Friday, August 2, 2013

Empire State of Mind

For the full experience of this blog post, please have this video playing on a separate window:

My shower was extra hot this morning - the "Stahbucks" tasted better and the taxi ride felt smoother. Why? We were headed to none other than New York (New Yahkkkkk)! Mamma Mia was definitely the word.

The Amtrak took us to none other than Grand Central Station! As a frequent viewer of films involving one of the centerpieces of New York, including such quality movies as Madagascar and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, this landmark was a most welcome welcome to me as one of the city's biggest icons. We meandered our way out of the train and into a clog of humidity and humanity, with sweat and phone conversations dropping everywhere in sight. There would be no Singin' in the Rain today. We rode the wave until we walked into Grand Central's main terminal. It was a gorgeous sight to see, with every architectural detail, artistic flourish, and mathematical design exposed for all the world.

After navigating the labyrinth of the NY subway from Grand Central, we made our way onto the NYU campus (which is basically Greenwich Village) and walked into the information center only to find out that we'd been misinformed about the tour times and we'd missed it by a hour. Taking this in stride, we decided to sign up as our own guides and take the Ivy League Connection Express Tour. 

NYU Global Center for
Academic & Spiritual Life
The campus wasn't particularly a campus. It reminded me a lot of Academy of Art University in San Francisco, with its college buildings ingrained into the city. While set in a nice area, NYU felt disconnected, an university enveloped by the city instead of the other way around. I found that I was looking more for a more homey-like atmosphere, with a central area for students to gather and something more tight-knit. NYU just wasn't my particular cup of tea; you could say that it was a little strong in terms of independence. However, it was enjoyable to walk around and watch Liam and Eric get whupped, honorably, of course, at chess by "Wicked smaht" people at Washington Square Park.

After failing to pick out a lunch spot, we headed to Times Square, where we settled on getting some New Yahk thin crust pizza at John's Pizzeria (I prefer that over Chicago-style). I personally went for the traditional, wanting to compare it to New York-style pizza back home. I don't know if I missed something, but I found John's Pizza to be on par with Bay Area pizza! Either the Bay's just that good, or John's just didn't measure up to the rest of New Yahk. I guess I'll have to go back and find out!

To make our way to our next destination, we walked through the theater district. For a Josh who's been exposed to Broadway ever since he was a toddler, the marquees and bright flashing lights took on a big significance. These shows of thee I sing definitely took over the imaginary soundtrack in my head (along with Frank Sinatra, Frank Ocean, and Jay-Z) for the rest of the day.

Eventually, we reached Rockefeller Plaza, a sight I'd seen on TV many times and...a place that looked a lot smaller in real life. However, it was very cool to see the buildings originally developed by Mr. "Rock of Ages" himself, John D. Rockefeller.

Home to Saturday Night Live, Late Night with
Jimmy Fallon,
We got to stop in a couple souvenir shops in and around Rock Center. Although I didn't see the window from which the Today show hosts do their thing or the address for 30 Rockefeller Plaza ("30 Rock"), I did pick up a t-shirt from my favorite show (which you should know if you read my airport adventure post a couple days ago) Parks & Rec at the NBC Experience Store. The LEGO and Nintendo stores helped me engage in some afternoon child-like fun, checking out all the new heavily branded bricks and the new, but unfortunately not very popular, Wii U (Wii who?).

It was soon time for dinner, however, so we headed over to Ellen's Stardust Diner, an extraordinary place suggested by Damian. The diner hires wanna-be singers and actors looking for their big break in New York City, and many have gone on to star on Broadway and around the world. Throughout our dinner, we were treated to renditions of different Broadway hits, such as selections from Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid, to name a few. I suppose I should mention what I ate, which was beef stew, but for this meal, the songs were the highlight.

I really enjoyed the city of New York, mostly because it felt so lifelike. Its character, personality, and complexity felt almost human-like in its qualities, and I felt almost the same way (hallowed) as I do at Disneyland. If New York equals in feels the Happiest Place on Earth, that's certainly saying something.

