Monday, June 18, 2012

From Sea to Shining Sea

What can I say, it's only been the first day but it's been quite an adventure. I have not been able to sleep the past two day due to my overwhelming excitement for this trip because I knew that in just a few days, I would have the opportunity to study one of my favorite subjects at the prestigious Columbia University. Every time I would shut my eyes, my imagination began to soar and virtually dream of what this trip would be like. All along I've been constantly excited for my opportunity to take advantage of what Columbia had to offer, but little did I know that New York itself has a lot to offer as well. I suppose out of all of the Ivy League Connection programs, we might have a little bit of an advantage by having the opportunity to live in New York itself. Why? Well simply because it offers us a completely different perspective of life in a totally different environment that rarely any student our age has encountered. It's one thing visiting a city like this with your family, but it's another thing being independent and developing a whole new sense of responsibility that is essential for success in the "college world." Everything here is so fast-paced that whether you realize it or not, every day becomes so much of an adventure that your experiences allow you to learn while also exposing you to crucial aspects of every day life. I realize now that the reason why many Ivy League Connection students are successful in the future may also have to do with the fact that they are a lot more prepared than many of their peers and they have already developed the techniques and the maturity required for any college student. Thus, in short, today has became just an example for me as to how are students are now one step ahead of their fellow peers.

Now, aside from what I have learned today, allow me to share with you the details of our trip. We arrived this chilly morning at 3:45 AM at El Cerrito High School ready and packed for our trip. Don Gosney greeted each and every one of us, weighed our luggage individually to make sure it was all under 50 pounds, and lastly, verified that we had all remembered to bring our Identification cards and insurance cards. We all expected these things before we arrived, however, we did not know that our "shuttle" to the airport was actually going to be a stretch limousine! I was amazed at the quality of care and respect the Ivy League Connection offers it's students. We were all so awed that we we couldn't find enough words to say.

During the ride, a lot of us were quiet but held a very delighted smile that in reality, said a lot more about how we felt than the words that we tried to use to express ourselves. Later, while passing through the security line we saw the Wayan brothers from the movie "White Chicks." I didn't notice them to be honest until Adrianne pointed them out to us. We even ended up ordering food after at the same restaurant! Just mentioning these few aspects of our trip can show that we had a great morning to start off our trip!
The plane ride itself was nice as well, I like Virgin airlines but I've never liked domestic fights. During international flights, flight attendants offer you food, pillows, drinks, snacks, headphones, and all things of the sort. However, during domestic, they rarely give you anything at all, they even make you pay for headphones! That's aside from the point, though. The plane ride as a whole and the comfort of the seats were superb. After arriving JFK airport in New York, the transition from the breezing bay area whether to the warm New York whether welcomed our cohort. Mrs.L had arranged a driver to take us to our hotel and the first thing that I noticed was his distinct accent. I loved it! Although it was obviously English, it sounded so foreign! I later noticed the accent with a few different individuals as well; its really different from anything I've ever heard of before.

Upon arrival to the hotel, we went straight to our rooms and were given each an hour to get ready for our dinner at Keen's Steakhouse. The hotel looked magnificent and I was delighted to room with my good friend Aurea Ribroso. We got ready pretty quickly and headed down stairs to greet our cohort. Now this is where our adventures in New York actually began. We had the opportunity to walk the streets, rest in the middle of the Broadway Street, rush in and out of the metro, and actually blend in with the diverse community. Interestingly, the first restaurant I ever ate in in New York was also one of the first restaurants in the nation. Keen's Steakhouse was absolutely beautiful. The ceiling was arranged neatly with thousands of pipes, the smooth, dark wooden walls were uniquely decorated with anique artifacts, and each room was surprisingly filled with different portraits Abraham Lincoln; coincindentally my favorite president. His tactic during the civil war was one with no compromise, but he managed to restore the unity of our nation and ensure it's fate to this day. Regardless of my opinion, though, I overheard a student ask the waiter why in particular pictures of Abraham Lincoln filled each and every room. The waiter kindly replied,"The creator of this restaurant was particularly fascinated with Lincoln and admired him as an individual, he collected all the things you see here today on the walls of this restaurant." Now, chewing on my tasty T-bone steak, I smiled with delight knowing that the owner of the restaurant had the same view point as I.

Later, the Creme Brulee was just as sweet as how my day was today with my amazing cohort, and my wonderful chaperone Mrs.Lilhanand.

1 comment:

  1. Morvarid,

    I hate to burst your bubble but we didn’t ask fir the stretch limo. We asked for a flatbed truck and they screwed up and sent the limo. I guess it worked out for you, though.