Tuesday, June 19, 2012

1 Down, 2 To Go

I was sleeping soundly when we were suddenly awakened by an "early" wake-up call at 8:15. After washing up and getting dressed we headed out to get some breakfast before touring Independence Hall. Once we were done, we met up with the Columbia cohort and toured Independence Hall together. It was nice meeting some friends from both El Cerrito and former ILC interviews. Overall, the tour of Independence Hall was very informing and interesting in putting our nation into perspective.
Independence Hall
The Columbia Cohort on the Independence Hall tour with us
The room where the Declaration of Independence was signed 
After the tour, the Columbia cohort left for lunch with the UPenn admissions officers (we will be having dinner with them). We, on the other hand, went for a short visit to the National Constitution Center but didn't get to see the actual Constitution due to time constraints. However, we did get Eric Wilson to get interviewed by some college students doing a project. After that, we went to UPenn for our first informational session and campus tour.

The National Constitution Center: the place to rock out to freedom!
At the informational session, we sat right up front and were informed by an extremely vibrant admissions spokesperson named Doris. She talked about all the great aspects of UPenn and what to expect if we choose to attend. However, the part that stood out to me the most was her tips on college admissions (especially the letters of recommendation) on not only UPenn, but all the other colleges we will be applying for. Once the informational session was over we went on the campus tour with our guide Anna. We got to see the engineering quad, main library, and the Wharton School (a business school within UPenn). A prominent theme in UPenn is Benjamin Franklin since he founded the school, but he is also the one that truly defined the modern education in liberal arts.

Tonight, we went to The Fountain Restaurant inside Four Seasons Hotel with two admissions officers and a handful of current students and alums of UPenn. I sat next to UPenn rising senior Margaret, who is originally from Guam, and Mr. Chan-Law. Margaret and I started talking about why she chose UPenn over her other choices and how the application process was. I learned that she is currently majoring in biochemistry, switching majors from journalism. During our talk about colleges, Margaret gave an extremely helpful tip of choosing a college which caters to your desired method of transportation to class. This didn't occur to be a great importance for me before but now that she said that, getting to class is a major part of the college experience and I would not want to go to a college that doesn't cater to my desires in that area. After a while, the conversation drifted towards the great things you can do around UPenn like all the free events that happen quite frequently throughout Philadelphia. 

As for the food, it was beyond amazing. We all started off with some hors d'oeurvres which consisted of tuna, scallop, beef dumplings, and crab. For the appetizer, I chose the octopus with potatoes and it was phenomenal. I had the seafood paella which had shrimp, rock cod, and lobster. The seafood was the best I have had in a while. As for dessert, I had the strawberry sauvignon. While it was a little on the sweet side, it was still delicious. Funnily enough, all of us (except Mr. Chan-Law who got lamb) chose the seafood dish since we were all full of beef from Del Frisco's the other night. Dinner ended with a group of us talking about the local sports teams and we also got to meet the chef that prepared the stellar food. Overall, the dinner was extremely informing and entertaining. It had a very "laid-back" feel which really helped when it came to the conversations.
Dinner at The Fountain Restaurant
Appetizer: Octopus with Potatoes
Main Course: Seafood Paella
Dessert: Strawberry Sauvignon

1 comment:

  1. Calvin,

    Any chance you can expand on what you described with regards to "your desired method of transportation to class"? This is intriguing. Most students simply walk from class to class or perhaps ride a bike. This comments begs the question about what other means might be considered that would make such an impact.