Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Trip to Philadelphia

Liberty Bell
Independence Hall
    The trip to Philadelphia was amazing. We got to take a train there and it only took 2 hours to get there which was cool because we all took little naps on the way. Oyin, Alexa, Dani, and I sat in a 4 seated area where we go comfortable enough to go to sleep. After we got to Philadelphia, we caught the cab to Liberty Hall to look at the Liberty Bell before we went on the tour. I learned that the Liberty Bell was a symbol for the American Revolution. We actually took a picture with the Liberty Bell at the end of reading different things about the Liberty Bell. Before we left, I got to watch a video of a former slave in the past named Oney. I learned that she planned to escape and go North, which was the opposite way of the slave owner. She packed her things, left, and the slave owner had people looking for her. While all of that happened she was hidden by friendly people who supported her and the hunters never found her. Now she was free to do anything and so she lived with her husband, had children, her mother and brothers died and she just talking about what she went through while she was a slave. After the Liberty Bell we went to go see the Independence Hall. Unfortunately we didn't get to go inside the Hall because we didn't have enough time because the tour was at 11 AM. But we got to take a jumping picture in front of it as our tradition is to take jumping pictures everywhere we go.

Isabel (Tour Guide)
 Benjamin Franklin Statue
    When we got to the school we waited to take the tour first. Normally we would take the tour after the info session but this time it was different. We went to College Hall on campus of UPenn to check in for the tour. After check-in we went on the other side of the Hall to split up in groups because there were a lot of people that was going on the tour. Surprisingly there was a lot more people than at the other schools we visited. Our tour guide's name was Isabel Miro, she is from Panama, and is a rising junior at UPenn. She showed us the Franklin Building, the Quad, and more halls. There were 3 hospitals there, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Children's Hospital, and one more. Isabel told us about the engineering building and how the seniors are have to do a project of a design they would build. There was an architecture major who failed on a project similar to what the seniors have to do in engineering because the rooms were confusing and you would get lost. So after he graduated he became very successful, made a lot of money, and came back to give the school money but in order for the school to get the money they had to build his design that he failed on. At the end of the tour Isabel took us to see the statue of Benjamin Franklin. She told us about a sculpture across the way of a broken button and what inspired the sculptor to make it. The sculptor didn't know what to make at first until he noticed that Benjamin was missing a button so what he did was make up a story of what happened to the button. He came up with a story about Benjamin eating to much and his button popped off. I think that's a cool story, don't you?
Group Picture After Info Session
Me at the David & Jean Colker Fountain
     After the tour we had to go to the info session. The speaker's name is Jayson and he talked to us about some of the things Isabel told us in the tour of the schools they have there. There are 4 undergraduate schools and 12 graduate schools. In the undergraduate schools there are a lot of majors and minors to choose from and there are a lot of courses. We also learned that there are 15 libraries on campus and we happened to visit one of them before the info session. Jayson let us know about the financial aid and how they make up the remainder of the tuition you can afford. They don't do loans because they don't want the students to graduate and have a debt to pay.

Special Desert for Alie's B-Day
     Ending the long day, we had lunch at Davio's restaurant. We met Jonathan, Carroll, Kingston, Alex, and Frank. Jonathan, Carroll, and Kingston are pre-med and Alex and Frank are admissions officers. Then we ordered our food and I got a mixed greens salad and then ate linguini with jumbo shrimp and vegetables. Like Alie's but basic, for desert I had espresso coffee on the side with caramel and chocolate at the bottom and ice cream scoops. I enjoyed talking 
My Dinner

to Jonathan, a rising sophomore, because we talked about his experience at UPenn and what he did before school started. He told us how the freshmen had an orientation 3 days before everyone else started to come. They had concerts at the local art museum and the school museum. They would have big artists like Lupe Fiasco, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, and more. I thought that was pretty interesting that they were free and that they got to go to the parties before they went to the school. I asked what was the most interesting thing about the school was that the people there were cool and it was nice to meet people with different cultures and varieties of ideas. He also said that there are people to help when you need it. As usual we took a group picture before everyone left the restaurant and left to get on the train back to DC. We also had visitors from Georgetown who came to chat and eat cupcakes and ending the night with a blog party.
Group Photo at the Lunch

Feeling Good About Philly

After sleeping at 3 AM, I woke up at around 5 AM to get ready for the ride to Philadelphia. I’m glad the seats on the Amtrak were comfy, because all of us took a much-needed two hour rest.

