Saturday, August 17, 2013

It's Finally Over

The best two weeks of my 17 year old life are over. I can't believe it. We had class on our last day, but after that it was "Fun Night." Everyone passed their room checks and we got to do whatever we pleased. There was a lot of singing, dancing, and gaming. I went to the karaoke station and sang along with my fellow Young Global Scholars. It was a blast. I switched off between the karaoke and the game room. These were our last hours together, we were supposed to be going a bit wild.

A few hours before that, we had a graduation ceremony. I heard that last year, the program had many different types of awards. This year they had one. The Director's Award, and it was given to quite a few students, but unfortunately my cohort and I were not one of them. I'm sure we feel extremely accomplished. After all, we toughed through late nights, long lectures, Marshall briefs, and the legendary murder board. During the ceremony I knew that if I could get through these two weeks, then I could get through anything. We took a large group photo of all the scholars and I took a whole bunch with my friends. 
My roommates and I.
My Marshall brief group and I. Our policy leader is on the left.
After our fun night, my roommates and I stayed up and talked for a while, then we went to bed. I woke up at around 8:00 AM. I wandered around, spoke a few words, and said my goodbyes. There was a lot of hugging and waving. I spent 12 hours every day with these people for two weeks. I may not have met all of them, but we all created a unique group environment that would have felt drastically different if one of us went missing. We were like family. It's going to be hard to adjust to my normal life.

Josh and I, along with a few friends, headed out to Starbucks one last time. We ran into Tracey and she told us when to meet and all the logistics. After returning, we all put our stuff into Josh's room. He was the only one who had a single room on the first floor. The four of us headed out with Tracey to go souvenir shopping. I chose a white hoodie, that the ILC would pay for, and I bought my cousin a gray one. Then the four of us headed back to Johnathan Edwards college, where we spent our two weeks, to check out. We said our very last goodbyes and headed out. I never shed a tear while saying my farewells, but I will miss them all tremendously.

The four of us looked around trying to find a restaurant, but they were all closed except for a grill near the Omni Hotel. So we ate a meal there. I ordered the calamari and the chicken pasta. I didn't expect my meal to be so big. Over lunch, we talked about our experience at Yale. We spoke about our personal experiences, adventures, feelings, likes, dislikes, and opinions of the program. They were generally positive with the occasional negative comment, but no summer program is perfect.

After lunch, we took our train back to Providence, Rhode Island. I fell asleep on the ride and when I woke up, we were near the station. We took our bags, walked out, and went to our hotel. I roomed with Josh. We found a very nice restaurant by the mall. The food was delicious! Josh, Eric, and I ordered the lobster and filet, Liam ordered the Kona steak, and Tracey ordered mashed potatoes. For appetizers we had the crab cakes and the shrimp. Everything was wonderful! The steak was very soft and the lobster was delicious. The sauce that it was served with was very rich. The crab cakes were good, but not exceptional enough to remember, as was the shrimp. Liam told the waiters that we had just finished a program at Yale and the one of the waiters had a dessert for us. It was a chocolate cake and a creme brulee. After dinner, the five of us went to watch a movie. We decided on the new Percy Jackson movie. I never read the books, so I thought it was okay, but Josh, Liam, and Eric were not satisfied. I have feeling  that they watched the movie so that they can critique it. 
The crab cakes.
The shrimp.
The best steak I've had during my time at the East Coast.
Our desert that the waiter presented to our surprise.
We walked back to our hotel and headed to our rooms. Josh and I stayed up until 2:00 AM making a video for his friends. This was the day that I can finally sleep in! I was able to sleep until 11:00 AM and then we all met at 12:30 PM to leave for the airport. After two long weeks I get to go back to my hectic family and crazy school life. My time on the East Coast has been great.

A Brief Update

My emotions as I left the Yale campus for the last time were mixed. On one hand I was excited to go home and see all my family and friends, but on the other I was leaving the group of “Young Scholars” who I had become so close with over the last two weeks. I will go in to more detail in my reflective blog, but how sad I felt was definitely a shock.

After leaving Yale we dropped our bags off at Tracey’s hotel and went out to lunch right across the street. The place we ate at was tasty, but the portions were HUGE. They had single and half options, although I think they realistically should have been named single and double. I had some of the calamari appetizer and half of my enormous “single portion” of chicken parmesan. We then collected our bags and took a taxi to the train station.

While waiting for the train my exhaustion hit me and I fell asleep at the station, when we actually boarded the train however I felt completely awake and could not sleep (not for lack of trying however). I will count myself as fortunate that I could not though; I spent the ride to Providence watching the beautiful East Coast countryside go by. It was truly a spectacular sight.

We arrived in Providence and took a taxi to the hotel. After dropping our bags off and checking out the “awesome” view from our rooms, we went out to dinner. We ate our final dinner with the ILC at a restaurant called the Capital Grille. It was amazing, definitely one of the best meals I have had in my life. We had crab and lobster cakes and a shrimp dish as our appetizer, which I followed up with steak and lobster tail for desert. It was masterfully done. The steak was tender and juicy and the lobster was infused with a buttery taste. Finally our waiter brought us a crème buille and chocolate cake dish for dessert, free of charge I hope (since we did not order it). It was an amazing meal, which we followed with an unexceptional movie.

We went to the local cinema to see Percy Jackson: The Sea of Monsters. The people who made the movie really messed dup. I read all the books of the series and felt similarly about the first one. Many things were wrong, down to even the feel of it. The books are comedic, with a series undertone that develops a little more as the series goes on and the world comes in to danger. The movies take themselves too seriously, that is without even mentioning the discrepancies in plot. I find that most movies based off books end up this way, so I try to watch them as if they are completely separate from the books. Even so I was not that impressed. One good thing I could say however was that the animation and effects were very cool. I am amazed how realistic CGI has become.

We returned to the hotel after the movie where I expected to get some work done on this blog. Plans change however. I walked in the door, made a bee line to bed, and immediately fell asleep in all of my clothes. I woke up about twelve hours later at eleven thirty in the morning, feeling refreshed, just in time to get ready to leave for lunch. We had lunch at a restaurant called Local 121, known for serving only local foods. I had half of a prime rib sandwich and gave the other half to Liam, not because it was not good, but because I was not hungry for some reason.

We finished lunch, grabbed our things, and took a shuttle to the airport. We all thought we would be early and waiting for a while, but there were many complications in security. First off the family in front of us each had a huge (definitely way oversized for carry on) bag which each had some sort of prohibited liquid in them. That took a while to sort out. Then when we went through Damian had forgotten to empty his Yale water bottle and Tracy had an unopened coffee beverage in her bag. She also had to be patted down. That delayed us another five minutes. We ended up being only half on our early, which was perfect. Just enough time to get snacks and drink for the plane.

We were among the first to board the plane and I managed to get a seat in the very front, which, as a tall person, makes a huge difference. I room to fully extent my legs and was quite content for the entire plane ride. I did not sleep at all but instead spent the entire time working on my post-departure ILC responsibilities. That included this blog, my reflective blog, and my post-mortem questionnaire. All in all it was a lot of work, that I still had not completed after a seven hour flight. I think this was mostly because it was a little too early to write a reflective blog. To truly reflect I need time to process the last few weeks, and actually reflect, not just recall.

My mom picked me up from the airport and let me drive home, which was exciting as I had never driven from SFO before. I got home and after spending some time with my family updated and posted this blog then went to sleep.

Disclaimer: This blog is only about the day and half after Yale that we spent on the East Coast. All details about Yale will be covered in my final, reflective blog. Coming soon…