Thursday, August 1, 2013

Women and Leadership at Brown

I know what you’re thinking: why did he title this blog after one of the Ivy League Connection programs? Well, the reason is because today my cohorts and I got the chance to tour Brown University and eat with the Brown group at the end. But before I jump to that, let me start at the beginning.

Josh and I got up later than usual, about seven o’clock in the morning. We got ready and by eight forty we were downstairs. We left our bags behind the counter and Ms. Tiffany, who is the Brown cohort chaperone, was kind enough to offer us a ride to Brown and told us that later we would have lunch with the Brown group. When we first arrived on the Brown campus I loved it. The buildings were pretty, the campus was nice and big, and the best part was that it is right in the heart of a metropolitan area.  It took us a while, but eventually we found the tour meeting place and picked up some grub. Ms. Tiffany then decided to join us on the Brown tour and presentation and we were glad to have her. I half expected the tour to be like that at Harvard, but man was I wrong.

The walking portion was considerably shorter than the Harvard tour, by about half an hour, but was packed with so much more information than the Harvard tour. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the Harvard tour. It’s just that the Brown tour focused less on the history and famous alumni and more on the housing, majors, and classes. Our tour guide was great. She told us why Brown was such a good school, including freedom of majors, or as they call them concentrations, how good the cafeteria’s food is, and finally that the atmosphere is very friendly and student oriented. She showed us a couple of the science buildings, the dean’s office, and finally where the old Brown woman’s college was. The way she described Brown made it all the more interesting. This was definitely a better tour than the Harvard one.
A shot of the Brown campus
In the back is the tallest building in the Providence. It is the Brown Science Library.
Then we proceeded to one of the largest auditoriums on the campus inside the dancing and performing arts building.
The performing arts building.
It was a nice auditorium, able to hold at least four hundred people. My friends and I sat in the front row and got to talk to one of the speakers before the show. He shared that he was from the San Diego, California and that he was a rising sophomore. He spoke quickly yet eloquently and knows exactly what to say to get his point across. He told us that he applied to Brown on a whim, thinking that it would be great to attend and really hoping he would get in. He had been a few times on university tours when he was younger and his cousin had gone and told him how great it was, but he never considered seriously applying. As he got older, however, he became more and more determined to apply and get in. He eventually did, and told us the wonder that he felt and the adventure he was on when he came to the East Coast. He was going to tell us a bit about the admissions process when the presentation began. 

The main man who was our orator for the morning was Mr. Degulio. He told us all about the admissions process, how they count AP test scores, what the ACT and SAT with two subject tests really means to them. He also went into depth about the flexible concentrations we could have and that there were no basic prerequisites that all students had to complete. He also talked about that when you pick a concentration, you get an adviser who is almost like a mentor in some respects. Your adviser discusses with you what university classes you should take and lends an ear if you are having any problems in your classes. He also told us that our advisers would be experts in the field we are studying, so they would know what we are going through. Then Degulio passed the mike over to the man we were talking to before the presentation began. His name is Manuel. He told us that the first year on campus can be kind of rough, especially if you don’t know anyone. But he told us not to worry because making friends comes naturally if we just be ourselves.

They then went on to talk about how when you take a class, you choose whether it is pass/fail or if you will receive a letter grade. It’s a nice system because let’s say that you are a math major and you want to look into how you like computer programming. You can sign up for the class in a pass/fail way so that you don’t have to worry about getting an A in the class and focus instead on the material and maybe understand it better. Manuel then told us that when you sign up for classes, there is a “shopping around” period where you go into and out of classes to see whether you like them or not. You may find that a class you signed up for is not for you, but another one that you walked into is something you would like to study further. Manuel usually picks six classes to look into, and then picks four and sticks with them for the rest of the semester. Some of his friends, however, pick twenty classes, try to keep up with each of them, feel hyper stressed out, and then pick their four favorites and continue. He says that he doesn’t know how they do it, but they must need a lot of coffee.