Since it is Alie’s birthday today, we got her a custard pie with fruit on top, a dark chocolate bar, a card we all signed, and a bottle of sparkling water (she loves fruit, dark chocolate, and sparkling water). Later on, her mom and her mom’s boyfriend surprised Alie at the train station with a Happy Birthday balloon and flowers, which I thought was so sweet!

We split up into two taxis and went to see Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. What I thought was most interesting was how abolitionists named the Liberty Bell, which I didn’t know before today.

We took taxis to the University of Pennsylvania and went to 1 College Hall for the campus tour. Our tour guide was Isabel, a rising junior from Panama. She took us around campus, which I loved. The tall brick buildings were so beautiful, as were the modern glass buildings. She showed us sorority and fraternity buildings, the blue lights emergency poles, two Benjamin Franklin statues, the famous LOVE statue, and more.

Isabel in front of Ben without a button
Isabel told us how instead of dragging all your heavy books wherever you go, you can just stop by the libraries and borrow a textbook. She also told us how you can borrow famous old first edition books (though everyone just reads them at the library because they don’t want to break them).

She also told us a funny story behind the broken button statue directly across from Benjamin Franklin’s statue—an artist was looking for inspiration around campus and noticed that Franklin’s statue was missing a button. He said that maybe one night Franklin had too much to eat and drink and was so full that a button popped off, resulting in the cracked white button statue across Benjamin’s statue. I thought the button statue was really random before knowing the story behind it, but now think it’s really cool.

She pointed out the buildings for the four undergraduate schools UPenn has: the Wharton School of Business, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School of Nursing, and the College of Arts and Sciences.
Inside Wharton

The campus was ridiculously beautiful, the weather was perfectly sunny yet not too hot, and Isabel was friendly and informative. However, after attending three tours and three alumni dinners, I feel like the campus tours barely even scrape the surface of the school you’re looking in to (later on, talking with alumni at the dinner, we agreed that though campus tours are nice to attend, most of the information they tell you is very generic. For example, at every tour we’ve been to, all guides have said, word for word, “I’ve never once felt unsafe on campus” before talking about their emergency blue light poles [which is good information, but you’d think different people in different states attending different schools would say it differently]).

However, I really loved walking around the UPenn campus and could see myself studying in the library (which we visited afterwards) and buying food from the food trucks.

Our info session took place in UPenn’s beautiful, gigantic theater. Our speaker was Jayson, an admissions officer. He told us how UPenn is America’s first university, makes education accessible to every kind of person, helps students apply what they’ve learned in school to real life, and lets students have hands-on experience (they also have community service classes, where half of the class takes place in class, while the other class takes place in their community). They have core classes, but what kinds really depends on what school you’re in. They have several classes you can choose from to fulfill those classes, so I thought it really isn’t restrictive at all. They have a really strong international program, about 500 extracurricular activities, and about 50 performing arts programs.
The usual jump shot

UPenn is a common app school, so they look at your transcript, SAT/ACT, extracurriculars, personal statement, recommendations, but also have a Penn supplement: they ask for you to tell them what specific part of Penn that resonates with you, as well as take an alumni interview.

What I loved the most is how UPenn is a need-based school, meaning they provide financial aid based on however much you need. Also, UPenn is need blind, meaning the amount of money you’ve requested doesn’t affect whether or not you’ll get in (in fact, they keep the amount of money you need “covered up” until they’ve accepted you). Most importantly, undergrads have no loans (due to the need-based policy)!!!
The back of the theater

Later on, we went to Davio’s, a steakhouse at 2:30 PM. There, we met Jonathan, Carol, Kingson (all rising sophomores at UPenn) and Alex and Frank, admissions officers at UPenn. They were all so great! Though I wasn’t able to talk to Carol and Jonathan that much, I’m glad I was able to talk to everyone else.

