Thursday, July 9, 2015

Vandy Takes on Atlanta

As soon as my alarm clock went off at 8 AM, I wanted to hit the snooze button, but I had to get up and take a shower in order to get ready in time (not to mention that we had to finish packing our stuff up again). After I finished taking my shower, I walked out of the bathroom to find Hummd and Gwennie still nice and cozy in bed, sleeping. I gave them another 10-15 minutes until it got to 8:30. Meanwhile, I started packing up by folding up my blanket and putting my laptop and chargers back into my backpack. By the time I finished zipping up my luggage, it was 8:30 AM and I attempted to wake up my temporary roommates by yelling, "GOOD MORNING!". I could tell that they were probably not morning people, so I just left the lights on as their "sunshine". Gwennie asked me to wake her up at 8:40 and by then, everybody was up.

We managed to make it downstairs in the next 10 minutes with all of our stuff. The plan was to take the shuttle to a cafe bakery, Au Bon Pain, nearby Rice University, order to-go, and then enjoy a nice walk to the college. The hotel staff put our luggage in one of their storage rooms so that when the Rice University tour finished, we would be picked up and brought back to the hotel to retrieve our belongings.

The ride to Au Bon Pain (The Good Bread, as translated from French) was really short, but we had to walk a little to get to the second floor where the store actually was. It was a cute, little shop with pastries, drinks, soups, and sandwiches. I ordered a "Country Chicken Salad" sandwich with white bread, which had chicken, lettuce, and a special cranberry sauce. Gwennie and Hummd ordered soup, Arnold had the same order as mine, and Jenny got coffee. Once we had received our orders, we headed out to Rice University (fairly a 10-15 minute walk).
A glimpse of Arnold posing behind the door with the
store's logo.

The walk was pleasant, I ate my sandwich on the way to the college, and the weather was not so bad (by bad, I mean super humid and hot). We came onto the campus at Lovett Hall, into the office of admissions, and were shortly escorted out alongside everyone else that were there for the tour by one of the admissions officers to another room for the information session.
The first slide of the projector. 
It started off with every student in the room giving a brief introduction of themselves. Jessica Hardy, the admissions officer, began the presentation shortly after the introductions, and started off with telling us who the college is named after, and why. Rice University is named after William Marsh Rice, who was a businessman in Massachusetts and wanted to create an establishment to spread knowledge and the idea that there is "no upper limit". He was a millionaire and had an untimely death in 1900, which was actually a murder mystery (spoiler alert) that was solved later on based off of the theory that Rice wanted to put in his will that a certain amount of money would go into Rice University when he dies, there was another will that was found that relocated the money to his lawyer and butler instead. It turns out that the lawyer had actually told the butler to murder him.

Rice University offers the best of both worlds: top research and an intimate setting where students would be able to learn the most by researching themselves and having a 6:1 ratio of students to a teacher. Jessica emphasized greatly on "no upper limit" meaning that you can go beyond what is already there. One of the things that really stood out to me in the presentation was the Marching Owl Band. As a band member myself, I was interested in the fact that they really wanted to encourage others to feel included, so even if they do not know how to play an instrument, they will be able to be placed to learn one or stand as a color guard. This concept runs within the entire campus, where everyone is included and motivated to be engaged because it will show the most growth in the long term.
Arnold and I with Rice University's seal
Everything looked very open and welcoming, not to mention the tour guides also. I found out that the residential colleges each had their own commons and everyone tends to get along really well once they are placed in a residential college. We were given an opportunity to look inside an actual dorm, a suite, and was told that there is a system where the upperclassmen will end up with the better dorms, whereas the freshmen would have decent ones.
The statue of William Marsh Rice (1816-1900)
When the tour ended, we took a 20 minute walk to get something to drink, at the Fresh Factor. I ordered the Strawberry-9 that was consisted of strawberry and strawberries (exactly how it was put on the menu). We sat down and drank our smoothies while waiting for the shuttle to come and bring us back to the hotel.
The airport was a quicker process for me this time because I had already went through it once, and it felt easier for me this time when I was at security check (I was even the first one done). The flight was a total of two hours and then another shuttle brought us straight to the hotel, where we set our stuff down in our rooms, then headed straight to the first floor for dinner. We all ordered take out to bring the food back into the rooms to get together and bond even more.
The "phan"tastic Vanderbilt cohort arriving at the Emory Hotel.
Delicious salmon with risotto, lemon, and greens. 

1 comment:

  1. Dang but that dinner looks good--REEEEAL good.


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