Friday, July 8, 2011
We were originally going to attend the information session as well, but it was decided by the chaperones, my dad, and Mrs. Kronenberg that we would attend the later tour and then get lunch. The admissions ladies were very friendly, offering us free coffee and hot chocolate. They also had a cubbord full of free brochures and packets about Wellesley.
After looking at the brochures for about ten minutes, we were taken downstairs and met with our tour guide, Anna Pinchuk! Anna is currently a junior at Wellesley and is an Admission Student Assistant. She is double majoring in Cinema Studies and Spanish. Throughout the whole tour she was very upbeat and informative about Wellesley. It was apparent that she loved the school very much.
Interesting facts about Wellesley:
- Anna said there are about 2,300 undergraduates, which means there are about 500 people per class. There is no graduate school at Wellesley, but there is an 80 percent graduation rate in the college. Class colors are assigned like Hogwarts, so the Class of 2016's color will be green like Gryffindor.
- There are about 54 majors, and there are minors at Wellesley, too. Each minor is also a major, except for Education. 40 percent of students, like Anna, double major.
- The dorms were very nice; they were probably the nicest I've seen out of the two dorms rooms we've seen (we didn't see the dorms at Dartmouth). Double rooms go to underclassmen, and singles go to upperclassmen. There is no air conditioning in the dorms, but it is pretty non-affective. Students can buy/rent fans if they really cannot handle the heat.
- The campus is very active. There are over 150 clubs/organizations, and a lot of fun campaigning can go into that. Wellesley is a Division 3 school, with 14 varsity sports, and even a Qudditch team! While we did not get to visit their sports facilities, Anna noted there is an indoor pool, tennis courts, a gym, and indoor and outdoor tracks. There is also a two semester Physical Education requirement, and Anna noted she took a Salsa dancing class!
- As for Macbook and PC use, there is a 50/50 share. Wi-fi is in all of the buildings, as for the lawn, Anna did not know.
- The "First Year Mentorship" program interested me the most. Freshmen are assigned a "Big Sister", and on Flower Sunday, they meet their mentor. Their mentor presents them with flowers and they have brunch together. I am in the Brown mentorship program, so I also thought of that.
Anna answered the question with grace. She reminded us, as she had stated at the beginning of the tour, that she had been through co-education before college as well. She said, "Academically, single sex educations can be intimidating due to socio-economic education. But, by attending Wellesley, I feel like I have gotten a sense of empowerment. The social life is how you make it."
She also made it clear that about 46 percent of Wellesley professors are male. So, while there are more female professors, the male perspective is not completely demolished by attending a single-sex college. Also, Wellesley does a cross-distribution program with schools such as Olin School of Engineering and MIT, so sometimes a "brave male" will end up in a Wellesley classroom.
Anna stated that while it is nice to have the male perspective, being in a classroom with only women can bring them closer and give them a new perspective on discussion topics, which I found interesting. It was also nice to hear some of the Brownies state, "I'm hoping my mind will change about single-sex schools after we finish the Women and Leadership course."
The Wellesley campus is absolutely gorgeous. The architecture is breathtaking, and the campus is lush with nature. It definitely reminded everyone of Hogwarts, and when we went down an off hand (or secret, as Rebecca referred to it as) staircase, everyone thought of the marvelous and frightening secret passageways seen in the Harry Potter films.
When we got back to the hotel, we had about 4 1/2 hours to rest. Mariko and I took a two hour nap to catch up on sleep. When I woke up, I received a text from Cindy and unfortunately I had missed out on a shopping trip. Instead of being sad that I was asleep, I took advantage of my time to make a quick stop to CVS and look at more of Providence (up to where CVS was). It was nice to see the sights and how different the people are here than they are in the Bay Area. It had also stopped raining, so it was nice to get some fresh air.
I returned to the hotel after not being out for more than thirty minutes to get ready to go to dinner at Camille's, where we would meet a Wellesley alum and her husband, who would be attending the Brown brunch on Sunday. Joan and Gabe were very nice and provided lots of information about Wellesley and Brown, and made good conversation with everyone at the table. The restaurant was nice and the food was amazing. I had a very good time and felt that this Wellesley filled day was one of the best ones I've had since arriving at Providence.
Wellesley is definitely at the top of my list at schools to really research for when the time comes for when I will apply to colleges. I absolutely loved the campus and what they had to offer. Even though the school is small, I can see myself adapting very well.
Tomorrow is the last day of college tours and the last night we will be in Hotel Providence - we are visiting Harvard! My Uncle Ismail, my dad's youngest brother and my godfather, is a Harvard alum and is a criminal defense attorney back home in the Bay Area. He went to Harvard for his undergrad years and for law school. Every time he talks about Harvard he gets a twinkle in his eye, and I can tell he loves the school. I certainly cannot wait to visit the school. I have visited it before, but not to the point where I can truly remember it. However, I know I will especially have fun tomorrow because Brown Session 1 will be coming with us! We finally get a whole day together, and I cannot wait.