Philly Cheese steak eggrolls! SO GOOD.
I spent a good portion of the afternoon talking to Kingson, and he told me WAY more than I could’ve learned at a regular campus tour or info session. Early on, we found out that we were both interested in science (bio) and working with children. He told me of his major, BioChem, and how there are two kinds at UPenn—the theoretical and applied. He’s a theoretical BioChem major, meaning he’s in the College of Arts and Sciences, which have majors that basically don’t fit into the other three schools.

 He told me about how much he loves UPenn and didn’t want to even leave over the summer. Instead, he has three jobs—an IT who fixes everyone’s computers if they crash (AKA everyone’s savior), someone who sets up and plans freshmen bio labs, and acts as a peer mentor during the summer to students who had just been accepted to UPenn, to make the transition from high school to college easier (Jonathan and Carol are also part of this program).

Kingson, Carol, and Frank told us traditions at UPenn: from the famous traditions like the Penn Relays, Hey Day, and toast throwing to the more obscure ones: the Sorority Step Day, an event when people in the audience dress up in costume, and how, at around 2 AM to 4 AM, everyone goes to a convenience store equivalent to 7-Eleven and hangs out.
It was so good. And big. I still have half in the hotel room.

Kingson told me about his business club, how they make their own businesses and whichever’s the most popular will get funding. The proceeds would be donated to the community. Kingson told us how his business was breakfast delivery, and how he donated to the deaf or to college moms.

Kingson told me how food at UPenn is good, but is repeated from week to week. He recommended using Dinner Dollars instead of going to the cafeteria to use at one of the four Starbucks on campus or buying from the food trucks. He told me how after freshman year, you can move out of campus. He also said how nice and friendly RAs are, and how they’re given money to spend on the dorm kids (which reminded me a bit of Washington U’s WUSAs. I like it). He said how people at UPenn are competitive, but aren’t cutthroat or try to sabotage your work, like other schools. Like what Kevin and Nishaat from Georgetown said the other night, competition just pushes you to work harder.
Salted caramel creme brulee.

Alex and Frank told us how their jobs as admissions are: like running a marathon or cramming for a test. In other words, taxing but worth it. They said that they look for people who let their personalities shine through their essay. They want to feel like they met the person through their essay. They said that if something is optional in their applications, then don’t do it (it makes it easier for them). They also said that good interviews are conversational and flow.

I feel like there’s more I should’ve said, but I can’t think of anything right now. Some words of advice: try to talk to someone from the school instead of just touring or listening to the info session. I love UPenn, even before I talked to Alex and heard how credits from CCC count in college (as long as it isn’t counted towards your HS diploma). She said how even though they might not count college classes that counted towards your HS diploma, they might transfer you out of the class. If you have a lot of credits, you could apply as a transfer student and skip a grade.

I love this school. I’m so glad I was able to meet the students and admissions officers!
Jonathan, Jimmy, Carol, Vicky, Kingson, me, Alexa, and Oyin

Also, I saw the bill tonight. WOW. Thank you also to the sponsors, if you’re reading this. 

A Fun Day At Penn

The Amtrak Train Station
Today was not such a bad day because we didn't have to wake up early as last night. We needed to be ready and down at the lobby at 6 AM. This was not early for me because I used to wake up at 4:40 AM before school to go to the gym with my dad everyday so I’m used to it. My cohorts and I had a surprise for Alie because today is her birthday.  We went to buy here a little cake of fruits; she loves salad and fruit, at Safeway that is two blocks away from the hotel. We were all down at the lobby at 6 AM and then we headed out to the Amtrak train station. When we arrived at the station we had 30 minutes extra to get a quick breakfast. I just got a coffee; I was not that hungry at all. When the clock hit 7 AM people were starting making line to get on the train so we made line so we can all sit together. Fortunately, there was a lot of room because Washington, D.C is the beginning and the last stop of the Amtrak train. The trip from Washington to Philadelphia is two hours long and everyone took a nap during the ride.