Next they went over talking to the officials at Brown. There are certain hours during the day that you don’t have to make an appointment to see an official of the college or even the dean. This freedom allows students with problems and not enough time to make an appointment the opportunity to talk to the highest authority on campus. Degulio then took the mike and lastly told us about the housing situation at Brown. It was nothing new, just dorms and Greek life, along with a majority of the senior students living off campus. But all in all, I’m sold. By the time Degulio and Manuel finished talking, I was juiced and can’t wait to apply. I just hope that I’m good enough to get in.

At eleven, when the presentation was over, we headed on out towards the Brown cohorts class area. We pull up and walk into this modern building that is just beautiful. The steps to the top floor were long and winding, but I loved them. The offices were laid out to be very open and on any give floor, the only way to get from one side to the other was by these neat bridges that skewed left or right. It was an inspired design. The building also let a lot of natural light in, so that brought the outside world inside, if you know what I mean.
A shot from inside the building of the street.
We stayed on the building third floor for a while and found this great library in honor of Kim Koo. Then we were called down stairs to meet up with two of the young ladies from the Brown group.

They were Michelle and Julia. After exchanging pleasantries, we headed over to one of the eating halls where the rest of the Brown group was. I talked with both Michelle and Julia about the program, the teachers, the seminars, how they liked, what they didn’t enjoy, and more. The Women & Leadership program really sounds very interesting, and from what they told me it sounds like it was more about finding yourself so that you can do your best and be confident with yourself and who you are. It sounds very empowering. Then we got to the lunch. I had a burger and veggie sandwich with a side of rice, nothing special enough to take a picture of though. I then talked with a few more of the women in the program and they told us that it was very interesting and quite different than anything they had taken before. We ate lunch for about and hour and afterwards we proceeded to go outside to take a group photo.   

Afterwards we had a pretty lazy afternoon. Ms. Tiffany took us back to our hotel and then showed us where the mall is. Afterwards we went our separate ways. It was nice to have her with us for the day. She is a no-nonsense woman who is fun to be around. In the mall we got some ice cream, looked through a few stores, and then got a warning from Eric not to enter this store called Spencer’s because of the weird stuff they have in there. I’ll take his word.

We then proceeded to the train stations with our bags, caught the train, and arrived in New Haven, Connecticut. The ride was a couple of hours long and were we happy when we entered the Omni.
A shot of the countryside as it passes us by

Then we wrapped up the night by going to a restaurant that serves delicious lamb shanks and serves a pretty good filet. I am a fan of lamb, and I must say that this is in my top three favorite lamb dinners ever. The meat itself was nice and tender, as if it melted in your mouth after the first bite. The spices that they used along with  the medium rare meat was just fantastic.
Then came desert. The waiter recommended something called decadence, which was a chocolate mousse with a chocolate cake cover on top of a chocolate brownie within a small lake of dark chocolate sauce. The first few bites were very good, but about half way through I experienced chocolate overload. Never had I had so much concentrated chocolate in such short time. I finished it, but man do I regret it.
Yet another great day here on the East Coast. I’m starting to like this place a lot and would love to study here. Tomorrow we will go to New York University, get a tour and then see New York City. I can’t wait! Goodnight.

1 comment:

  1. You’ve now had the chance to visit several universities and see how they deal with trying to sell their product. Have you been able to put together the way they present themselves and the way you might expect them to treat you once you’re enrolled?

    That is, Liam, if they simply phone in their info sessions and tours or look down their noses at you because, in their minds, you’ll never be one of ‘them’, or if they welcome you with open arms--which would you prefer spending four years of your life at?

    Then we come to actually living on campus. Sadly, you were unable to check out the living accommodations or eat at the dining commons for most of the schools but you did have the chance to eat at the Brown dining commons. After this experience, how did it flavor your attitude about Brown?

    This is one of the reasons we’ve asked each of our ILCers to describe and photograph their dorm rooms, their bathrooms and their dining commons so we can share this information with future ILCers and even with some of our students who may want to apply.

    When a parent has to fork over in the neighborhood of $55-60,000 per year to a school you know they’re looking at more than what happens in the classroom.