Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Final Leg

Well that was it. Our last day in Providence just finished. Now we are at the Omni in New Haven enjoying the luxury while we can. After tomorrow we check in to our dorms at Yale and the work begins.

An Interesting Sculpture At Brown
Last night the jet lag hit me and I did not fall asleep until pretty late. Luckily we got to sleep in until eight. That is pretty late considering how things have been the last couple of mornings. We then met up with the chaperone from Brown, Ms. Neal, who had been staying at the same hotel as us this whole time (we just had no clue until this morning). She is renting a car, so she gave us a ride to Brown. I am glad she did that because the walk was a lot longer than we thought it was earlier. At Brown we grabbed breakfast at a campus café and got to the tour just in time. The campus tour at Brown was excellent. Our tour guide, Jordan, had all the enthusiasm and humor that the Yale guide had, but she also have us all the information that a potential applicant would want. She was a sociology concentration (Brown’s fancy word for major) on the premed track. I wanted to talk to her more about what that meant and what it was like, but after the tour ended we had to go immediately to the information session. Luckily, a lot of my questions were answered there.

Brown was the first, and is now one of the only top tier colleges to have an open curriculum. This means that there are no required general education courses; the only required classes are those that are necessary to your concentration. Students chose their concentration at the end of sophomore year and can have a dual concentration if they fulfill the course requirements. I do not really think that the open curriculum would be that big of a deal to me, since I mostly like general education and my impression is that there are opportunities at most colleges to take classes that do not fit in to your major but that interest you anyway. What was significant to me was Brown’s way of handling pregraduate programs, like prelaw and premed. They do not offer concentrations in those areas, but instead have special advisors to help students who want to follow that path to make sure that they take the correct courses. I like that because it would mean that I could major in something unrelated to medicine (for example) but still keep my options open if I did decide to follow that path. The other program that Brown offered which really intrigued me was their eight year medical program. When applying to Brown you check a box and fill out an additional supplement which is evaluated by doctors at Brown’s medical school. If accepted than over the course of the next eight years you spend four at Brown taking normal classes along with some at the medical school. Then, for the next four years, you study at Brown’s medical school. The advantage is that you are exempt from MCATs and are automatically accepted. If I decide for sure that I want to go in to medicine then I will definitely apply for that program.
The Arts Building at Brown

All in all I really liked Brown. The campus was beautiful, and somehow felt both compact and spacious at the same time. Providence is a large city that does not have the feel of large cities that I normally dislike. It is also a college town that has many interesting things for college students to do and good employment and internship opportunities. It also is focused on supporting its undergraduate community and students have opportunities to do research with professors as early as freshman year. I am definitely applying to Brown, and if I get in it will be one of my top choices of schools.

After the information session we went to meet with the Brown cohort to have lunch. It was there that I realized how spoiled I was last year with Cornell’s college food. We ate at one of the dining halls which was a buffet. The food was fine, but not as tasty and with FAR fewer choices than at Cornell. In the grand scheme of things however, I heard that Cornell has some of the top college dining in the country, and Brown, while not as good, is still excellent compared to some of the other options out there. I really enjoyed having lunch with them and spending time with them while getting to hear about their impressions of Brown. After lunch and a group photo they had to leave, so we headed back to the hotel.

We went to the mall in Providence to pass time until our train arrived. Aside from being biggest mall I have ever been in it was not that interesting. We did get some ice cream though! Soon enough however it was time to go to the train station, so we headed back to the hotel to get our things then took a cab to the station.

Group Photo!

I learned my lesson well last time I did the ILC and got almost my entire blog (except for the stuff that had not happened yet) done about halfway through the two hour train ride. I then spent the rest of the time on the train observing the countryside and drawing while listening to and rating the new music I got from my girlfriend before leaving. The country is beautiful and green (as I said previously) in the summer, and I tried to imagine it in the other seasons, and I could see it being just as beautiful to look at, although almost definitely not as nice to be in.

A Cool Design We Saw In New Haven
After arriving in New Haven we took a shuttle to the Omni Hotel, where we will be staying until we start our Yale course. The hotel is very nice, but a little older feeling than the Hotel Providence. For dinner we went to a local French restaurant. I really enjoyed the food, and got to try things that I would never normally be able to eat. We had octopus and foie gras (which I believe is illegal in California) for an appetizer. I then had a gnocchi and artichoke dish for my entrée, which was something I would not normally order but it was excellent and I am glad I did. I finished with a chocolate mousse dish for desert.
These last couple days have been fantastic, but went by so quickly. Now we only have one more, and we are going out with a bang… in New York City. I personally am not a big city person, but I am sure I will have fun with the group many of whom have never been to the Big Apple before.

P.S. The “camera” in our room was actually a heat sensor. I do not know why they would need a heat sensor in the room except maybe to adjust the air conditioning. One question being answered leads to more questions; such is the way of the world.

1 comment:

  1. I hope you seek forgiveness from Elia for posting a group shot where she’s hidden behind someone else. If I had one more year with you, Eric, I could teach you some of the finer points of photography like making sure that no gets hidden. Oh well...

    If anyone has been reading the Brown blogs they’ve read some of their thoughts about the quality of the food they’re serving this year. Now you, a total stranger to it all, validate their comments with those of your own.

    Just as I’ll be passing along the comments from our Brownies in an effort to let our friends at Brown fix those problem, I’ll pass along your thoughts, too.