Sunday, July 12, 2015

Because You're The Only Ten I See!

I started off this morning by waking up at 10 AM, then saw a text from Jenny saying that we were going to meet at 11:30 AM instead of 11. After reading that text, I felt so relieved and intended to go back to sleep for another hour. When the time came, we all got up and packed our stuff, ready to be down at the lobby. Everyone dropped off their luggage in the hotel's storage room and proceeded with taking a shuttle to a restaurant called Biscuit Love. 
A really cute, perfect, and delicious place to eat at for brunch.

Once we had arrived, the line was  long and it was approximately a 45-60 minute wait, so Jenny told us that she could stand in line and the rest of the cohort could walk around and adventure. We decided to walk to one of the stores a block away called Urban Outfitters. The store was filled with tons of clothing and accessories, so an hour was more than enough for the four of us. Gwennie and I came across a box full of really nice friendship bracelets, could not help but sort through it, and find one for ourselves. I suggested for all of us to get one as a cohort (and one for Jenny too of course) to match one another. By the time we finished paying at the register we got a text from Jenny saying, "Come back!". We rushed out of the store to get to her as soon as possible and made it in time for the cashier to take our orders. 
The fantastic five with our friendship bracelets (making a V shape with our fingers to stand for Vanderbilt).
The waiters brought out the drinks first, I had their orange juice and it tasted amazing. For orange juice, it was the most refreshing that I have ever had. Then, the rest of the food was brought out, I had the Egg Plate with two eggs, sausages, cheese grits, and a biscuit with jam on top. I knew that I had to try their biscuit since it was their specialty and just from scooping into it with my spoon, I saw the layers flake off on my plate perfectly.

All of us tried to walk off our full stomachs to the shuttle outside of the restaurant to get driven to the Parthenon. It was actually open this time for us to visit and we took about 45 minutes in the museum overall. The experience was new for me, since I did not know much about the Greek world, but Hummd did so she told me a bit about each of the artifacts that we saw there. For example, there was a 41 feet and 10 inch tall replica of the Athena statue holding another god in the palm of her right hand, and Hummd explained that the god was called Nike and represented victory. I found out that she has a secret passion for Greek mythology which is really fascinating, unique, and interesting. 
Athena, the goddess of wisdom and the
useful arts, with Nike in one hand and
a shield with a snake on it in the other. 

After our visit, we walked on the way back to the hotel, and stopped at Rite Aid for a while to buy the laundry detergent. Then, we arrived at the hotel to pick our luggage up and transfer them into a taxi cab, where it would take us to Hank Ingram Hall to check in. At the end of our check-in, we unpacked our stuff into our dorms, which are all on different floors except for Hummd's and Gwennie's. For the most part, each of us were divided into three different groups: the V (Gwennie's and Hummd's), S (Arnold's), and A (mines) houses.
I was greeted by my proctor, Elizabeth (a.k.a. Lizzie), as soon as I opened my door. She handed me an index card to create my own flag, something that represents me, and gave an example of hers having a koala as her spirit animal on the card because she loves sleep so much. I took the bed on the right where the window is behind it (I personally enjoy the room with the amount of space just right for me). I had finished unloading my stuff and met my roommate, Riley (who is also a rising senior), by 5 PM, when it was time for the proctor to give us a small tour around the school. This summer is Riley's fifth year participating in the VSA (Vanderbilt Summer Academy) program. We had a brief introduction of each other and shared something very important in common, eating snacks. She had brought so much, it filled an entire drawer of hers. 

The small tour led us all to the commons where we had icebreakers to learn each others names in Lizzie's group. We played games like ninja, two truths and one lie, mafia, and attempted to do the human knot. The time passed by so quick that it was dinner already. Our group sat with each other and I was able to learn a lot more about some of the people in it. For example, there is a girl named Claire (a rising senior), who is commuting, shared with me one of the things that she does, which is show cattle. I found out that it is when you raise or take care of a cow for 6 months or so, then sell it to someone else, and usually receive its meat back. I had never heard of show cattle before in the Bay Area and by meeting people from the South one at a time, I really start to discover more about the cultural differences. 
A snapshot of my proctor group and I.
When dinner ended around 7 PM, everyone headed to the opening session, where we were introduced to the proctors and residence advisors of all of the VSA houses. They started off with playing a video of the V house first, next S house, then A house. I noticed that the theme of the videos that they made was something along the lines of movies. The V house used Jurassic Park Velociraptors, S house had James Bond Spies, and the A house (best one in my opinion) used the "Awesome" song from the Lego movie. 
A cute paper lego figure, representing the Awesome! in
the A house.

Once all of the staff members were introduced, the three houses separated and exited to the commons to start playing a game where the events coordinator, John, presented a challenge and the first person from each proctor group who would reach a certain point, would gain 2 points for their house. I felt the adrenaline rush through me both times when he said, "First person who gets to this line, if they play a musical instrument," or "Do not run me over, but the person who gets to me first must sign their name in sign language." I did not make it the first time to him for the musical instrument challenge, but I was quicker in the challenge where I signed my name to him. The activity soon ended as the time was 9 o'clock, and there was a brief house meeting for all of the houses to go over the rules and house cheers. After that meeting, there was another meeting, but with the proctor groups. We went around in a circle passing the Talking Panda (a pillow pet that was used to give whoever was holding it the power to talk, having others respect their voice) and explaining our flag that we had made earlier with the index cards. 
The campus is absolutely beautiful with lots of free space around.
When that meeting ended, I went back into my dorm room and changed clothes. Our proctor forgot to hand out some stuff, so when she knocked on my door, I excitedly accepted the complimentary water bottle, hat, and VSA t-shirt. Today felt like a very long day, but I cannot wait for the first day of class tomorrow! I also found out about the Arete classes that I will be taking, and the first week I will have fencing and the week after that will be the art of Henna. 

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