Independence Hall
When we arrived to Philadelphia we went to visit the Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. It was nice seeing and knowing where America started getting their independence by their first step and that was the Declaration of Independence. It’s interesting that they value a Bell very much here because long ago the bell symbolized their freedom.
1st Attempt
Then we headed out to Penn to walk around the university and look for the undergraduate office. First we went to get a drink at Starbucks for the hot weather. After we got our drinks we headed to the office because it was going to be time for our tour that was at 11 AM. Our tour guide name is Isabel and she’s going to be a rising junior at Penn. Isabel is an international student and she’s from Panama, something that I find incredible coming all the way from there and adjusting to the weather and a whole different environment. I like that Penn has an incredible Engineering school because I have in mind to be an engineering or a businessman but I still have not decided yet. One thing that I love about the engineering school is that all seniors have a big final were they have to plan a project and have to build it and make it work and explain the process of how it works. I think this is cool because you have to be creative and thing outside the box and that’s what an engineer have to do. They also have a new building that they barely constructed and is made all of glass for nanotechnology engineering.
\The Dorm Square

My best friend Benjamin and I just hanging around
Another thing I like is that all coming up freshmen’s can choose their own dorm, like if they want to have a roommate or be alone is their own choice to choose. That’s something awesome because they want the freshmen’s to feel more comfortable and they want them to adjust to the school and the environment. Penn have four different schools to choose from and they are: The College of Arts and Sciences, The School of Nursing, The Wharton School, and The School of Engineering and Applied Science. At Penn you can double major and when you’re a sophomore you can pick more than 4 classes that’s if you know you can handle it. Penn was founded by Benjamin Franklin year 1740. He wanted to establish the school so students can achieve and pursue their dreams to make an impact in the world.
2nd attempt
Irvine Auditorium 
After we went to the admission presentation were they talked more about the school and what they expect back from the students. The school has about or more than 500 extracurricular activities that they can join, you name it and they have it and if they don’t have it you can start your own. The school wants to know what are your extracurricular activities because they want to know if you can get along with the community or what are you doing for your community. Jason the admission speaker gave us a tip for when we are working on our personal statement. He said that your personal statement have to talk about yourself that if someone picks it up with no name and he reads it he will automatically will know who’s it.  I think that was a great tip for me because now I have an idea how my personal statement has to look like.

Ready for dessert
After the admission presentation, we headed out to our lunch with the alumni. When we got to the restaurant, Davios Northern Italian Steak House, the alumni were already there waiting. We introduce ourselves to them. Their names were Johnathan major in pre-med, Carol major in pre-med, Kingson major in Bio-medical Science.  Jonathan is from Mississippi he applied to Vanderbilt and Penn and he chose Penn because he wanted to do something different so he came up north. He said the school is very awesome and that your roommates and classmates motivate you to do better at school. He told us that the school makes you be more responsible and you learn how to flex your time. He also told us that the upcoming freshmen’s can come up to 4-3 days before everyone comes back to the campus. He said that they have parties and artist come and performed at the Art museum of Philadelphia.  The school knows that they are working hard in school, and they just want them to have some fun to clear their mind out. Jonathan also talked about that he has to go and observe a doctor doing surgery for three hours from 8 AM to 11 AM. We also talked about his professor that they would help you in anything you need that they also care about your education and what you want to do later in life.
Group Picture

When we finished our lunch we took a group picture with the alumni and my cohorts. Then we walked around the city and explore it a little bit because we had one hour and thirty minutes extra time before we needed to catch our train. We also decided to walk all the way to the Amtrak train station. We got the train at 6 PM and arrived at the hotel at 9 PM. Then Alie shared her cupcakes that her boyfriend sends her for her birthday. That’s how we ended our night celebrating Alie birthday.

Philadelphia "Phun"

I woke up today feeling very excited and I couldn't wait for the activities planned for the day. I think I was mostly excited for our train ride from Washington, D.C. into Philadelphia. I've been on a train a handful of times and for some reason, I found this two hour train ride very exciting. Unfortunately I didn't get to fully enjoy it because about five minutes into the ride, I fell asleep and it wasn't until our chaperon Alie woke us up saying that our stop was coming up next. I’m kind of bummed that I missed out on fully enjoying the train ride but then again, we had an early morning and a full day ahead so it was beneficial for me to get in as much sleep as I could.

