Sunday, August 3, 2014

Cassandra, The Natural~

Today is the day in that we go to Columbia University! I was ecstatic to go because this was the university that I was looking forward to during my time in NY. Why? Well, a previous student went there and expressed how much she loved Columbia. According to one of my mom's good friends, Columbia has a pretty good music department; I got too excited. We got a private tour today by the one and only Beulah Sims-Agbabiaka, who we've met during our first dinner. She participated in the Ivy League Connection as well, but since I was unable to sit next to her during our first dinner I didn't get to know her better. Before our campus tour began, all eleven of us went to get breakfast. We ate at the Dealuxe. It was good food but I was not able to take a picture of it since I was starving. I ordered a burger, I know, pretty weird for breakfast. I just wanted something that would fill me up, and it did. The burger had a side of fries that went with it, and I enjoyed it all with water. Before our food came out, I got a taste of the water. A waiter was holding a tray of water, and somehow slipped and spilled it on my back. I know it sounds really bad, but I'm taking this to a positive end because it felt very refreshing. I'm glad that Izabel gave me her cardigan to wear, and Yeonsoo helped my dry off in the bathroom. It was very funny, and I'm grateful for my friends for being there for me. Cynthia, Magaly, and Maria all told me that I was calm when it happened. I made a face when the water spilled, just out of shock. The waiter did apologize from time to time, and I was completely fine with it. There are just moments when people make mistakes here and there, and I don't have to be the one to be fussing about the situation. There was some understanding between the waiter and I, and I hope he doesn't feel bad about it. It was a way for me to wake up.

Dodge Building
Columbia's Mascot
After eating our breakfast, we all went with Beulah to Columbia. It was a good two blocks to walk, which I had no trouble doing. Walking on the campus was magical. Columbia does have a really nice campus, and great architecture. We walked for about a good ten minutes, but the tour was a good thirty minutes. My favorite part of the tour was learning about their music department. I took a lot of notes when Beulah began to talk about it. Columbia's art is centered around Dodge. Since Beulah studies Jazz History, she frequently stops by the Dodge building. Beulah talked to us about how she got to see many Jazz musicians, and the New York Philharmonic. My heart just caved in because I have also been wanting to see a philharmonic. I believe New York Philharmonic played the soundtrack from "Game of Thrones," which is a fantastic. I love jazz, and thanks to Beulah, I might consider taking a class about jazz. Another fact that got me hooked onto Columbia was how strong their conducting program is. I was super happy to hear that, but I wish I was able to see a performance done by their Music Department. Unfortunately the libraries were closed today, how sad. I really wanted to see Dodge's Music Library. I wanted to get a glimpse of the greatness of a music library. This tour was by far the best, and I'm hoping that all the college tours just keep getting better and better. After the tour today, I had a hard time thinking which Ivy League School is the right one for me. At Brown University, they do not require students to take the general courses. This allows students to do what they want to do... freedom. At Columbia, they have so many opportunities to offer, and that's really good. I don't know which school is the right one for me, but I do have a few choices on my list now.

The tour ended, and then we all were able to hurry back to our hotel to gather our luggage. Once we got back to Hotel Beacon, we got our suitcases and left for Pennsylvania Station. I believe that it was a 5-10 minute ride. We were the first ones to get there, and waited for everyone to arrive. Our train ride departed at 1:40 PM, so we had a good amount of time to sit down and wait.

~The Sexiest Trait about a Woman is to be
On the train ride to Providence, I met Cassandra. She is a proud grandmother of nine, and is the youngest of the thirteen siblings, including her. She is 59 years old, but I believe that she is around her  forties. Cassandra has a fiancee, who is a motivational speaker. She was able to show me a picture of her "chocolate drop," which is what she calls him. He calls her his sexy. I found it very cute and heartwarming when I heard that. My instant thought when I heard her love story was how love can still happen anytime, anywhere. Cassandra was very motivating and inspiring, and I was touched by everything she said. She had amazing advice, and besides having to write full sentences, I will summarize her advice. She told me that it's a good thing to have people care about you, and vice versa. Cassandra also said it's important to care about oneself.  She also said to let go of resentment, because it's bad for the soul. It only holds you back. Resentment keeps the mind sick, and makes you want to punish yourself. It wastes a lot of valuable time, and it deceives... In her early years, Cassandra believed that money was everything. Her explanation was that she observed how life's necessities was bought by money. The more money one had, the better quality the item can be. Being wealthy can make one go far, but it's not everything. Money doesn't make one happy, it's the inside that makes one happy. However, people can fall in love with money, since it buys the goods for our lives. Cassandra also said that do whatever makes you happy, do what you do. Another advice is to do what comes from the heart, because it can reach to other people's hearts.

The New Jersey grandmother believed in a mighty force, God. He created animals before people. Cassandra remembers God's glory and thanks him for his mercy. Cassandra has experienced so much in her life span, and listening to her past was eyeopening. I was interested in her stories, and like what she said, it was touching. Her past has been pretty rough, but once she reconnected herself to God, everything was powerful. Cassandra has been blessed with many miracles, and one of them is her retrieval of sight. She has definitely been through a lot, and as much information as I received from her, I will not tell you everything. I want her to make a autobiography, like what her nieces and nephews have told her. I 110% agree with her nieces and nephews, and I will be waiting for the book to be written. To Cassandra, you are an inspiration. After finishing the W&L program at Brown University, I wanted you to be a guest speaker. You are powerful, and I thank you for being opened and telling me your story. Cassandra, you will see me later in life.

Coming back to Providence was exciting. It was definitely peaceful, and I loved it. Going to Hotel Providence was exciting, but it took us awhile to receive our room keys. Maria and I are rooming again because we have similar sleep cycles, which is important. Hotel Providence is very small, but very nice. They had complimentary drinks and cookies; that's so cool. Maria and I got to our room, and found it very spacious. The ceiling was so high up, and I'm mesmerized by the view. But enough about ceilings, the dinner at Capital Grille was...woah. There was a lot of food, and what I was looking forward to was meeting Dean Almandrez and Kisa Takesue. I gave them great hugs when I met them. At our table, I was able to sit next to Bianca and Lytisha who are both attending Brown. I forgot what major they were in, but it's because our conversation was so broad. We talked about road trips to the environment of Providence. We also talked about cars, and if it's a necessity for Brown University. Bianca was able to show me beautiful photos of Providence during the four seasons. Coming from California, I don't usually see all four seasons so seeing the pictures were amazing. Lytisha is from South Carolina, and Bianca is from San Jose, California. They talked to me about how diverse Brown is, and gave me positives about the campus. Now I'm more interested in Brown, but I'm still a bit stuck between Columbia and Brown.
Pan-Fried Calamari with Hot Cherry Peppers
Lobster & Crab Cake
Bone-In Kona Encrusted Dry-Aged Sirloin with Shallot Butter
The Capital Grille Dessert Platters
I'm Standing Next to Dean Almandrez! :D 
Tonight was a good night. I was able to meet Dean Almandrez and Kisa Takesue one last time, and I will miss them. I'm glad that I was able to do this program because if it was not for this program, I believe that Brown University would have never been on my list of colleges/universities. Today was great, and I hope I will be able to meet more amazing people like Cassandra. I wish the Humans of New York interviewed her. Cassandra also mentions how there is a spiritual force that can mend all brokenness, if we allow it. Life can be negative or positive, depending on how you take it. Live your life. You must realize that there is a balance, and you can't have one thing without the other. Her advice was deep, and as much as I heard them, the way she expressed them made it a different and unique.
"Live The Life You've IMAGINED"

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