I haven’t had access to the internet for the past few days, so I’ve had to wait until now to write about Harvard and Columbia.
We drove to Boston on Wednesday night and spent the evening visiting Paul Revere’s home and eating amazing food at The Daily Catch. It was phenomenal. The following morning we woke up and headed straight to Harvard’s campus. Our tour wasn’t until 2, so it was the perfect time for us to walk around on our own. I LOVED Cambridge and Harvard’s campus. It was beautiful and reminded me of Oxford in many ways. There were cute stores, restaurants, and bars downtown and the Harvard Yard (quad) was lovely. The info session was great—I would have full access to Harvard University and just phenomenal study opportunities. This is the only school that requires me to send in GRE scores, which is less than fun, but I had been planning on taking it anyway so I’m not going to fuss too much.
After our tour we hopped in the car and drove to NYC. We stayed at the Marriott on Times Square and after meeting up with one of our closest friends we went to a fun Irish pub and headed back to the hotel at about midnight. The next morning my mom and I got up and saw John Mayer playing at The Today Show. He was great and just the whole energy of the crowd was awesome. We then walked through Central Park and caught a cab to Union Theological Seminary, which is Columbia’s seminary. The building was gorgeous an has basically its own blocks in NY. I would live on campus and have full access to Columbia’s resources and programs. I think I would love living in NYC as long as I was living near the campus. There would be wonderful study opportunities and it would get me a great degree.
We shopped that day and saw Chicago that night. The following day we went to Battery Park, Little Italy, China Town, and to see Mamma Mia! which was great! We drove from NYC to Bloomington in 14 hours yesterday and I am basically beat now. It was a great trip and I’ve gotten a lot of discernment now!
Okay, so before I write about Yale I need to finish up the Princeton section. I had my official Princeton visit yesterday, but that was only after my first grad school admissions interview. I was a bit nervous for the interview, but really I am good in those situations. I seem to somehow come alive when being forced to talk =) Who woulda thought?! haha I made sure to disperse my “big cards” throughout the interview, to relate to my interviewer, and basically make myself look golden to them. After the interview I had an info session and learned that the degree I would get a Princeton is a bit different than the ones offered at the other schools I am considering, and not in a good way. I took a tour after the info session and got to see the theological campus. By the end of the tour I realized that Princeton is just not the place for me, and I thank God for giving me that clarity.
We then drove up to New Haven, CT to visit Yale. We got to the hotel and then decided to go check out Yale. The Garmin yet again failed us and took us into the west side of town—yikes. We had our doors locked the entire time. And this is coming from Melissa who’s loved living in a 3rd world country, not Melissa who grew up in a country club. From the former perspective, I still didn’t feel safe in that part of town. We finally found the Divinity School and it was beautiful. We went to dinner near our hotel the crashed for the night.
Our visit at Yale was at 10:30 in the morning. We explored campus for the morning, visiting Sterling Memorial Library and other parts of the main campus. It was beautiful =) The Director of Admissions had an info session with my mom and I and another random asian prospective who was probably a 2 on the English proficiency scale. In other words, he had such little command over language that he didn’t understand typical social cues. It was awkward.
The tour itself went very well. The Director gave the tour and I think I made a great impression. I (of course) asked a lot of questions and learned a lot. Yale looks wonderful right now. I am for sure applying and can’t wait to see what happens with it!
Today we drove up to Boston, MA to visit Harvard. We haven’t seen the campus yet, but that will happen tomorrow. We toured around Boston this afternoon and evening and it was great. Tomorrow I will have an info session and tour at Harvard before driving down to NYC until Sunday =) I’ll keep you updated!
This is the first of a series of posts about grad schools that I am visiting this week. My mom and I drove from Bloomington, IL to Princeton, NJ yesterday. It was an exhausting trip, but it ended with PF Chang’s, so really there’s no way to complain. Driving in NJ is not optimal, as there are essentially no left turns anywhere and massive walls between the lanes so it is impossible to U turn. The landscape is beautiful— trees everywhere, much more green than I imagined. The roads are confusing, but there are a lot of fun restaurants and stuff off of basically every one of them.