Liberty Bell
When we got to Philadelphia, we had a little time to kill before we had our tour so we decided to make a quick stop and see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. We saw the Liberty Bell first and I was shocked to see that it had a lot of influence in America as it was used by different movements. Throughout history, the Liberty Bell has been used by many groups as a symbol for hope. After a walk through at the Liberty Bell showroom, we walked across the park and went to Independence Hall. If we had more time, we would have been able to go inside but we had our tour at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) to get to so we did a little recap of Independence Hall and all the historical events that took place there.

After our time in downtown Philadelphia, we took a cab to UPenn for our tour and info session afterwards. UPenn seemed to be a popular place to go for tours because it was crowded with a lot of people and we had to be split up into five or four smaller groups. Once the smaller groups were formed, we started to make our way around the campus. The buildings on campus were all mostly made of red bricks and there are a lot of trees around so there was definitely plenty of shade. On our tour, one of the buildings we passed was designed and built by one of UPenn’s former students. He was an architect major and he got an F on his final project which happened to be that very building. He went on to be very famous and successful in life so he came back to UPenn, wanting to give back but he refused to build anything other than that assignment he got an F on. To me, I felt that this meant that even if there were some less than pleasant memories from Upenn, its students do appreciate the time that they had there and they do want to give back to their school.

Chatting With My Buddy Benjamin Franklin
When the tour we had some time to kill before our info session was supposed to start so we explored some of the buildings and statues. We walked to the engineering side of the university to see the buildings better because we weren't able to on the tour. All of the engineering students have to design a project and actually build it before they graduate. Some of the students’ ideas have been lucky enough to get recognized and bought by some companies. The campus featured a lot of Ben Franklin statues in his honor because he was the one who founded UPenn. My favorite one was of him sitting on a bench and reading a paper and I couldn't help it and I had to take a picture.

Cohort Group Picture
Once we were done exploring, we went to our info session on the campus. The presentation was made by
Jayson and he works for the admissions office at UPenn. I found the advice that he gave about writing your personal statement the most useful from the info session. He said that if you were to drop your personal statement anywhere in your school without your name on it, a person could read it and from that they would know it was you. Personally, I feel like the real purpose of your personal statement which is to articulate who you really are has been lost and I feel like some people who are applying only focus on what they feel like the school wants to hear. This was definitely refreshing to hear from somebody like Jayson who actually knows what schools are looking for.

After the info session, we went to Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse for our alumni dinner. We were joined by an admissions counselor, Frank, a regional director of admissions, Alexandra, and three students, Carol Kingston, and Johnathon. At this point, I feel like I’m a pro at meeting new people so this time I had no problem introducing myself and asking our guests questions. I sat next to Frank who is an admissions counselor and it was really insightful because he shared things with me that I didn't know was done and he also helped me clear up any confusion I might have had about their applications. He confirmed what Jayson said in the info session about being genuine in your personal essay and letting who you truly are come out instead of a false image that you present. I learned a lot about what he does and from what I heard, it is a lot of work. He says that when you go through a student’s application, that you need to sort of restart yourself and really focus on devoting the next 8-15 minutes of your time to the paper in front of you. He works many hours a day when it comes time to go through the applications but he says there are moments when it’s all worth it. Frank shared a story of when his admissions group decided to call one of the students and tell them that they had been accepted into UPenn. The student instantly began to cry and it was evident that that phone call was one of the best things that have ever happened to him. This, Frank says, is one of the things that make his job worth it in the end.
UPenn Alumni Lunch
Although UPenn has a wonderful campus and many wonderful and great programs, I didn't really click with the school. When we visited WashU, I liked the community and the relationship that the students and staff had together, Georgetown was right there with what I am interested in doing and the people we met and talked to only made me like Georgetown even more but with UPenn, I didn't find anything that pulled me strongly towards the school. I will say that the people there gave some great advice on applying and making sure that we pick the right school that is the right fit for us. Even though I didn't click with UPenn as much as I did with the other school, I won’t forget all the advice that was given to me throughout my visit.

