Friday, June 22, 2012

We Have Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself

Another hot day in the Big Apple. Today for the Columbia cohort for the 2012 summer we started our day at 7:30 AM to Penn Station. From there we took the Amtrak to Poughkeepsie, New York to visit Vassar College. Along the ride, we were able to see the Hudson River and the spectacular views. The water looked so inviting on such a hot day.

Roosevelt Mansion
Living Room
FDR's Bedroom
FDR and Wife's Graves
Seat for Roosevelt Documentary
I sat where John F. Kennedy did!
But before visiting Vassar, our group, along with Ms. Kronenberg, had the chance to go see the house of the nation’s president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. First, our group was given a little background information on said president, such as his birth, family members, and estate. From there, the tour group trekked to FDR’s mansion. Inside the mansion we were told about FDR’s paralytic disease, poliomyelitis. Our tour guide disclosed information on the extreme measures FDR took to keep his illness as secret. The tour was enlightening for me because it was a source of inspiration. FDR was a man who did not let his disability keep him from running the nation, albeit keeping it in secrecy. After the information session in the mansion, we were allowed to freely tour the upper half of the mansion, which consists of FDR’s bedroom, Eleanor Roosevelt’s room, guest rooms and so on and so forth. During the tour, I immediately headed for FDR’s room. Seeing the room a president once lived his life in is really more powerful than one would think. There’s a sense of respect one has for the deceased and knowing the circumstances FDR lived in makes his life more meaningful. After touring the mansion, the cohorts toured the rest of the property, from his large lawn in front of the mansion to his garden where he is buried. We then watched an informational video about the effect FDR and his disease had on society.

Vassar College
Our group then headed to Vassar College, a small liberal arts college in Poughkeepsie, New York consisting of about two thousand and four hundred students. Vassar’s stunning architecture really caught my attention; it’s a shame for me because the college does not offer any engineering programs. Although Vassar does not offer engineering, it offers many study abroad programs and internships, which I found very beneficial. Vassar works with students to obtain internships in metropolitan areas to help with their major. Also Vassar’s support team was a plus for me that I will always take into consideration when looking at colleges; Vassar assigns pre-major advisors to students to help them along their journey through the first two years of college and then is able to choose a major advisor to help with students’ majors.

After touring Vassar, our group rode to the train station via van. When we arrived at the station we were informed about the delay for our train and waited about thirty minutes. It seems that our group has bad luck with train timing. We finally boarded the train and made our way back to the hotel to redress for our dinner at Le Bernardin in Midtown West.

Although we arrived early for our reservations, our group was able to pass the time with conversation from “Adrianne-ism” to the 2012 Presidential Election. Once we were seated, we started with small samples from the chef; the platter consisted of Tuna Tartare, Pouched Lobster, and Watermelon Gazpacho. For appetizers, I had the Sea Scallops and Seared Tuna, and as my entrĂ©e, I had the Pasta with seasonal vegetables. And finally for dessert, I had the Earl Grey Ice Cream.
Tuna Tartare, Pounched Lobster, and Watermelon Gazpacho
Sea Scallop
Seared Tuna
Pasta with Seasonal Vegetables
Earl Grey Ice Cream

As usual, what makes dinner pleasant is good conversation. Tonight we discussed the ways of giving back to the West Contra Costa Unified School District for giving us the opportunity to attend a university. Through multiple debates and ideas, our group finally came up with a plan; we are going to make a video! With our video, we want to be able to show high school students the benefits of going to college and the financial aid they are able to obtain. Finally after a marvelous dinner, we headed back to the hotel for so much needed rest. Next stop is Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

No comments:

Post a Comment