Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Love From the Bay

Not being able to sleep while staring at the ceiling is starting to feel oddly routine. After finally figuring out that lying in bed and listening to the air conditioning stop and rumble again for the hundredth time was maaaybe not as productive as I should be, I got up early to prepare for yet another big day. 
Cool stuff in the museum
Today was when we had our first college tour of the East Bay: Georgetown University! However, since our informational session and tour didn't start until 12:30 PM, we were able to travel around the city  and see one of the most famous landmarks of D.C. 
American History Museum
 The morning started off with a quick breakfast at the Au Bon Pain Café Bakery and a ride on the Circulator to see the Smithsonian. Most of the museums and galleries of this institution were located in Washington D.C. on the National Mallall spread out along the street and wrapped around the Washington Monument and the White House. The National museums consisted of Air and Space, National History, American History, and African Art. Sadly, we were only able to check out one of the ten museums on the National Mall, so we ended up exploring the National Museum of American History. The exhibits were filled with all sorts of American historical artifacts on display, such as weapons and military clothing of the soldiers from the American Revolutionary War. One of the most interesting exhibits was the display of the one-and-only original American flag which was raised over Fort McHenry in 1814 to signal America's victory against the British. I have been to a few history museums in the Bay Area, but they were nothing compared to the Smithsonian. Washington D.C. is just bursting with history and we have only uncovered a fraction of it. Although we were all enjoying our time inside, we were only able to spend about an hour in the museum, but our shortened time at the Smithsonian was fully compensated with a remarkable tour of Georgetown University. 

Georgetown University was simply amazing. The historical and beautiful architecture of the buildings immediately caught my eye from a distance away and I couldn't have been more excited to learn more about the school and begin the tour. Stepping into a room with AC after walking in the sweltering weather was total bliss, as the informational session started. Our speaker for the session was actually an alum from Georgetown itself and she introduced the university to us by informing us on the general history of the school. 
Georgetown University
Georgetown was founded by John Carroll in 1789 in hopes of improving the success of the nation. The amount of students grew to about 15,000 including undergrads and graduates today. Our presenter discussed all about the community, athletics, Georgetown's strong commitment to undergraduates, and a description of the different schools in the university for each students' respective major. Soon after, we were able to finally begin our long-awaited tour of the campus. 

Taemin, our wonderful guide, not only toured us around the campus, but shared many of his amazing experiences at Georgetown as well. He told us about how he was struggling in his academics his freshman year, until one of his professors took him aside and helped give him suggestions on how he might improve his academics. When he was also having a difficult time choosing a major, the school helped map out Taemin's interests and made sure that he would pursue a major that he would enjoy. The experiences that he shared with us allowed me to understand what kind of school Georgetown is: a prestigious university who is truly dedicated towards the success of all their students. At the end of the tour, Taemin expressed all the ways that Georgetown University has impacted his life for the better and helped him grow into the person he is today. 

Our final event for the day was a fancy dinner at the restaurant, 1789, with Georgetown alums and currently attending students as well. The dinner was no doubt one of the best nights of my life. We all chose random seats and I ended up sitting with a student, Colleen, and Trevor, a rising senior. Colleen was super friendly and told us about her trip and the cultural differences in Cape Town, South Africa, where she recently came back from studying abroad. When she talked about the scholarship that she earned to study at Cape Town, I connected it back to what Taemin had mentioned about Georgetown's great scholarships and programs for studying abroad. 

I was also able to meet Trevor, who is really one of the most intelligent person I have ever met. We shared information about each other and how things work in the East Coast versus the Bay Area. Trevor was actually born in Florida and has visited California before. He was also loaded with information about Georgetown and I was more than eager to listen in on what he had to say. One of his favorite aspects of the university was how academically involved he could be in Georgetown since he's majoring in the political field and Washington D.C. is where everything political is bound to happen. He was very interested in understanding more about the Ivy League Connection as well and was such an approachable and easy person to talk to. Our conversations even went from talking about schools to sibling relationships. [Trevor, if you're reading this blog, I hope you didn't forget to buy your brother his birthday gift (his brother wrote his name on Trevor's palm so he wouldn't forget about his birthday which is literally the cutest thing ever)]. Once our delicious meals arrived, we all  discussed the ILC and Georgetown as a happy group. 
During the tour

The night was filled with laughter, good food and stories. After, we took a group picture and said our good byes. All in all, I enjoyed the dinner a lot and hopefully, the Georgetown representatives and we, the ILCers, would be able to meet each other again. Hearing so much about Georgetown University and college in general was certainly a highlight of our stay in D.C. However I feel that the true reward of the night was not only the the massive amount of what we students learned about Georgetown University, but it was also the knowledge that the Georgetown representatives and ILCers have gained together about our communities and each other.

It is impossible to not have fallen in love with the East Coast already, since these two days in Washington D.C. was nothing but excitement and new experiences. Although it is sad to leave this wonderful city, we will finally be in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania tomorrow!  

1 comment:

  1. Sorry you can't sleep, but we will continue to work on tiring you out during the days :)