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Although we are staying in Washington DC currently, today we took a day trip to Philadelphia to visit the University of Pennsylvania. We left the hotel at 6:10 to catch the Amtrak to Philadelphia. The train ride was very scenic, although most of it was spent sleeping.

The Liberty Bell
We had some time to spare between when we arrived and when we had to head to the campus to attend the tour and information session, so we went to see the liberty bell. To see the liberty bell was free, which was a great, and there was also a museum type of exhibit accompanying it. The exhibit was organized to show what the liberty bell represented to the American people at different periods in U.S. history. 

Soon, we decided to go to campus so that we would not be late for the tour. There were so many students that wanted to tour when we got there that we had to be split into four different groups. Our tour guide, Isabel, was from Panama and studying communications and marketing. Fortunately, the weather in Philadelphia today was gorgeous, warm with a light breeze so it wasn’t so hot. The campus had many large and shady trees, and brick buildings. There are four different undergraduate schools within the university; The Wharton School of Business, The School of Nursing, The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and lastly, the most popular, the School of Arts and Sciences. There is no interdisciplinary study in the way that there was at Washington University. What I mean by this is that at Washington University, students who were in the college of arts and sciences, for example, could take classes in the school of engineering if they were interested. UPenn students cannot do this because, as Kingston, a Pre-med major who I met at the student and alumni lunch later in the day explained to me, the different colleges are on such a specific track that it would not make sense to take just one or two classes in a different school. 
The Freshman Dorms at UPenn
After the tour, we had a few minutes to wander the campus before heading to the information session, which was in a huge and impressive theater with complex patterns on the ceilings and walls. One aspect of their university that was really emphasized was how connected the campus was, and how this leads to so many opportunities and internships or employment opportunities. It is, as a result of the value it puts in community and connections, unofficially called the social Ivy. 
Because our trip to Philadelphia was only a day trip, instead of having a formal dinner, we had a more casual lunch with three students and two admissions officers. The students were Kingston, Johnathon, and Carol. The two admissions officers, both alums, were Alex and Frank. As it turns out, Johnathon and Kingston were both Pre-Med, so they told me about their experiences being Pre-Med at UPenn. I found out that there were three hospitals in walking distance of the campus; The Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania (CHOP), The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and one other. This gave Johnathon the opportunity to get in contact with doctors, one who is a surgeon who he has the opportunity to shadow. This is already a great experience for him, but it is even better because he was just a freshman when he first began shadowing the surgeon. 

I also was sitting near to the admissions officer Alex, who was one who read the essays, and gave us some really helpful tips, such as if an essay or question is optional, whether you do it or not will not change how they see you. Of course if you do choose to answer the optional question, your answer will be analyzed, but whether you simply answered it or not will not have an effect on your application status. 
Lunch at Davio's

For lunch I had home-made gnocchi, wild mushrooms, and white truffle oil. It was so delicious and filled me for the rest of the day.

Tomorrow, the cohort will head to Chicago to visit Northwestern University and then settle there and move in to the University of Chicago dorms.

Georgetown University

Yesterday night I went to sleep around 11 PM because I was finishing up with my blog. My cohorts and I once again needed to wake up early for the flight to Washington D.C. Everyone needed to meet in the lobby at 4 AM to get the shuttle bus to take us to the airport. My alarm was Oyin she called me to wake me up so I can get ready because if we were not in the lobby at 4 AM Alie was going to have a deep talk with whoever was late. Waking up early was important because we needed to catch the airplane on time. Fortunately, everyone made it on time and we had an extra hour to get on the plane.  Meanwhile we were waiting to aboard the plane my cohorts and I were working on our blogs to get it done with it.  I was sleepy so I decided to get a coffee to wake me up. I ordered a Caramel Macchiato at Starbucks. Then it was time for us to get in the plane and head out to Washington, D.C.