As we pulled onto the freeway, I confess that my expectations of today’s tour were low. I thought that I would not be at all interested in Wellesley because it is an exclusively female college. I am pleased to report that after my experience at Wellesley this morning, my opinion has drastically changed.
We had an excellent tour guide, a rising junior named Anna. (Why are so many tour guides named Anna?) It was obvious that she had a lot of enthusiasm for Wellesley and she knew the campus really well. As with Wesleyan, I was a little put off by the focus on the arts and sciences, but Wellesley felt more welcoming to students with other interests.
Additionally, Wellesley had the most beautiful campus ever! I loved the Dartmouth campus, and I still do, but Wellesley has some pretty impressive landscaping. Despite the gloomy weather today, the grassy hills and trees were still enchanting. We didn’t get to see the campus lake, but I’m sure it’s also quite pretty. Unfortunately, many years ago someone dumped a bunch of hazardous waste into the lake. Although it was a long time ago and the lake has since been cleaned multiple times, students aren’t supposed to swim in there just in case.
This afternoon, we met with Lucy Pelham from the Wellesley admissions office. She told us more about Wellesley and about her experiences in high school and college. Some trivia that I thought was particularly interesting is that apparently Wellesley draws the most students from California (and Massachusetts).
I was really happy because we ate at Blue Ginger, a sort of fusion Asian restaurant. I must confess that I may be a little homesick, in that I really miss the wide variety of Asian restaurants in the Bay Area. I ordered yakisoba, a stir-fried noodle dish. I also got ginger ale. I decided that since the name of the restaurant was Blue Ginger, it just might be a good idea to try it out. I think it was the best I’ve ever had!
Tonight we dined on Federal Hill. It was pouring rain when we arrived at the restaurant so I didn’t really look around, but hopefully I’ll be able to go back at some point and do some exploring. Guy and Joan were friendly and helpful, and I found it very interesting to hear their different perspectives about their schools. We also branched out from the typical college advice conversations and had some very interesting dinner discussions. We revisited the topic of our ILC application essays, teen pregnancy and childcare services provided by high schools. I enjoyed hearing what Joan had to say on the subject.
The Wellesley tour was really interesting for me because it was the only school where I had any preconceptions. I definitely changed my opinion! I think that I would enjoy taking classes with only women. At least, I think that I would be okay with it. I suspect that once I actually experience that classroom atmosphere in the Women and Leadership course, I will have lots of new insight into academic life with only women. Originally I was more apprehensive about social life at Wellesley, but the tour guide assured all of us that there were lots of parties and they hang out with guys from Harvard and M.I.T. Joan also spoke encouragingly about Wellesley social life and told us that it probably wouldn’t be a problem.
Goodnight, world! I am off to bed.
Our tour guide, Anna, was amazing. She was optimistic and passionate about her school. The interesting thing about Wellesley is that it is an all-womens' college. Students and alums say that having classes with only women is super empowering and allows for women to speak their mind and say what they normally wouldn't say.
I honestly don't know how I feel about this college having an all-women population. I am used to a co-ed population in school settings and I, personally, believe that it brings a lot more to the school scene. Everyone whom I have spoken to so far say that it isn't necessarily true and that they love Wellesley.
Fellow cohorts are saying that we will get a better sense of how Wellesley functions after experiencing the Women and Leadership program.
For lunch we ate with Lucy Pellum, current admissions officer and former student at Wellesley College. She talked about the admissions process. Like most other schools, the process is holistic and that means students are evaluated on all levels including SAT scores, transcripts, essays, etc. When asked about Wellesley, she also answered very favorable towards the institution.
For dinner, we were joined by a lovely couple, Guy and Joan, who are alums of Brown University and Wellesley College. Guy loves Brown and talked about a friend who is currently active in passing new legislations and is attending Brown as a Graduate. Joan is extremely passionate about her experiences and answered all questions we had. They were great company and were very informative.
This is where I’m hoping the Women and Leadership course I’ll be taking next week will strongly help me. I feel it has the power to open my eyes to looking past the fact that Wellesley is an all-girls college. I cannot wait to study my Women and Leadership course and demonstratioing excact what I’ve learned back from this program.
After the college tour, an alumni from Wellesley joined us and ate lunch with us, which was held at the famous Ming Tsai’s restaurant, Blue Ginger. The food here in Rhode Island is extremely good and unforgettable.
For dinner, more questions and answers were shared between students and a Brown Alumni as well as a Wellesley Alumni. They made me realize that I want to go to an open-curriculum college in which the student chooses his or her own classes. Although I love California colleges, what the East Coast has to offer to me really appeals to me and the barrier between East Coast colleges and my California-only college "wall" has officially been broken.
