Saturday, August 2, 2014

Home Sweet Home

Today was our last day in Chicago and we needed to meet at the front of the South Campus Residence Hall, where we got dropped off for the first time. I felt a mix feeling of sad and happy. I was sad because I enjoyed staying in Chicago, but I didn’t explore all of it. I was happy because I was going to be home with my family again. The Uber was waiting for us at in front already and I was the last one to get out from the building. My Cohorts was already there ready to leave.  Then, the driver put my stuff in the back of trunk, stared heading off to the Chicago O'Hare International Airport. When were on our way to the airport I was admiring one last time the beautiful skyscraper’s of Chicago.
When we got to the airport, we ate breakfast at Chili’s. I order a Southwestern Omelet, my last time eating in Chicago. We were happy that we were finally going home. My cohorts were talking about that they were going to miss their roommates and some of their classmates. The only classmates that I really got close to were, Evan and Robert.  They were some cool guys to hang out. I’m following Evan onInstagram, so we can keep in touch once in a while. Robert didn’t had an Instagram he only had a twitter, but I don’t. We bought our last Starbucks at Chicago and as usual I order my favorite Frappuccino, Mocha Cookie Crumble. We started to board the plane around 11 AM, for a two hours flight to Phoenix.
When we arrived at Phoenix around 1:30 PM, we needed to wait forty-five minutes for the plane to take off again. Alie, Vicky, and I decided to go walk because all of us can’t stand sitting down for more than an hour. We got out to go walk. Dani, Oyin, and Alexa stayed in the plane because they didn’t want to go walk. But minutes later, we saw them outside because Dani and Oyin needed to use the bathrooms. Then, Alieasked us if we didn’t want something to eat and we all ended buying Panda Express. When I finished my food, we went back to the plane because they were starting to aboard. Now, we were ready to go home. The flight took about an hour and a half.
When we landed on San Francisco International Airport we all got happy to be back in California. We got out and went to the baggage claim to get our luggage. We got there and one minute later someone taps me in my right shoulder and it was my dad. Behind him was my mom with my two big brothers, which I never thought they were coming. I was only expecting my dad and mom to come and pick me up. Then few minutes later Oyin parents come through the door and Oyin’s mom starts running towards her. That was so cute and beautiful to see. They both said hello to us and welcomed us back.  We all waited for everyone to get their luggage, so we can say our last goodbye until we see each other again later on at Helms. Dani was the last one to get her luggage. When she got her luggage, we said bye to each other with a hug.
Then, I left with my parents to go eat dinner at Cheese Cake Factory. After we were done eating we started heading to our house. When I got home I went straight to my bed and said, “Home sweet home.”

Returning Home

Since yesterday was the last day of class, many students in the summer program left later that day, so the dorms were already partially empty by the end of the day. I woke up at seven in the morning because the shuttle which was going to take us to the airport was going to arrive at eight. In the morning we had to turn in some sheets about property damage and returning our transportation cards. We also had to turn in our sheets and towels. The morning was pretty rushed, but I managed to get out of the dorms on time. By the time I got outside with Oyin and Dani, Alie was already there waiting with the shuttle. We waited for a few extra minutes for everyone in the cohort to come out of the dorms, and then we headed to the airport.

When we got there, we already knew the drill. Print boarding passes, check bags, go through security, find the gate. We had plenty of practice with airports from the first week of our trip, so we were very efficient at this point. We arrived plenty early for our flight, and we did not eat breakfast back at the dining halls, so we all sat down at a restaurant for breakfast in the airport. After breakfast we went to the gate, where we met one of the girls who was in the summer program. I'm not sure what class she took, but we talked to her for a bit and she was really nice. It turned out that she was actually seated in the row behind us on the plane. Our flight was first to Arizona, and then from Phoenix we flew to SFO. On the flight, I listened to music, read a book for a summer assignment, did Sudoku puzzles, and talked. The flights felt like they went pretty quickly. Between the two flights we got lunch in the airport.

We arrived to SFO on time, and headed down to baggage claim. People's parents started to arrive and we all said hello. Once the luggage arrived, we all said our goodbyes. It was sad, but I am sure I will see my cohort again at some point. We took some last pictures and then all headed home. 

 Once at home, my Dad had made a really delicious meal, which was a nice change from all of the dining hall food I had been eating for the past three weeks. After dinner I showed them pictures and told stories about my trip that might not have been in my blogs. They also had a lot of questions about what I thought of the different universities we visited.