When we landed at Washington, D.C we got a shuttle bus to take us to our hotel, Holiday Inn. Alie gave us an hour to finish our blog but I was having difficulties trying to put Wi-Fi in my computer.  I asked Oyin for her help and she couldn't find the problem why my Wi-Fi was not working.  After Oyin tried several times I decide to go to the lobby and asked for help.  I told them that I was having problems with the Wi-Fi and it was not letting me connect to it.  The guy in the front desk fixed my computer and he was able to put the Wi-Fi on. At that time, I needed to go already because my cohort and I were going to walk to the National Mall in Washington. Before we headed out to the Mall we got ourselves some salad to eat at Sweetgreen, to take it to the President’s park and eat there. We arrived at the park and searched for shade to sit down and eat.

When we were finished eating we walked to the White House and took some pictures with my cohort. It was very hot and I was wearing my soccer sweatpants and a sweater because when we arrived at Washington, D.C  in the morning it was sprinkling, but then later on it got hot. We walked to Lincoln memorial and Washington monument and took pictures.  I couldn't believe I was at the Lincoln Memorial park because I have read about it in my history book but I never thought that I would be standing in front of Lincoln's statue.  It was a great experience for me being there and knowing that a lot of history has happened there.

We weren't able to go visit museums because we didn't have enough time so we headed out to our tour at Georgetown University. Our tour was at 2:30 PM. Our tour guide's name is Charlotte and she’s going to be a senior next semester.  She told us about the school traditions and one of the tradition I thought it was very cool is when the students steal the clock hands and send them to the pope. I thought this is cool because I don’t know how the students were able to take the clock hands out of the tower because is very high up.

Georgetown is the oldest school in the country and is very unique because of their gothic buildings. All their buildings were made of stone and some are being remodeled. The school was founded on January 23, 1789--that’s more than two centuries old.  Georgetown is not just the oldest school in the country but is one of the top schools in the country, too. I like that a lot of famous and political people have given speeches in the school, for example President Obama has spoken as well as Bill Clinton.  Overall I think Georgetown is a perfect school because it's not too big and not too small.  It’s easy to get around the school and the students motivate each other and help each other and that’s what I’m looking for in a school.

After the tour finished, we came back to the hotel to get ready for our dinner with the alumni at 6:30 PM at The City Tavern Club.  We needed to meet each other at the lobby at 6:10 PM. When the clock hit 6:10 PM and everyone was at the lobby we headed out to the restaurant.  We got to the restaurant and we saw Andrew Gonzalez (who was part of ILC during his sophomore and junior years).  Andrew is from Richmond, California and attended Pinole Valley High School.  

It’s amazing how this program can change your life like it changed Andrew's life. He told us that he was not thinking about studying in the east and right now he is in an internship at Washington, D.C. That’s not all: he’s at Brown University and he is going to be a junior this semester.  This is how I know that this program can really change your life and give you more options to which schools you want to go to.  Andrew like any Californian he wanted to go to the UC’s Universities but since he was in ILC and got to explore the east and he fell in love with Brown University when he was taking a course there during his junior year.
Then another alumni came in and he’s name is Sean and he is the head of Georgetown DC Alum. In the back of Sean another alumni came in and her name is Katherine. Then Trevor came in and we all introduced ourselves to him. Trevor was the one who suggested the restaurant and I liked it, the steak was so tasty too. Then Nashaat came in and she amazed me with how many languages she can speak.  Nashaat can speak at least four languages. One of the languages she can speak is Russian. She’s majoring in international foreign policies because her dream is to go around the world and she wants to work in the Middle East. I like that she was so passionate about talking about her school and how much she loves it. She gave us a good advice that I like and it was to not compare yourself to others and just be yourself because if you compare yourself to others you will get nowhere.

Then Kevin came in, he was running a little bit late but I got to know him very well. He graduated last year and he says that he misses the school already. It’s so awesome all the things that he has done throughout his four years at Georgetown University. He worked with celebrities at an internship and one of the celebrities that he worked with was Brad Pitt. The way he told me about his experiences and all the things he has done during his college years made me fall in love with the school. They have a lot of opportunities and internships that the school provides. It was good knowing him because he’s a writer, too, and he gave me his business card and email and I told him I was going to email him whenever I need help. Kevin used to play tennis in school and now he’s working at Weber Shandwick from 9 AM to 6 PM. I think is amazing Georgetown is in two cities but the university is their own community.
my cohort and I
The alumni and us.