle

Every turn I take, I find myself offered new insights of college. Yesterday, I met Grace again and discovered more “secrets” about Brown; today, I was able to experience the largest college fair at Brown’s Athletic Center at the Olmac.

I saw many familiar colleges and one familiar face. My cohort all took pictures with Chelsea who was representing Boston University at the college fair. I also talked to some schools that I have known about since middle school, such as Reed College. Reed College is a small undergraduate Liberal Arts college that has a beautiful campus and an elaborate research department. After exploring the colleges I knew, I went to the tables that were vacant. I use this strategy partly because I don’t know many of the colleges there and by chance I might find a college that I am interested in and partly because those representatives have more time to give a personal account of the college or more details. I took away from this experience the knowledge that anywhere I go, I will be happy—there must have been a reason for why I was interested—even if it is not my top choice.

I left the fair with a bountiful bag full of booty; later I will look through my treasure, but now I must focus on the last day of class and my final.

This was my last day in the Biomedical Lab. After conducting a microarray lab, I prepared my lab station for the next group. As I was setting up the bench, I reflected what I felt when I saw the reaction tubes containing colored water for the first time—the first time I held a micropipette and the feeling of not knowing how the equipment in the lab worked. I wanted to leave a note for the next group, but reconsidered it since the note might be thrown away or it might move. I also forgot to ask about the skeletons across from our lab that Grace told us about.

Time has flown by, and I am in a daze at how fast the three weeks passed. There was so much that I wanted to do, but I did not organize my schedule to get everything done. I must be mindful of this quality of time for senior year and for college, else I will not see the end coming.

The Last Days are Approaching

Today was the final day of group presentations, this also meant that it was the second to last day of my fantastic class. It brought some excitement because it means that my hard work has been paying off, but it also meant that I was that much closer to leaving Brown. Kathleen’ group presented today and in my opinion they were the best group. They discussed China’s economic boom and transformation into a world super power. Tough China is growing at rapid rates, this type of growth is unsustainable so in the near future we should all watch for this deceleration. I really enjoyed how thy presented and organized their findings. Tomorrow will be our last day of class and we have a practice AP econ test. I feel confident that I will be able to excel on the test even though we have only been in class for three weeks.
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.

Evening with Brown II

In class today, we performed a very short protocol. We prepared DNA samples from our hair and gave them to our teacher to PCR. I actually didn't finish the 1-hour incubation, so I had to PCR separately. I also had the opportunity to learn how to use the PCR, so I guess mistakes can be helpful at times.

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!
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