With the clock hitting 5:15, we needed to find our way back to Grand Central to make our train at 6:15, so we headed back towards Times Square. The crowds and cars had picked up, while tourists still ruled the streets; cameras flashing everywhere, bodies frozen in fake smiles to post on their Facebook pages. Tracey had warned me earlier in the day that I wasn't walking as fast as some of the others. Normally, I'm quite a fast walker, but the city had so transfixed me that I had slowed down. Naturally, I picked up the pace, but
Photo creds to Liam.
still allowed my eyes to take in the bright enormous neon signs that lined Times Square, headlines scrolling across the ABC building, loud visual advertisements bursting with pop and color. People standing stationary in the crowd jostled me, asking for donations to their cause, or money for their souvenir. I walked past, but the number of solicitations continued to grow. An African-American man had stopped Eric, so I stepped in to listen as well. "Hi, hi, nice to meet you. Are you tired of that Drake and Jay-Z s--t? I got somethin' different, it's a new style, and I'm just starting out, so if you could support..." He started rapping to nail in the sell. Eric and I listened in, and honestly, he wasn't that great, but we listened. Eventually, Tracey walked back toward us and told us we had to leave, or otherwise, we would miss our train. Immediately, his whole attitude changed. "Aw, man, it's cause I'm black? Isn't it? Isn't it?" "Let's go," said Tracey, and as we thanked him and walked away, he snatched his mixtape back from Eric and started issuing multiple racial slurs at our cohort. His voice faded as the crowd engulfed him in their sea of consumerism and marketability.

As girls held up signs offering "free hugs," Liam muttered to us, "there's nothing in life that's free." Are we all driven by the sea, moving forward by the waves of selfishness and self-motivation? We try to sell ourselves and to sell others out, faking our way through the cold channels of relationships and accomplishments. We stand two-faced and focus on our own ships, resorting to ignorance and race cards to get our way. Is there anything that comes free? Today's part of the journey showed us a big city environment where the bright, beautiful, and bombastic find a way to coexist (or clash) with the bubbling, boiling, and toiling. These juxtapositions that have made up multiple parts of the trip are forcing me to think more deeply on how to see these realities. We walk into the doors of Yale tomorrow, forced to confront these realities as we tackle grand strategies in those hallowed halls. I don't know how much I will change or grow. I don't know where my ship is compared to all of the other ones floating into this elite Ivy League program. But I am willing to rebuild my ship with the assistance of others and learn from them. I'm prepared to confront this confusing, scary, gorgeous world we have and make it at least a little better than when I found it. And I'm ready to find out where the final destination of our ships are heading.

Tomorrow, tomorrow...

Send me feedback by commenting below and emailing And for a more intimate look at my Yale experience, follow me on Instagram @joshthebosh to see a more visual Ivy League Connection. This concludes the college tour portion of the blog; check back in soon for reflections on the Grand Strategies program at Yale! Congratulations to you if you noticed the musical references mostly at the beginning, but throughout the post.

“I believe in the supreme worth of the individual and in his right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty. I believe that the law was made for man and not man for the law; that government is the servant of the people and not their master.  I believe in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a living. I believe that thrift is essential to well-ordered living and that economy is a prime requisite of a sound financial structure, whether in government, business or personal affairs.  I believe that truth and justice are fundamental to an enduring social order.  I believe in the sacredness of a promise, that a man's word should be as good as his bond, that character—not wealth or power or position—is of supreme worth.  I believe that the rendering of useful service is the common duty of mankind and that only in the purifying fire of sacrifice is the dross of selfishness consumed and the greatness of the human soul set free.  I believe in an all-wise and all-loving God, named by whatever name, and that the individual's highest fulfillment, greatest happiness and widest usefulness are to be found in living in harmony with His will.  I believe that love is the greatest thing in the world; that it alone can overcome hate; that right can and will triumph over might.”

- John D. Rockefeller, inscribed at Rockefeller Center

The City That Never Sleeps

Josh and I woke up at 6:30 AM and I woke up 15 minutes later. We got ready and headed down to the Omni hotel lobby on a warm cloudy morning. Today was our big trip. We were going to New York City! We met at the lobby at around 7:15 AM. Starbucks was our fast breakfast and morning coffee because we had to catch an early 8:15 AM train. We took a taxi to the train station and got there at around 8:00 AM. We boarded our train to go to the Big Apple. I felt a bit unwell because I had kicked off my covers during the cold night sleep in the room. When I got on the train I decided to try and sleep it off. When I woke up we were a few stops away from the Grand Central station. When I stepped out of the train I began to think that the rule that heat always rises was a big lie. I could barely breathe because it was so hot and humid down there. The air was absolutely gag worthy. We stepped into the main part of Grand Central and I was amazed at the architecture. There was a mural of constellations on the roof, there were giant chandelier-like lights hanging from the ceiling, and the place was filled with people. I've read about and watched a documentary about the Robber Barons and I recall the Grand Central station being part of it. Looking up at the ceiling, I immediately took out my phone and took pictures because it was so beautiful.
The mural on the Grand Central ceiling
Grand Central

