Sunday, August 3, 2014

Deep Reflections

Today is the second day of August and I cannot believe it. I woke up to a rainy morning in a comfortable bed at Hotel Beacon in New York City. As soon I heard my phone alarm, I got up fast and surprisingly had more than usual energy on a Saturday morning. It is a special day for us Women and Leadership cohorts, as we have reserved our New York University (NYU) tour, 9/11 Memorial and Museum and Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises on 42nd Street near Times Square. We all met in Hotel Beacon's Lobby, then walked to New York City subway.
We got off the subway and up the stairs outside to to breathe cooler air, as the subway tunnels were increasingly warm. Jenny led us to a recommended local bakery, Patisserie Claude which was about to close when the baker/owner was going to retire, but a dedicated regular customer learned and began to help with running the bakery. Jenny purchased us our breakfast which I had my first delectable chocolate eclair. After we had our pastries, we walked to search for a highly recommended juicing place, but sadly it was not open. Instead, we all went to a coffee shop close by NYU for some caffeine.
Then, we walked to NYU for a tour. Before our tour began, the Assistant Director of Admissions, spoke about his experiences as a NYU undergraduate, majoring in Medieval History with traveling abroad. He told us many people wondered why he studied this major, as the presumption you cannot find many jobs. It matters not what you major in, but as a whole well-rounded person and the knowledge and experiences shown in you. He presented to us a video with NYU undergraduates interviewed and showing us how many opportunities NYU has to offer potential students and being able to balance it out. One NYU undergraduate student who had lived in Oakland, California, spoke on creating those connections in and outside of the classroom is important to getting the most out of learning. New York University is open to the city, by not having an enclosed campus. This will greatly immerse the student into New York transportation determining the time needed to get to class and know how to get around in New York. Although it is an open campus, safe security procedures in accessing entrance in NYU buildings, such as dorms are a priority. You cannot get through without your I.D. card, cameras, and security approval of your I.D. What is great about NYU, is that housing is guaranteed all four years. Also plenty of faculty and your professors will live nearby, so they will know where that loudness is coming from in the middle of night. The meal plan has access to three dining halls, six cafes, and four food courts located throughout NYU. I learned NYU has two other International universities, with one located in Abu Dhabi and the newest location opened today in Shanghai. I learned when applying to NYU, there will be check-boxes for if you get accepted to either the NYU campus in  New York, Abu Dhabi or Shanghai. He had told us to make the best of our time, be direct and sure of the NYU campus you want to study and make growth for the next four years your life. Also, he informed us of the Gallatin School, where students can research, study, and propose a new major not offered at NYU. This shows, that NYU encourages individualized growth, fosters student creativity in becoming well-educated and informed people. NYU is the top number one of American universities to send their students to study abroad in eleven countries. I am very open to studying abroad in college, since many people has said it changes their life perspectives, where one can learn and enjoy the different setting of cultures and societies. Our tour guide today will be a rising Junior at NYU, he guided us through New York City streets to visit the main library of NYU, with intricate interior gold colored designs on the walls. Elmer Holmes Bobst Library has many floors with different rules, such as level of noise, students speaking levels and strict studying for Finals Week. Bobst library has a vast collections of research textbooks, and open collaboration with other libraries. Then, he walked us over to Washington Square Park, to end our tour in the middle of daily activity and student life of Greenwich Village.

After our guided tour, we voted to walk through the local farmers market then walk over to the famous Joe's Pizza. At the farmers market, we ventured through and were told to meet back at Fantasy Fruit Stand at 11:50 AM. In the end I purchased a two large Cherry Almond and Blackberry Sage Goatboy Soapbars, handmade with Goat's Milk, Shea Butter Soap, with Andrew's Local Honey as souvenirs. Joe's Pizza is famous in New York City as being in the movie SpiderMan with having celebrity customers some were Lenny Kravitz and Leonardo Dicaprio in a photo at the pizza restaurant. 

We walked together to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, past crowded streets and a few thousand people. There was a long stretching line of waiting people for admission. Jenny, our chaperon smoothly got us through in a different empty lane, probably for reserved admission tickets. After quick security checkpoint, downstairs we went to find our tour. We were each given a set of headphones and a small radio to hear our tour guide's voice. There a lot of artifacts that the museum built around it, such as the only column that was stood in place with the concrete wall dam that continues to hold today. These are symbols to us that we stand strong together and we accept to grow around it. The quote by Virgil, " No Day Shall Erase You From The Memory Of Time", was set on a background of various shades of blue painted squares the artist wanted to represent as the sky. Behind the quote wall, are the remains of the 40% of the 9/11 victims, who until this day not been identified or recognized by someone. Actually having the opportunity to visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum was so heart wrenching. Listening to their voices and stories made it  a feel like I was there and a real interaction. All the people in the museum were connected, our faces were solemn and we paid our respects. It is important to critically understand our history. While walking through actual breakdown of 9/11, reading about the heroes, victims, and survivors watching news footage, and seeing photos of people in need of medical attention, many of us in the room felt this emotional pain and empathy. This leads to what can we do today for people who are going through country destruction?

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