Saturday, July 5, 2014

Happy Birthday Donna!

I am happy to report that my cough is fading. It seems that the liberal application of NyQuil was more than this illness was could handle. With luck I'll be fully recovered by tomorrow, when we move into the dorms. (Have I mentioned that I'm living in a castle for the next three weeks?!) Although I am excited to begin our class, I will miss touring colleges with the whole cohort. You might say I'm experiencing preemptive nostalgia.

Today was Princeton Day. Unfortunately, we were not able to attend an official campus tour or information session because it is the weekend after a major national holiday and thus Princeton was not giving tours or information sessions. However, we are seasoned, dedicated ILC members who are undeterred by setbacks such as this. We went to Princeton anyway, determined to learn as much as we could about this hallowed institution. 
Some of the first buildings we saw at Princeton

Our route to Princeton necessitated taking three trains, including the "Dinky," which is the adorably small Princeton Shuttle. I slept for much of the time on the trains. (I'm becoming something of an expert at sleeping on trains.) One of the major differences between the East and West Coasts is that here there is a much greater number of trains. 
This is what dorms look like at Princeton
When we arrived at Princeton I was prepared to see a beautiful campus. However, Princeton's campus transcends the genre of beautiful college campuses. It belongs in a league of its own. Even Penn's beautiful castle-like buildings are outshone by Princeton's buildings. Everywhere you turn there are gorgeous, ivy-covered buildings. There is also the usual overabundance of sculptures, including one by Pablo Picasso. (Sculptures are like the cockroaches of college campuses; they're everywhere.)

I frolicked joyfully in this fountain
In addition to the many stunning Gothic buildings we saw at Princeton, we also visited the athletic field, the chemistry buildings where Einstein may have worked, and a very nice fountain.  Because it was a nice sunny day and it seemed like a good idea at the time, many of us waded into the fountain. (How else to get the authentic Princeton experience?)  In the absence of Princeton students and administration, it was difficult to get a sense of what Princeton is like but the campus is unquestionably my favorite so far.

If it looks like a castle... it's probably a building at Princeton.
After finishing our tour, we had lunch just outside of the university's gates. Lunch was pizza, followed by delicious icecream at The Bent Spoon. This may well have been the highlight of my day. I had three scoops; one sweet basil, one blueberry cinnamon, and one strawberry camomile. My favorite was the basil ice cream, which is one of those things that sounds dubious but in actuality is delicious. After lunch, the cohort returned to Philadelphia for some much needed rest. Then we ventured forth again to find dinner, which was at Bobby's Burger Palace. 

Although I wish we could have had an official tour of Princeton, wandering the campus was a lot of fun, and we learned a lot about the school on our own. As much as as I enjoyed Princeton's campus, I believe that there is more to a university than meets the eye, and I am not convinced that Princeton is the right fit for me. (I remain loyal to Georgetown and Penn.) I am looking forwards to tomorrow when I take up residence at Penn.

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