Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Second Day!

Today was so chock-full of exciting and fun things that it feels like several days have passed since Jamie woke me up at 5:45 this morning! After all the morning preliminaries, we were on our way to meet Mrs. Kronenberg at the Penn Station. However, when we got there, we found out to our dismay that the train schedule had not been shifted 30 minutes later as we had expected, and we found ourselves without a train to visit Bard and Vassar. After some more negotiations with the ticket office, Mrs. Kronenberg and Mrs. Ishmael arranged for us to be able to visit Vassar in the afternoon, but we would have to miss Bard. Also, the new train would leave at 11:15, leaving us with more than two hours free. First, we went and had a delicious (but overpriced) breakfast at a local restaurant, and afterward we went to the Empire State Building to sight-see. Looking out from the top of the tower, I realized just how big the city was, and how many people lived there. I also realized that the Empire State Building was really, really high.

After we got back down to solid ground, we then went to the train station for a leisurely ride to Vassar to check out their college. We were all so tired that pretty much all of us fell asleep on the train. When we got there, we were treated to a scenic ride in a shuttle where we got to see the town of Poughkeepsie. 

Despite seeming rural and outdated, the town had a charm about it that I'd never seen in a town in California. The college itself was an interesting combination of the past and the future. While many of the dormitories were very old and built out of brick and stone, some of the new buildings, designed in an impressive post-modern style with glass and metal, juxtaposed nicely with the older buildings. I was really impressed with Vassar's open curriculum, where there are virtually no required classes necessary for graduation, which makes double majoring much easier. Also, their high rate of students who graduate within 4 years also made an impression on me.

After another train ride back to New York, we went to dinner at the high-class Oceana restaurant. As expected, they specialized in seafood, and the sea bass I had was excellent. 

To read about the true focus of our little party's attention, read Jamie's blog, where he lovingly talks about the caviar he had! 

After the fantastic dinner, we retired to our hotel room, weary and ready to turn in to prepare for the next day. Thank you to Mrs. Kronenberg, Mrs. Ishmael, Mr. Ramsey, and everyone else who has helped make this trip possible, especially the sponsors!

1 comment:

  1. Winston,

    Nice photos--especially of Vassar.

    Too many of our local students think in terms of the UCs. While we have smaller UCs such as Merced and Santa Cruz, the Cal's and the UCLAs have lecture halls that seat more than a thousand students. Before even applying to such a school you need to take a day trip to Cal and sit in on a freshman calculus or chem class and ask yourself whether this is what you want in a university. Then think about what you saw at Vassar and so many other smaller private schools.

    It's a tough choice because there's always a cost involved and only you can decide whether it's worth the costs to attend a smaller private school.

    Then again, sometimes those smaller schools have financial aid packages that the Cals and the UCLAs can't match.