Saturday, July 20, 2013

Let's All Yell for Yale

A new Yalie moving in!!
This morning I was punctual and managed to get downstairs before most of my cohort. It sounds strange, but I am pretty proud of myself that I fought through my exhaustion and got ready without whining about only getting four hours of sleep. After all of my cohort joined me downstairs we got in the van and decided to eat at a Starbucks. The drive to Yale was extremely lengthy, so Ms. Neal gave us the option to either wait until we got closer to the campus to go get breakfast or go directly to a place around Providence. My cohort and I weren’t too hungry, so we opted to wait until we got closer to Yale. I was shivering and shaking throughout the entire drive to Starbucks meanwhile the rest of the girls looked like they were experiencing a little of heaven on Earth. As we ordered our breakfast Starbucks my cohort jokingly told me that I was immune to the weather. They said that I was like a superhero and we continued chatting. 

After the girls and I finished eating we continued our pursuit of Yale. Before we went on the tour we met up with Lauren, a Yale alumna, so that she could give us some insight on applying to Ivy League Colleges. We met her outside of the Yale Museum and went inside so that we could look at some of the exhibits.
The entrance of the Yale Museum
 Our tour did not start until 1:30 PM, so we had a lot of time to waste before we headed over to Yale. We saw a few statues while we walked through the entrance of the museum and we also saw amazing renaissance themed paintings.
I really liked examining all of the painters’ different methods of painting and wondered why I couldn’t have been more artistically gifted.
 We also saw statues one of the most recognizable statues in the world which is the thinker by Auguste Rodin.
The Thinking Man 
 We continued walking through the museum and visited the African Art portion of the museum on the second level. I saw a breathtaking headdress and immediately wanted to know the history behind its impeccable collage of detail.
The headdress is made up of two parts, the upper part represents fierceness, and has animal skin attached to the top of the headdress. The lower part has a face clothed in what appears to be some type of fabric which is meant to represent fanciness. The mask was originally made in Nigeria, but soon Sierra Leone incorporated their own version of the headdress into their culture as well. I loved learning about my culture and seeing the different statues, masks, and jewelry on the African Art level. The jewelry in particular made me think about how modern jewelry resembles some of the jewelry that was worn in the past.
 I saw a few necklaces that looked identical to the popular styles that I’d seen being worn around school. I think that it’s quite fascinating to see how history repeats itself, but then I felt bad for the lack of acknowledgement that these vintage designers receive. I also saw a statue of an African Spirit that wore a beautifully detailed skirt with an interesting print.
Later on we headed up to the third level, Modern and Contemporary Art, and I saw a jacket covered in embellishments that looked as if it was a piece that would be worn by an Indian prince. I decided to go "try it on" before we left the museum to go to Yale.

My cohort, Lauren, and I went into the Admission Office to join the upcoming tour and picked out postcards to send our families. The receptionist gave us water before heading off into the heat and we met Elisa, our tour guide. As she lead us into the shade she told us that she was a rising senior, majors in American Studies, and plays the saxophone in three of the bands at Yale. The tour began by Elisa showing us around old campus and telling us that it was getting revamped for the returning Yalies in the fall.
Traveling through the construction site
 She told us about the history of old campus and told us a story about its’ founder Theodore Wolsey.
Ms. Neal rubbing Theodore Wolsey's toe for good luck
 Apparently, people believed that Wolsey’s toe was lucky, because when Yale and Harvard would have boat races he would push Yale's boat off with his toe and they would always win. However,  when Wolsey did not attend the race they lost. She even mentioned that when students need good luck before an important exam that they still rub Wolsey’s toe for good luck. I know that I wanted to rub Theodore Wolsey’s toe before I check-in to Brown tomorrow I have a feeling that I’ll need all of the good luck I can get.

 After we rubbed Theodore Wolsey’s toe for good luck we continued on with the rest of the tour and Elisa showed us the Branford Hall building which was designed by James Rodgers. James Rodger intentionally made the building look distressed by pouring acid on the bricks on the building, breaking windows and re-wielding them, and importing tiles from Ireland. Rodgers admired British Architecture and decided that it would the inspiration for Branford Hall. 

Then, Elisa led us over to the residential housing were students get to collaborate with one another under the leadership of their masters. Meryl Streep and Morgan Freeman were invited by to be guest speakers at events hosted by masters. Next, Elisa escorted us over to one of Yale’s numerous libraries’ that has a cathedral theme . I noticed that the library had no windows and I became increasingly curious of the reasons why the architect decided to exclude them. Elisa explained that the library was designed without windows to protect certain books from harmful UV rays that might pierce and damage books through the window.   Yale has twenty-two libraries which all together have over thirteen million books inside of them. The library that we saw carried 850,000 of the 13 million books that are available on campus.
The spacious building had an exhibit that contained the Gutenberg Bible which is written in Latin.
The Gutenberg Bible
Elisa informed us that if you can’t find a particular book at one of the various libraries’ at Yale you could borrow a book from one of the neighboring Ivy League schools. I thought this was a very respectable act on behalf on the other Ivy League schools, because this shows that they are not so consumed with being the best university that they would sabotage the students at Yale.

 The next building we saw was the Morse Hall building that has a medieval theme. The gates are similar to the gates you might see outside of a castle with a modern touch and the walls are made out of cement with bricks randomly inserted inside.
This really frightened me when I looked around Morse Hall, because it looked like it could be used as a venue for shooting a scary movie. There was a tree in the middle of the courtyard with a random couple’s names inscribed which made the Morse Hall building seem less creepy.
A couple openly expresses their mutual love
Then, we traveled to the book store to purchase souvenirs before going to lunch with Lauren.

After we left the bookstore we went to a pizzeria to chat more about applying to colleges like Yale, Brown, or Princeton. The best advice that Lauren gave me was not to put my all my eggs in one basket. She said that I should apply to at least more than five colleges and try to explore all of my options. She also told me to research the college before I go to an interview just in case they ask me about one of their staples. She was asked to elaborate on what she thought about residential housing at Yale and had never heard of it. Luckily, this did not prevent her from staying focused and was still able to get accepted into Yale. I appreciate  Lauren for taking the time out of her busy schedule to come and talk to us about applying to colleges and telling us that we should apply no matter what, because you could possibly be accepted into the college of your dreams. I think that I have to learn how to be more confident and not get easily intimidated. I think that I prevent myself from growing when I decide not to try new things. I can definitely say that after today I will become more of a fearless young woman. 
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