Sunday, August 3, 2014

Back to Where it All Began

It's officially our last day in New York, and we got up bright and early to begin our precious time in the city that never sleeps. We met down at the lobby at 8:30 AM. Thao and I just made it down almost on time, at 8:34 with our carry on luggages ready to go. Our plan for the day was to meet up with Beulah, a current student at Columbia and a former ILC alumni who will later give us a personal tour of Columbia University. But first, we must no skip the most important meal of the day; breakfast. We met up with Beulah at a diner called Deluxe, just a couple of blocks away from Hotel Beacon. I think that we could have walked it, but due to time constraints, we took the taxi instead. Beulah arrived shortly right after.

Since Cynthia and I concluded that we have smaller stomachs compared to the rest of the cohort, we decided to share our order. It may have been breakfast, but we decided to order a Deluxe hamburger instead which in my opinion was delicious! Seriously, the meat was just so tender and juicy which made everything so much better. Aside from that, it came with french fries that were almost perfect! I have never loved potatoes more than ever after experiencing these fries. It was a pretty big hamburger and I was satisfied with even just a half of a burger. This meal really helped power me through the tour of Columbia.

Columbia is such a magnificent place with plenty of history within the campus. I was really awed by its buildings and the amount of space that it had. Beulah explained each building and their purpose in the campus. She also stated that every student had to take a specific curriculum such as a math or science class. It's much different from Brown which is open curriculum, something I personally like. But Beulah mentioned that it was a pretty cool thing because she was able to hang out and communicate with the people about the curriculum since everyone had to take the same ones. It was interesting when we passed by St. Paul's Chapel on campus, Beulah mentioned that there is a 4 year wait list just to get married in there, which I thought was pretty funny. The dorms were pretty average, from the looks of the outside it seems a bit better than Brown since it had air conditioning. There were two dining halls located within the campus, Ferris and John Jay. They both contained good food and Beulah preferred going to both of them instead of buying off campus especially with the New York weather. One thing that I did like about Columbia are their athletics. She mentioned that it's not a huge sports school but there are many intramural sports such as frisbee or co-ed basketball (yay). A fun event was basketball mania, where Columbia's men and women basketball teams coordinate a dance move to perform during a game. There are also buses, shuttles, and of course the subway to take students to athletic games. Columbia is a wonderful school, and I truly love the design and history around it. I thank Beulah a lot for taking her time off and giving us a personal tour. 
Columbia University

Unfortunately our time in New York has come to an abrupt stop, with our train scheduled to depart at 1:40
Last photo in NY, Penn Station
PM. The train ride went by pretty fast. mainly because I slept through almost half of the train ride. But once we arrived at Providence, I was so relieved. I really did miss Providence, not because Brown was just up the hill, but because it was such a calmer place compared to New York, which I really like. We checked in at Providence hotel at around 5:30. Thao and I were roommates again and we went to Jenny's room to get our check in luggages. We thought that the hotel was weird, we literally got lost trying to get to the sixth floor to Jenny's room because we got mixed up with the elevators and stairs. Fortunately, one of the housekeepers pointed us to the correct direction and in return, Thao and I pushed her cleaning cart for her (we're such good people). 

We prepared for our fancy dinner at The Capital Grille, which was a 3 minute walk from Providence Hotel. I was pretty excited because we would get to see Dean Almandrez and Kisa Takasue one final time before we go home. It was such a fantastic dinner and I really learned a lot. One of the Brown students who sat next to me was Krystal, a rising senior who majors in Biology. We talked about how she ended up deciding on her major and different programs that Brown offered for those interested in medicine. It was a really great conversation and it felt like fate bought us to sit next to each other because we had things in common. I was glad to meet a biology  major student, since I wanted to get into the medicine field. I also talked to her about the Women and Leadership course, the activities that we did and of course our amazing instructor, Dean Almandrez. Krystal never had a class with her but she always heard great things about Dean Almandrez (hope you're reading this Dean Almandrez), which doesn't surprise me at all. I also met Ralph and Camilla, who were also biology major. It was funny, since the section that I sat in were actually all biology/science majors which is why I dubbed it the science department. Overall, it was a very productive night with amazing food. I'm happy to be able to talk to Krystal and she was a great listener as well. She also had very interesting stories about her classes and her experiences in extra curricular activities. After talking to her tonight, it made me even more motivated to attend college. When dinner ended, we took a group photo with Dean Almandrez and Kisa Takasue and said our final goodbyes. I'm really going to miss these two wonderful ladies, since they really made my time at Brown fun and productive. Hopefully I will be able to see them again once more. 

From New York back to Providence in just one day,  I'd say that it was great. I just wished that there were more hours in a day though, I feel that 24 hours aren't enough. 

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