Sunday, July 21, 2013

Destination Reached

The weather has been strange since last night's lighting and thunder storm, and the fluctuations of the storm were similar to that of my emotions.  I knew I would have to leave the luxury of the Providence Hotel today and face the grueling task of having to share a bathroom with five other girls. At the same time, however, I could not control my anticipation. I was going to stay at Brown University, stay in a dorm, take an amazing course, and meet so many friends. The friends I make here could be my friends for the rest of my life. Before our departure to Brown, we ate at Murphy's an adorable Irish themed restaurant. Anticipation filled the air as we occasionally mentioned our excitement about Brown. Throughout the duration of the breakfast there was one thought that filled everyone's mind--what will I experience at Brown?
Registration area

Although our trip to the East Coast entails visits to the other colleges, the most significant part is our course at Brown.  We reached our final destination of this trip when Ms. Neal parked in front of the registration area. We unloaded the van that was jam packed with our luggage and by packed I mean, luggage on the seats, between bodies, and underneath the seats. We used all the strength our body possessed and unloaded the van. If only we knew we would have to load it again shortly after.

 When I walked through the gates and into the quad, I felt like I was already a college student. The scenery could pass for fall and I could not contain my excitement as I proceeded with my luggage and backpack. We left our luggage with Summer@Brown staff who monitored all the luggage that students did not want to carry with them.  We visited different booths to receive our necessities for our stay. We received a name tag, our room key, and our class description with a map on the back. We were happy to discover that we were all staying in the same dormitory--Perkins-- but it was the farthest one from the campus. Our dormitory was located on the far edge of the map they provided. We went back and forth on whether we were going to walk or drive. I am glad we chose to drive since it would be exhausting to drag our heavy luggage all through the campus. My larger suitcase was so heavy it seemed as if I could dent the cement sidewalk. I wonder what others thought when they saw us partially struggling to load the van with out luggage. If there is one thing we are, it's independent.

Alicia, Shraddha, and Julia waiting to receive their room key and course description. 

Perkins Hall has no elevator. Fortunately I was on the second floor, so I only had to carry my luggage up two flights of stairs. Although it was a hassle to carry my luggage, I did not mind that I had to do

so. It is something I will never forget and it is also a great conversation starter. When I met my residential adviser (RA), my face was extremely red from exhaustion and I was sweating buckets. She spoke to me about today's schedule and told me a bit about the other students who were staying on the same floor. She also mentioned that all the students in Perkins Hall were in the leadership institute. We are the last group of students that will attend Summer@ Brown. She is still unsure of what she wants to major in but she says she enjoys having all the possibilities. She is a sophomore at Brown and is very active in the programs offered here. 

 I found my room and saw two paper butterflies on my door. The butterflies reminded me of a child's door that is decorated with cute visuals. I thought the butterflies were utterly adorable. I saw my name underneath one of the butterflies and my roommates beneath the other. 

Apparently, my roommate's name was Emily.  I  remember Sara, my RA,mentioning a girl named Emily, who was from southern California. I was a little disappointed because I had hoped to stay with an international student. When Emily came into the dorm, I noticed that she had a slight British accent. I thought my mind was playing tricks on me, but it turns out that she is from London! I guess my exhaustion from carrying my bags did prevented me from memorizing the names of the students my RA spoke about.

 I later discovered that most of my cohort knew about her after seeing her in the halls and exchanging a quick hello. I told her about the Ivy League Connection and I asked her how she discovered this program. Apparently her friend's sister is a senior at Brown and her friend attended the program last year. Emily is taking Ethical Leadership and will be staying at Brown for two weeks. We compared the education system of the United States and  of the United Kingdom. Since she occasionally visits America, she knew some information about the AP classes we take. I eventually had to leave the dorm to go to the market to purchase snacks.

Once I unpacked I felt completely at home. I activated my account to access the Internet and then headed to the lobby to walk with the other students on my floor to the dinning commons. I discovered that there are three total leadership courses: Ethical Leadership, Global Health, and Women and Leadership. The ice cream social began 7 PM so Julia and I asked a residential adviser for further instructions. We walked towards the Wriston Quad with two other girls who we also talked to during the ice cream social. The ice cream social was an interesting experience because all the Summer@Brown students stood in line for ice cream and then  gathered to talk to new people. We all stood in a grassy area that was surrounded with brick buildings.

The Leadership Institute Community Meeting
After the ice cream social, we attended a mandatory meeting  for the leadership institute. It focused on social change and was an introduction to our leadership classes. Then we separated into groups and met with the other students who had the same RA. We played a  memorization game and were able to ask any questions. When we made it back to the dorms, I was one of the first to use the shower. My strategy is to use it as early as possible since everything is clean and dry. 

 I made a few friends on my floor, but tomorrow I plan to meet many more.The first day of the Women and Leadership Course starts tomorrow. I heard that my professor is an amazing woman and I cannot wait to meet her!

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