Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Well... That Was Nice

Front and Center, yes Don, we know you are proud
After a good night's rest in my luxurious room I woke up with just enough time to shower and iron my clothes in preparation for tonight. After meeting in the lobby we took taxis to Independence Hall and, after a quick breakfast, took a tour of the building where the Founding Fathers created and signed the Declaration of Independence. I really enjoyed being inside such a monumental building, and learning more about our nation's history. Apparently, according to our tour guide, John Adam's inauguration as the second president was the first peaceful (or did not involve someone's death) transfer of power of that level.

Outside of our next destination, the National Constitution Center, I was forcefully "elected" by my cohort to participate in an  on camera interview with three college students researching for a school project. They asked general questions about me followed by a variety of questions about what I was doing in the area, if I was visiting local sights, etc. Unfortunately, I do not think I was very helpful to them, as my answers were almost always "no" or "I don't know." Still it was a fun experience.

Halibut and Forbidden Rice
After a quick stop at the Constitution Center we headed back to the UPenn campus for our information session and tour. I was very excited, as that was my first serious college visit. Throughout the information session I learned a lot, not only about UPenn but also the college admission process in general and what the college experience is like. A current student at UPenn gave us an informative tour. It was amazing to see the level of care and dedication to the university which both our presenter (a UPenn alum and admissions officer) and our tour guide had. I was very impressed by UPenn. The campus was very nice, they offer extremely helpful financial aid options, and the policies encouraging inter school and even international study appeal to me greatly. Luckily I am only a sophomore and have lots of time for consideration, but UPenn certainly made its way very high up my list.

Nice to have some seafood after that steak.
After our UPenn visit we got a surprisingly good snack at a local Chinese food cart, then said farewell to the Columbia Cohort who also happened to be visiting UPenn. Then it was a short walk back to the hotel. After some time blogging and listening to music I got to take advantage of another of our hotel's great perks, an air conditioned gym. Then it was off to the showers, and dinner!!!

We ate dinner at The Fountain at the Four Seasons Hotel, which I understand the Hotel Management group had to read a book on. I was immediately made comfortable by the UPenn students, faculty, and alums when they greeted us with friendly smiles and warm handshakes. After we made our introductions we were led by hotel staff to our private dining room. I sat between two current students, Matt and Ross. We talked throughout dinner about their experiences at UPenn, their majors, what I wanted to do, and surprisingly Ross and I had a lengthy discussion about the intricacies and our personal interests in architecture. The food was excellent. From my halibut and "forbidden" rice (named because it was so rare only the emperor of China was allowed to eat it as Matt and I learned), to my lobster, crab, shrimp and rice, to my chocolate souffle I was blown away by the taste and presentation. Altogether it was a great night, made so good by the excellent service, fine food, and pleasant company.

I learned a lot about UPenn today, and while it may not be the school I end up going to, I know I will apply.

Tomorrow its off to New York City to visit Columbia University.

1 comment:

  1. More good food for our ILCers.

    And yes, Eric, I AM proud to see our people in the front row.