This morning we woke up to lots and lots of rain. Luckily, by the time we were done with breakfast it had abated and sunshine was beginning to peek through the clouds. We drove to campus, getting lost by our Garmin which seems to be more directionally challenged than I am at times. The parking lot is at the base of the campus, so a shuttle drove us up to the center quad. I met a nice asian kid and his family who were visiting for his undergraduate program.
The buildings on the main campus were beautiful. We came across the chapel, which reminded me of many of the abbeys and cathedrals in England and thus made me cry. Luckily we were in a church, where that is typically acceptable. The library is also beautiful and I may or may not have squealed when I saw it. I had a campus map that showed me where we will be going tomorrow for our visit, but for some reason we couldn’t find those buildings. In fact, after locating a campus map I realized that the theological seminary has its own block next to campus. We began to trek over there, admiring the large academic buildings, dormitories, archways, and statues. Thus far I was impressed—it would hold ground next to (one of the colleges) at Oxford.
We crossed University Drive to get to the theological seminary, and my expectations were met. That isn’t exactly a good thing—not terrible, just mediocre. There were two buildings with pseudo-historical architecture, and a few others that looked nice despite their attempts at meshing 5 different architectural eras. The lawns were not well kept and there were very few people walking around, in comparison to the main campus which was buzzing with landscapers and visitors. We quickly located each building that we will need for tomorrow and then took off back to the main campus.
It really did have beautiful scenery and I’m guessing a great college scene as well. There were shops and restaurants and bars that all looked pretty fun. Location-wise the school is great. It is an hour from Philly, 2 hours from NYC, and 45 minutes from the beach. Which is where we headed next.
About an hour drive took us to 2nd Avenue Beach. We got lunch at one of those mildly shady stands where you pray that it’s the person before or after you that gets their food dropped on the ground because you know they’re going to serve it anyway. We walked out to the beach where there were people swimming, laying out, eating, surfing, and everyone seemed to be having a good time. A guy named Rick came and talked to us- he’s from Jersey and told me not to go to Princeton. Interesting. He’s a Columbia grad but said that of my list of choices, Duke or Yale should be my top two. At this point I concur.
We’re going to an Italian restaurant called Leonardo’s tonight. The adorable waitress at PF Chang’s recommended it and gave us directions and everything. Tomorrow we’ll do our official visit and then be off to New Haven, CT to visit Yale. God is already beginning to clarify His will in this crazy search for grad school.
After tonight, it seems only appropriate to create a list of Dating Do’s and Don’t’s that evidently this generation of men has not caught on to yet. This will probably be a theme of future blogs as well, so tonight I am going to focus on the simple “dinner and ice cream” date. Here’s the skinny:
DO: Get there before her if you’re meeting somewhere; Hold the door, any door; Think of things to talk about beforehand; Take the initiative to choose a table, if appropriate; Be gracious and kind to the waiter; Ask what she would prefer, for anything; Pay for both of you; Find common ground; Keep stories comfortable; Be honest about who you are; Walk her to her car; Read her body language to see if you should kiss her; Be a gentleman.
DON’T: Be late if you’re picking her up; Insult her friends, job, education, etc…; Curse on the first date, especially the f*bomb; Assume you know everything about her; Talk about your ex on the first date; Talk about the calories in what you or she are ordering; Text; Order for her; Fidget distractedly; Rely on her for all conversation topics; Make a big deal about paying for both of you; Kiss her if she hasn’t let you hold her hand.
Let’s be honest. If you really care about the girl, this shouldn’t be a problem. It’s not out of the ordinary, it is actually a joy to take care of her and comes rather effortlessly if you are really into her. So at the root of all of this, the lesson is that dating shouldn’t be hard. If this is just the beginning, it should be joyful and fun and careless. If it is anything but that, move on. There is someone else that will give dating a greater purpose and make it entirely worth it. Just be patient.