Friday, June 22, 2012

Partly Cloudy

Today's tour was the most anticipated: Yale University. Despite our excitement, Lucas and I were about ten minutes late getting down to the lobby. We got very little sleep last night, and Lucas' alarm didn't go off. Eventually, the rest of the group became worried about us, and had Aurea call our phones. We had so little time to get ready, that I wasn't fully awake until we were already in the subway. On the ride to Penn Station, we realized that in our hurry, we had left behind our umbrellas. Despite the heat wave, today's forecast called for thunderstorms.

I fell asleep on the ride to Connecut. So did everyone else, apperently. We took a cab to the office of Admissions at Yale, where we picked up some reading material and sat down for what we thought was the info session. It turns out, we were just watching the student made film "That's Why I Chose Yale." It's entertaining and informative, but we had already seen it online.

After the video, we moved into a large auditorium for the info session. Most of what the speaker said, I had already learned from watching the video, reading their info booklet, researching online and attending the UPenn info session. Nevertheless, he got me excited about the tour.

When the session concluded, we met up with Yohanna and two of her friends, as well as Ms. Kaplan for lunch at a Cuban restaurant. I'd never had Cuban food before, but I quickly learned that it's excellent. I ordered the cubano, which is basically just a great deli style sandwich. We discussed Yale curriculum and social life, as well as possible majors and interest. Yohanna majors in E,P & E (Ethics, Politics and Economics). Yale developed this program based on the major, Philosophy, Politics and Economics, which is offered at schools like Oxford. This sounded interesting to me, so I asked her questions about it. What is a class on ethics like? How is it different from philosophy? How are the three disciplines intertwined into one major? etc. I might look into it further.

This is a cubana. It's reminiscent of a philly cheesesteak.

When it looked like everyone was done eating, we began the on campus tour, led by Yohanna's friend Lorenzo, who is, in fact, an official tour guide. Just as we began, we felt the first drops of rain. Knowing that it could switch from a light drizzle to downpoer in a matter of seconds, Lucas and I went to by umbrellas at a nearby store.

The tour was great. Lorenzo was very funny at times, but he never forgot to be informative. Yale's campus is amazing. Every building is a work of art. Vassar may have had a castle, but Yale was its own kingdom. Their main library is designed like a cathedral. Statues, bust and gargoyles watch you, everywhere. A gigantic Gothic style clock tower looms over the whole campus. It would be scary if it wasn't so beautiful.



On the train ride back, I added photos to the draft of my thoughts on UPenn blog. Wow, I just blogged about blogging.

These are photos from the ride back:

One of my favorites

Right when we got out of the subway a couple of blocks from the hotel, it started to drizzle again. Literally seconds after we entered the building, it turned into a full fledged storm that lasted about half an hour. I have never experienced weather like this before. Looking out of our half-open hotel room window, Lucas and I felt heat, saw sunlight and blue skies, watched rain fall and heard thunder, all at the same time.

The view from our window. It's raining, but you can't tell from the photo.

Instead of going to a formal sushi restaurant tonight, as we had previously planned, we decided to relax at the Stardust Diner. All the waiters and waitresses there are prospective Broadway performers. While not serving customers, they take turns giving live renditions of popular musical numbers. They sing and dance while walking past, and even standing on, tables. The atmosphere was great, and it was nice to not dress up for once. I like wearing suits, but it gets tiring.

This was called the "Walter Cronkite"
The best part of the diner was its location; it was just a few blocks from Times Square. Ms. L. and Ms. Kronenberg allowed us to go off and explore the stores around there for 30 minutes. Ms. L. assured us that we will come back there again, and that this was just to get a feel of what's there to explore. We spent most of our time in Toys R Us. I bought something called a Squirmle, which I can perform tricks with. It's hard to describe, but basically it's a little fuzzy worm that you can manipulate to crawl around you. We also met an up-and-coming rap artist who performed a quick free style piece for us. We were all impressed, so we each pitched in a couple of dollars to buy one of his CDs.

I had a great time today. Yale was amazing, and the time in the city was a blast. It was nice to have a more relaxed evening. Tomorrow, we tour the UN (and possibly NYU) and have dinner with Yale alumni.

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