We walked around Central Station for a little while, then we headed to the subway for NYU. The underground subway made me question the laws of physics for a second time. The air was no better than when we got off of the train. Our train arrived and we got to the area by New York University. We stepped up into the sunlight and tried to find our way to the university. Needless to say, we got lost again. We asked for directions. Apparently, New Yorkers aren't as mean as they're painted out to be, at least not in the daylight. I'm sure the darkness within New York is contingent to brightness or darkness of the day. The later it gets, the meaner New Yorkers get. NYU was built in a strange way. It didn't even feel like a college campus. It was multiple buildings across and down the streets from one another. It's like the Art Academy in San Francisco. Though most of the building were fairly close, but they were built a distance from one another so there was absolutely no college feeling to it. Though I have heard the NYU likes to send their students abroad, and I also picked up a pamphlet about health studies. Their first page had the words, "help children with communication disorders learn to interact," I was especially drawn to this because at school I loved working with autistic elementary school students during the Careers in Teaching class and many of these kids had problems communicating.
Religious center of NYU.
An alley at NYU that has a view of the Empire State Building.
A statue of Cervantes at New York University.
Due to the fact that the tour information was deceiving, we gave ourselves a self-tour. Apparently people had to be there an hour before the actual tour in order to join. The people told us that it starts at a certain time, but what they should have told us was to get there way before the tour starts. Our self-tour took the five of us to Washington Square Park, the green area of NYU. It has a lot of trees and flowers and even a dog park. At the park Eric and Liam played chess matches with some of the people at the park. Both of them lost. I only stood and watched because I wasn't sure how to play chess, but I'm sure it's similar to Chinese chess, not Chinese checkers, but Chinese chess. After watching the two of them play, I think I know how each of the pieces move and attack.
An arc that was designed to resemble L'arc de Triomphe at Washington Square Park.
After our self-tour we all decided to go to Times Square! On our way we got lost a few times, nothing new, but when we got there I felt like a child. I looked up and was grasped by all the lights and billboards in the small area. I imagined that Times Square was bigger and more shopping based, but I felt that it was more commercial and business based. Times Square only stretched a few blocks and it wasn't as cool as I'd hoped, but I was pretty pleased.
Times Square!
After our little visit to Times Square, we wanted to try New York's famous pizzas. Josh, our usual food guide, took us to John's pizzeria. We all sat down and ordered. For our appetizer we had calamari. I ordered the bruschetta pizza, Josh ordered the traditional pizza, Liam had the margherita pizza, Eric decided to have a chicken and broccoli calzone, and Ms. Tracey wanted the ravioli. All in all the food was great. Eric's calzone tasted very good, salty with a lovely mixture of cheese, chicken, and broccoli. Liam's pizza was very good. The basil on top of his pizza made everything delicious. The basil really brought out the flavor of the stone oven baked pizza. My pizza was no disappointment either, there were tomatoes and plenty of other fresh herbs on my pizza. Unfortunately, the place was so busy that the service ended up being slow.
Josh's pizza and my pizza were made into one on the top and Liam's pizza is at the bottom.
After our meal we decided to head to Rockefeller Square. As usual, we got lost a few times, but our trusty GPS user, Eric, safely brought us to wherever we needed to go. We got there, and I was amazed at how nice it was. There were flags lining an outdoor cafe with a beautiful golden statue in front of a waterfall. While walking there were two shops that caught my eye. The Nintendo shop and the Lego shop. We decided to go to Josh's store first, the NBC store. Which was a lot of fun, I got to sit in The Voice chair and pretend I was judge on the panel. Then we went to the Lego shop where they had awesome Lego artwork, like the dragon or a Lego replica of the Rockefeller square. Then we went to the Nintendo Shop and played video game demos for a little while.
A dragon created from Legos.
Rockefeller Square
The statue at Rockefeller square.
Earlier I told the group about a diner that my friend, Anmol, went to during her stay in Columbia. She told me that it was awesome and that we should try it out. She suggested Ellen's Stardust Diner. We walked to the diner, again getting a bit lost, and ate there. The place was so unique. I've never been to a diner like this before. The food wasn't all that great. I had the Philly cheese steak. What really entertained us was the music. The waiters are all people aspiring to be Broadway stars and they sing live for the entire restaurant. One song that particular stood out to me was "Part of Your World," from The Little Mermaid. It brought me back to my theater and musical days. After dinner we had to catch the train back to the Omni. This is when I noticed that a lot more people were coming out as opposed to early in the day. This is also when people started getting a bit more aggressive. People would come up to you, force something into your hand, and try to make you pay. More culture shock, because that doesn't normally happen in the Bay Area. For the umpteenth time on the East Coast, we got lost again. Though, this time I wouldn't really consider it as being lost, more like we didn't know that we were going the right way. 