 It is nice being home and being able to rest. I have a couple more weeks before school starts again to recharge and prepare for the new school year. 

Finals, Ferris Wheels, and Farewells

Though my last day wasn’t as perfect as I’d imagined it to be, my last day in Chicago was an exciting and eventful day.

I started the day off by waking up at 7:30 AM to study for our test at 9 AM. I started getting nostalgic as Kaitlyn and I walked to class. Kaitlyn and I talked about the times we’ve gone to Einstein Bagels for milkshakes, the hours spent working at the Crerar library, and the times talking with our classmates at the tables in the biology building before class and during breaks. I thought about the mundane things I’ll miss—the pillars of lights that light up once it starts getting dark, the rows of food trucks I’d pass by during lunch every day, and even just being able to go to class and back without being dependent on anyone.

I have to admit, that test was pretty difficult! I thought I was the only one who thought it was hard, but as soon as I went out into the hallway (where those who had finished their tests were waiting), everyone talked about how challenging they found the test. I wonder what score I got on it!

After the test, our class, TAs, and Dr. Schonbaum went outside to take pictures with the biotech 2014 shirts we designed and bought.

We took a thirty-minute long break to eat and stop by our rooms. I changed, dropped off my things, and stopped by the Dining Commons and my friend’s dorm so we could walk together. She wasn’t there, though, and (as I later found out) everyone went to Reynolds, our meeting spot, because they thought I had already gone to the lake.

I ended up having to walk to the lake, which wouldn’t have been that bad had it not been for the rain! I usually love rain; Kaitlyn and I have been wishing for rain this whole program. It rained the one time I wasn’t wishing for it to, how ironic.

I got to the beach house soaking wet. Thank goodness my classmates are nice. They gave me food, offered me drinks, and offered me hugs.

Since it was raining, we didn’t get a chance to go into the water, but we still had fun eating our cheeses, kimchi, naan bread, and yogurt (we were learning about fermented foods).

I went back to campus with Peace, April, Megan, and Kaitlyn, where we and Amber filmed a DNA parody of the Cup Song (it’s for extra credit). We talked until, sadly, April had to leave for Germany!!! I’ll definitely miss her! I hope we’ll stay in touch.
In our biotech shirts

More and more people have left campus now that our classes are over. It makes me sad, but at the same time comforts me that I know people from all over the country and world now.

I went out to downtown Chicago with the cohort and Alie today! We visited the Bean, Navy Pier, 20 degrees (a restaurant), and walked around Millennium Park. It was a great end to our Chicago trip.
A tuna burger! It was so good.

I’m sixteen! I’m glad I can spend part of my birthday here in Chicago and spend the rest of it in California. I’m especially glad to have been a part of this program!! I never would have been able to experience half the things I’ve done here, nor would I have met all these wonderful, interesting, brilliant people. Though I miss my family and friends back home, I’ll definitely miss Chicago.

The Last Day of Summer Session

In the morning I woke up at 8 AM and my roommate was packing to leave around lunch time like the other people in our program who were leaving to go home. I really am going to miss my roommate because she is cool, funny, and is like a best friend to me. We never had any disagreements or didn't have a weird relationship where we don't talk at all. I really didn't expect to be so attached like we were as a best friend but it just happened that way. She left to go to breakfast with our neighbors like usual but after that I didn't see her so she said bye before she went to breakfast.

At breakfast I ate some eggs, bacon, and cantaloupe. Then I went to class but I forgot my poster so I had to go back to my room and get it which caused me to be late but the professor and TA didn't mind because all we were doing was working on our posters more so we could present them in the second part of class. After we finished our posters we hung them up in the hallway of the second floor in our building. Sadly I didn't finish mine in time to get lunch and come back on time. I'm glad I went later because it was raining and I didn't have my umbrella. But when I did, it only sprinkled. For lunch I had mac & cheese, fruit, and ice cream.

When I got back to class we started presenting our posters. My poster didn't have that much on it but was presentable and informational about the Colorado Tick Fever. While we presented our posters we got to eat some snacks that the biotech class gave us. It was just a bunch of varieties of cheese and bread. After we finished we went back to our lab and voted for  best Titles and best posters. Max won the title contest and Kim won the poster contest. Then before we left we took a class photo.

When I got back to my room I finished my protocol questions that were due and started on a new one that has to be turned in this weekend. After I was done I went to the Keller lounge and hung out with the Chicago Fam and Kaitlyn and got my nails done by Kaitlyn.