Friday, June 25, 2010
Hello everyone! Today was our first full day in New York, woot woot!
The morning was a bit... disappointing. Before I left Hercules, I did a bit of research on the schools we were planning on visiting while in New York. I was particularly excited about Bard because 1) I emailed the admission officer and he was so nice and had prepared to greet us 2) I found lots of interesting facts and I have questions that I want answered 3) I have never heard of it before and it seemed like a great school! However, when we arrived at the Amtrak station, we learned that the train had left ahead of the time printed on our tickets. Because of that, we weren't able to make it to Bard for the visit. What a bummer.
As the day progressed, everything got better. After a quick breakfast, we headed down the street towards the Empire State Building. There we signed up for a tour on the 80th floor, which was really amazing. The panoramic view of the entire NYC and areas surrounding it was fantastic! And although photos and descriptions sum up the general atmosphere, it is one of those things where you have to physically be there to feel the full magnitude. I'm just so happy I was there with everyone!
Afterwards, we headed back to Penn Station to catch a train to Poughkeepsie (isn't that just the coolest name?) to attend an info session and take a tour at Vassar College. I have to admit, Vassar was a lot better than I had expected it to be. I went in thinking that Vassar still had the feeling of a traditional women's liberal arts college, with heavy emphasis on performing arts and English -- two fields that I don't really feel strongly about. However, my views changed quickly.
Vassar has a lot to more to offer than most large, private universities. For instance, all first-years are assigned a counselor/advisor and are required to meet with that individual on a weekly or biweekly basis. The average size of classrooms is around 16, even at the intro levels. The biggest classes do not exceed 50. Students are also given the opportunity to experience field work while in school. In fact, the outstanding alumni network at Vassar enables some graduates to interview for positions offered by alumni immediately after graduation.
As one can see, at Vassar, the students aren't really numbers, but actually people! The close-knit feeling and intimate relationships with professors are definitely a plus! I am, however, a bit skeptical about the environment. I would definitely love coming to revisit while school is in session, and perhaps spend a night and a day on campus. In retrospect, Vassar surpassed my expectations by miles.
On the ride back, I completely knocked out. Although we didn't really do too much today, I felt so exhausted. A great dinner was all I needed to pick me up! And Oceana's definitely picked me up! The food there was delicious and we all had a great experience. Thank you Mr. Ramsey for selecting yet another great dining venue and a big round of applause for all of our generous sponsors who have enabled us to eat at such luxurious restaurants! It's getting late so I'll leave everyone with another slideshow. Hopefully this time the formatting is a little better and the photos won't be cut off. Goodnight from NYC!