My hotel roommates and I woke up late because our alarm didn’t go off. We woke up to the sound of the hotel phone ringing. Cynthia answered it but no one was on the other end so she hung up. Then we decided to look at the clock to see how much time we had but realized that we had to be ready and in the lobby 15 minutes earlier. We rushed around putting on clothes when the phone rang a second time. I answered it to be greeted by Mr. Ramsey, where I apologized for our tardiness. We ran into the elevator and went to the cars parked out front after getting a speech from Ms. Kronenberg.
We headed to Wellesley College in Massachusetts. It took about an hour to get there and it started raining on the way. Our first time with rain on the east coast was weird because it was still warm. The campus was absolutely stunning and almost immediately won me over. Our tour guide, Anna, passionately described the campus as we walked through it. The tour itself was about the same length as yesterday’s tour at an hour long. However, the tour was filled by bouts of hot rain. I loved the campus and all it had to offer with the dorms, buildings, and architecture. I was intrigued by the mention of quidditch as a sport. Other aspects of student life told me that this school was original and strongly believed in expression. The only drawback for me was that there was only one air conditioned building on the whole tour, despite others’ concerns of it being a woman’s only college.
After the tour, we drove just a few minutes to the restaurant for lunch where we wet Lucy, a Wellesley Admissions Officer. We ate as she answered numerous questions about the school. She was extremely nice and patient. After lunch we headed back to the hotel where we would have a few hours of free time. We spent that time getting our outfits ready for the dinner. We were proud because we were early, but it started raining, which saddened us.
We went to the restaurant for dinner to meet with another Wellesley alum, Joan, and her husband, Guy. They gave us great advice on the admissions process. Joan told us what to tell the admissions officers in the application, but our conversations took a turn for the argumentative when Mr. Ramsey mentioned our essay topic, which we wrote to apply to the Ivy League Program. Then we debated for the rest of the night about the topic until we had to go back to the hotel.
Once we got to hotel, we went directly upstairs to blog. However, we thought we had a meeting with our chaperone, but there was a misunderstanding and the meeting was cancelled. So we went back upstairs to our rooms to blog. I made sure to set our alarm clock correctly this time.
We met again with Ms. Larson for a celebratory cohort dinner at 6:30 PM. We went to a nice restaurant on Thayer Street called Viva. This dinner marked our last meal with just the five of us. I feel so fortunate to have Andrew, Frank, Erin, and Erinn as not just my cohorts but my close buddies, and Ms. Larson as an amazing chaperone. We have made so many memories including the awkward octopus and the flying turkey, which have become trademarks to our trip. We have really bonded throughout this trip, and I couldn’t wish for a better group.
Last Lunch at V-Dub
Tonight is our last night at Brown. I really can’t believe our program has come to an end. I have met so many friends that I will have for life and will continue to keep in touch with. Thank goodness for Facebook. The hardest thing is saying goodbye to people I’ve grown so close to in this short but seemingly long period of time. As I’m packing, I can’t help but feel like I’m leaving home. Speaking of packing, I’m having difficulty cramming all of my belongings into my suitcase. I listened with disbelief when Erin and Erinn said that they are already finished with packing. The rain is pouring outside, mocking the sorrow I feel inside. But I’m so grateful for this experience and am so happy that it happened. This isn’t the end of me and Brown.
Today we woke up to warm rain outside. I thought it was so cool because, in California, chances are that if it’s raining it is also freezing cold outside. We picked up our umbrellas and piled into our Tahoe’s and drove to Wellesley.
I was extremely impressed by several things at Wellesley. Without a doubt, the school greatly exceeded my expectations. First of all, the student giving our tour was very charismatic and energetic. She seemed genuinely excited to show the campus to us. The campus itself was very beautiful. The architecture and furniture was all very classy but had a cool Harry Potter/castle feel to it. Wellesley is an all women school, but our guide made sure to explain that they do get opportunities to spend time with men. Basically, the classroom life is all women (with some exceptions from sister schools) but social life is co-ed. I personally do see some of the benefits of being in an all women environment, but also I recognize the importance of having male perspectives around.
Any topic regarding gender equality seems to naturally stir up disagreements. I believe that when looking at the whole picture, men and women are equal but certainly are not the same. Women do face many double standards and stereotypes. Some of which I believe are unfair, and others I do not object to. For example, when I see a man open a door for a woman I think it is very respectful and chivalrous and I believe all men should behave that way. However, when I see a woman holding open a door for a man who is not elderly or handicapped or holding a baby or otherwise unable to open the door himself, I find myself feeling upset with the man. If I am on BART or a bus and a woman walks on and has to stand and a man doesn’t offer her his seat, I have a problem with that. I find it more inappropriate for a man to yell at a woman than at another man.