When we finally found the station, we boarded the train and headed back home. I was exhausted and slept for a while and woke up a few stops before New Haven. During he train ride we helped a man find his destination on a map, though we were no where near experts on the area.

Tomorrow we are to enter Yale. I'm really excited. Yale. . . The Yale. The one that I always hear about and used to hear about on "The Gilmore Girls." My time there will be really strenuous, but will be very educational and very worth it.

New York Really is the Big Apple

Today we had a pretty interesting morning. I forgot to write about how beautiful the hotel that we are staying in is. The lobby is so ornately decorated with vases and oil paintings that you can tell someone invested a lot of time and money into this place. There are even chess boards and last night Damian started a game but had to cut it short so we could eat dinner.

Anyway, we were out at the lobby at seven twenty five, picked up breakfast, and had a few minutes to kill before the cabs arrived. Damian and I started a new game of chess and Damian was winning by the time the cabs arrived. The cabs got there and we drove to South Station, caught the train to New York, and went on a two hour train ride. The scenery was very pretty. As we exited New Haven, it was primarily dense forest and very little graffiti. But as we approached New York, the graffiti got worse and the trees thinned out. I guess you should expect that as you approach a huge city though, eh? 

To keep myself occupied, I looked over some of the required reading for our seminars. I also talked to two Navy officers who were sitting next to me. They were nice guys, and even tried to get me to join. But while talking to them I found out that they are officers aboard a nuclear submarine, I kid you not. I seem to have a knack for sitting next to people who are serving in the Navy on submarines. We talked mostly about their job, and how half of their career they’ve been desk jockeys and for the over half have actually served. They had some humorous stories about when they went to Scotland and Georgia. They piqued my interest and am glad I talked to them.

When we arrived, we pulled into none other than Grand Central Station. It took us two long hours, but we finally arrived. The anticipation built up in me like an oil well being struck for the first time. I ran out of the train, camera in hand, ready to record my first images of the world famous Grand Central Station. As I ran up the stairs I was filled with even more suspense. Then, all around me a grand concourse emerged. I was in sheer awe. The glass windows were just as they have been shown in the movies, and I saw a few posters for the celebration of the centennial birthday of Grand Central. Soon, I started taking photos of everything. We missed rush hour, thankfully, but it was still filled to the brim with people. They were running and walking in every which direction towards one of the over one hundred railroad tracks that run through Grand Central. I love it.
The Grand Concourse
Then I looked at the ceiling. Painted on it are nine of the twelve zodiac signs, I think, including Pisces, Aires, and Taurus. They are painted in gold on a blue backdrop and look stunning. My friends and I then proceeded to go to the second level, take a few pictures, and then proceed to walk out to the street. All along the way it is lined with shops, and this place called Vanderbilt hall. If you have the chance I cannot suggest enough going to Grand Central Station. I must warn you though that it will look smaller than in the movies because it is filled with people.

