Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Order of the Phoenix

Today was the first day in Chicago we actually were allowed to “sleep in,” not having to wake up until 8 in the morning, a first. We went to Starbucks again, and shortly after took the bus over to the University of Chicago campus. Although the hour and a half or so on a bus had sucked all the energy out of me, I was still quite impressed by the Chicago campus. The gothic buildings covered in ivy gave off a Hogwarts feel of sorts (more on Hogwarts and University of Chicago later) and the wind rustling through the ivy gave the whole college seem surreal. After looking around in awe at the beautiful campus, we headed inside the admissions office for an info session with Ms. Callie Brown. I had attended the info session at El Cerrito High School earlier so most of the main concepts were just refreshers, but it was nice to remember just how interesting the University of Chicago is.

We then met up with a rising fourth year student at University of Chicago, Elin, who took us on a tour around campus. Hearing Elin talk with such excitement about her school drastically increased my anticipation to attend college, since she talked with great passion about the amazing freedom that came with attending college. It was nice getting to see all the classrooms, and the classroom layout was very unique, and quite interesting. The majority of the classes we visited were in a roundtable format, in which the students had a discussion rather than just listening to a lecture, which I found fascinating. Elin also mentioned UC’s yearly scavenger hunt, in which students have do things such as play human battleship, find a lion or tiger, make chocolate rain, and even search throughout campus to find the list that told them what to find in the school.

After the tour we headed over to Hutchinson Commons to eat lunch with a few Chicago students, which was just as enlightening as the tour and info session. These students were both rising third years, Lucy Peterson, a pre-med student with a biology major, and Cullen Seaton, who is a math major, along with Elin our tour guide. Although University of Chicago might be a bit too close to the city for my liking, after meeting with these students and Ms. Brown, I know that the people at University of Chicago would be reason enough to go.

Later we met back up with Ms. Brown to take a tour of the library, the biggest library in the United States with a whopping 7.7 million volumes. This library also happened to be yet another sign of University of Chicago’s similarity to Hogwarts, with a glass transparent roof similar to the dining hall in Hogwarts (sorry I’m a bit of a Harry Potter nerd). After all these great things at University of Chicago it was time to go back to the hotel, a return journey that was delayed significantly by the lack of a bus for around 40 minutes, which left us out in the rain, of course.

Then we went to Gibson’s Steakhouse to meet up with Callie again, and were able to take a picture with Jesse Jackson! The meal was great and it was fantastic getting to talk to Ms. Brown more. Tomorrow we fly out to Ithaca to have dinner with some Cornell admission administrators, as well as Mr. Ramsey and Ms. Kronenberg.

1 comment:

  1. Nick,

    So many of these blogs contain references to Hogwarts and it begs the question whether any of you have read anything other than the Harry Potter books. Of course, J.K. Rowlings is pleased that you all have become Potter fanatics. There's something about going from welfare to being a billionaire that can make you thankful.

    I don't know much about Gibson's Steakhouse but I'm betting this isn't some roadside diner catering to truckers. Did you at least have a good time and a fine meal?