Arguing for complete equality would really be asking to eliminate chivalry like this, because if women are just like men, they aren’t entitled to extra polite-ness right? Well personally I don’t believe that. The way I was raised is that men are to be more courteous to women. That is not to say that it is because women cannot fend for themselves, it is just how I believe things should be. It is nice.
We got to have a delicious dinner at Blue Ginger and were accompanied by Lucy Pellum, who explained to us what admissions officers at Wellesley are looking for. She was very friendly and informative.
Later in the day we had dinner at Camille’s. This was quite possibly the most enjoyable dinner so far. The food was incredible and our guests were quite pleasant. The dinner was not tense and we had a lot of good laughs and interesting debates. We discussed whether funding child care facilities for teen mothers was a good idea and everyone was very into the conversation. I had a fantastic time.
When I woke up this morning, I knew that today would be the best and worst day of Summer@Brown. Wielding an umbrella, I started my last day at Brown fully prepared.
Class was sad. Of course it was intellectually challenging and educationally beneficial, but it was still sad. I was sad to know that the class was coming to a close and that our time together was almost over. Of course, that was all undermined by my anxiety. We were all presenting our figures!
We each had 3 minutes to teach the class about a certain topic. I didn't gain a lot from the presentations, 3 minutes was definitely not enough to learn about the wide range of topics. It was interesting to see people face their fear of public speaking--which is, in fact, one of the top fears of the American people.
It rained harder.
I ate lunch with classmates and friends, cherishing our time together. In the rain, I went with my friend Rachel to finish our homework. Class was officially over, but we still had homework! One of my friends told me that the weather reflected our moods, and I completely agreed with him.
The day was sad, seeing everyone leaving the campus was emotional. I cried, and I'm not ashamed to have. I met some people here who have become very important in my life.
Summer@Brown may be over, but the trip continues for two more days. I'll never forget my time here at Brown.
“Life is Short,” “Do What You Love,” “Find Your Passion,” three cliché words of wisdom that I have heard in a new perspective from Ms. Hall. Her wisdom was demonstrated in a graph proving life is short and through her anecdotes opposing the gist of the sayings.
My calculus teacher reiterates almost every day his “life lessons,” with the most important lesson “life is short.” The common interpretation of this advice is to seize the day or to not worry, but as Ms. Hall said, realizing that life is short will not stop end worrying or make you do something outrageous. As college applications approach,and the stress increases, no matter how much I stress, it will not change whether I get into college or not get into college—stress will do two of the following: one, keep me up late hours of the night considering and reconsidering what I should put and two, lead to more procrastination and subsequent stress from procrastinating.
The other two lessons held less meaning for me because those are not pragmatic. I would like to “Do What I Love” and “Find My Passion,” but these are not found by looking; it can be random and that is what Brown is about—allowing students to test what they think they love, not necessarily finding it.
On top of the emotional good-byes from my professor and her TA, it has been storming, so I cannot spend too much outside with friends. It has been exciting, though, with several thunder storms throughout the day and the heaviest rain I have seen in Providence. As I am writing my blog, there is thunder sounding and lightning flashing through my window. I think Providence wants to give us this weather to show its overall beauty and a good-bye present.
I have not been affected by the prospect of leaving yet. It feels like it is home, and there is a premonition that I will come back to it again in the near future. I feel sad for some time, but it is not enough to shed a tear.What will happen is once I get home and start reviewing all my pictures, I will start crying.
In the morning as I get ready to go back to the hotel, I will close off my dorm room, return my key and take a final picture of Brown’s mascot.
After the test many students were departing back home. This was very emotional to see people you have made such a strong connection with, in just three weeks depart. But with all the advances in technology via social networking, video chat, or any other form of communication it should be fairly easy to stay connected. I am positive that most of the people that I have met will be very successful and we will all help and motivate each other in the future.
After this I said my goodbyes, exchanged contact information and all the other sentimental things that are included in the departure package. Our cohort met with the Peter Newcomb the Northern California admissions officer for Brown. He gave us great insight in to the Brown application process and made all of us a lot more confident about the upcoming college applications. I am glad that our chaperone was able to arrange this for us, I appreciate her greatly. Later on that day our cohort had dinner together. We discussed this whole almost four week process the ups, downs, good and bad.
Tonight is my final night at Brown and I can truly say that I will miss it. But all stages in life require development, so I guess this is just part of the maturation process all must go through. Tomorrow we will be going to Harvard with Cohort two. I am very excited to see them again as well as to see Mr. Ramsey, and Mrs. Kronenberg. Tomorrow should be interesting. This is my last farewell, so in conclusion Brown was an amazing experience for me. I am so blessed to have had this opportunity. I learned a lot about not only about economics, but myself as well. The people surrounding me were just amazing and I cannot express how blessed I was.