We then proceeded to the subway station and caught a ride to the New York University campus area. Or at least what we thought was the NYU campus. It turns out that NYU is not, in fact, like a regular university. NYU’s buildings are integrated into the city, so they look like any other building. There are banners hanging proudly from the side of the buildings and they have signs next to their doors to differentiate them, but besides that there is no way to figure what buildings they are. There is an informal campus green, but it looks like it would be difficult to organize events in the city in there.
The NYU Law Building
We then walked around for a while looking for the admissions building, found it, and asked if they could direct us towards the tour meeting area. They then proceeded to tell us that the tour does begin at eleven, like we expected, but there was an information session that we had to attend first at ten o’clock. Well, we missed it. They then told us that we could attend an information session and tour at one. I wanted to go, but was out voted and we decided to take the self-tour. It was okay, and Tracey read aloud to us some of the details of each of the buildings we passed, but I would have preferred to have taken the official tour at one. C’est la vie, I suppose. The one better part of the self-tour was that during the walk through the unofficial campus green, I got to play chess against a man who has been playing for eight years, if my memory serves me correctly. It was a challenge, no doubt, but alas, my efforts were fruitless. He won in a little over fifteen minutes. I gave him a good fight though, and was able to at least take his queen before he took my king. He also coached me a bit on where to move and how to use pieces to the best of my advantage. His name is Mack, and he is a kind man. He told me that you should only read chess books to give you new ideas, but playing the game is the only way to get good at it. In honor of him, I think I’ll start playing more often.
The Washington Arch
We then found this place called John’s, which received four stars on Yelp, and now I know why. I got a margherita pizza while Damian and Josh got a half and half: one side classic cheese and the other side pineapple. I got to try both of theirs, and they were quite good. Eric had a monster calzone filled with chicken and broccoli that was simply exquisite. The ricotta cheese, mozzarella and broccoli blended so well that I can still taste it now. I think that my pizza, however, was the best entrée of the day. It was a regular cheese pizza but it was topped with basil, and that made all the difference. The basil gave it a nice unique taste that must be eaten to be believed. I hope we have a pizza like that back home so that I can have it whenever I long for the East Coast. We were so stuffed that by the end, I didn’t want to eat ever again.

Afterwards we headed on over to Times Square to see what it is really like. It took us a little bit longer than we expected, mainly because we got on the wrong train the first time, but we eventually got on the right one and I was so excited again. Once again, camera in hand, I ascended the steps towards Times Square. Oh my goodness. It was all that we see on TV on more. It was grandiose, shops lining the street, and a particular busyness that everyone had places to be, people to see, and things to do. So many people in suits, it made the atmosphere feel so official. I loved it, and must go back someday.
Times Square
We then proceeded to Rockefeller Plaza. It was beautiful. There were fountains, statues, and flags flying representing many different countries. We decided to stop for a minute in front of a Chase building. Eric and I decided to investigate inside and it was just like any other tall office building. Except for the basement that houses the Canadian consulate, which I only looked a little bit at.
Rockefeller Center
We then proceeded to see some of the great LEGO creations that people have made in a LEGO store. We saw a LEGO Atlas holding up the Earth, and a LEGO recreation of Rockefeller plaza.
LEGO Atlas carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders

We then proceeded to check out the NBC shop, which had some comical attire that paid homage to such well-known shows as Seinfeld, Friends, and Parks and Recreation. I like each of those shows and loved the quotes that they put on the shirt.

From there, our final stop was the Nintendo store. Inside was a little bit of Nintendo history and a number of games for their Wii video game system and their new Wii U video game system. Inside one of the glass cases on the upper floor were a number of devices Nintendo made to use with their products to play shooting games and role playing games.
A Nintendo Power Glove
Then my comrades and I played different games on the new Wii U systems on the second floor, including racing, action-adventure, and LEGO video games. One LEGO video game, LEGO City, is where you take the role of a police officer, find bad guys, and put them in jail. It is kind of similar to Grand Theft Auto, without the vulgar language and graphic violence. You can still take cars from citizens and drive them around, and you can fist fight with the bad guys. Damian played a Rayman game that looked like a lot of fun. Josh played a Wario game where you participate in a series of mini games and try to get the highest score. Finally, I decided to try out the Sonic racing game, which is loads of fun as you race through land, see, and air to win.

We stayed there for a while, then headed on over to Ellen’s Starlight Dinner, where Damian had been waiting to go ever since we arrived in New York. As he describes it, it is where all the Broadway musical rejects go to get money and hope one day to star in a Broadway show. The food was good, but the singing was phenomenal. Each person had a range of singing talents, and put a lot of emotion into each song they sang. They even sang Disney songs, like one from The Little Mermaid. I liked it a lot and it is definitely a novelty. I also learned that twelve past employees have actually gone on to work on Broadway in such shows as Mama Mia and Cinderella.
Ellen’s Stardust Café
After the Stardust Dinner, we rushed over to Grand Central Station, said our goodbyes to New York, and boarded the train. Two hours later, we arrive in New Haven.

Today was a nice, relaxed day. We saw the sites, ate good food, and had a grand old time. Tomorrow, we will begin our first day of Yale classes. I just hope that I’m going to be good enough to compete with some of the world’s smartest individuals in a class about grand strategies. Good night.

The Day I Almost Changed My Opinion About Big Cities... Almost

We spent our last day before class in New York City. NYC is an almost two hour train ride from New Haven, so, in order to be able to spend a good amount of time there, we took an 8:15 train. I did not sleep well last night, probably because of jet lag (I feel like the more rested I get the more I am getting affected by it), 

and I did not feel well when I first woke up. After a quick stop at Starbucks we headed right to the train station. I spent approximately the first half of the ride reviewing the reading, but somewhere along the way I fell asleep and power napped until we arrived. I am glad that I did, because I felt much better afterwards.
Grand Central Station

We then took the subway as close to NYU as we could get. As someone from the suburbs, where we only have buses and single track trains as transportation, I find the subway system in New York to be very confusing. I think we all did actually. Despite that we managed to make it all around the city with few problems. Our original plan was to take the college tour at 11 AM, but we were not able to since the tour was part of an information session and tour package that started at 10 AM. NYU offers a pamphlet that shows the path the tour takes and describes what you are seeing along the path, so we did a self-guided tour. The campus was interesting in that it was impossible to tell where it ended and the city began. It was fully integrated. For someone who likes big cities it seemed to be an excellent school. Unfortunately I am not one of those people, so while it was fun to see the campus and compare it to other schools, I knew before visiting that I would not want to go there. Something unexpected did happen however. Along the tour path there was a park with tables set up for chess. A man saw I was interested and invited me to play with him. I gladly accepted. We played a long close game, but in the end I misplayed, and the second I did we both knew that I had lost. The man was very friendly and polite and even gave me some chess tips after the game.

In the heat of battle
By the time we finished the tour we were all quite hungry and headed over to Times Square to find a place to get lunch. We decided on pizza and found a restaurant called John's Pizzeria. We walked through Times Square on the way, which is very nice to see, but VERY crowded. 

At the restaurant the food was excellent, but the service was very slow. I had a calzone with chicken and broccoli, which I really enjoyed and do not get to have often. 

After lunch we explored Rockefeller Square. It was nice but there was not much to talk about for me. 

After that we had dinner at a place that Damian’s friend told him about called Ellen’s Stardust Diner. It is a restaurant where people who want to perform on Broadway work as waiters and give live performances while serving you food. The food itself was fine (I had chicken, French fries, and onion rings), but the environment and service was fantastic. Our waiter was friendly and the singing was actually very good. It was not a good place to go if you want to socialize while eating however.

New York Pizza and Calzone
In general I had a very good time in New York; for the first part of the day I was even reconsidering my opinion on large cities, but throughout the day I was reminded of why I felt that way. The first problem is the smell. The scent of human waste, sweat, and cigarettes is everywhere. The second is the crowds. People are constantly jostling you as you walk down the street, and keeping track of your group is next to impossible unless you stand right next to each other. The last problem is one that I am thinking ahead about, which is the price of living relative to the size of the housing. I had the exact same experience as last year when I visited New York with the Cornell cohort. A man walked up to me and handed me his CD telling me how he was a young artist trying to make it to the top. Tracey told him we had a train to catch and as soon as he learned I was not going to give him any money he called us racist, snatched the CD away, and started swearing.  I have never had an experience like that anywhere except populated cities, and it is one I would very much like to avoid.

Today was the last day before we start our program at Yale. That means that this is my last blog until the program ends. Tomorrow we check in at Yale in the late morning or early afternoon, get supplies, and at four we have orientation and should lose all free time and contact with the outside world (I am exaggerating). I am very excited for the program, although still not quite sure what to expect. Wish us luck! You will hear about our time at Yale in two weeks.