Thursday, June 23, 2011

"Rockefeller's Best Investment"

It has truly been a significantly valuable experience these past two days, visiting two prestigious yet totally different institutions. In today’s trip to the University of Chicago, our tour took us through a campus of older structures, elegant in their ivy-blanketed splendor, as well as innovative modern structures, such the building for integrated and biological sciences.

Of course, the most cutting-edge structure of all was the newly unveiled, glass-domed Joe and Rika Library, conveniently connected with the main campus library. U of Chicago has the largest library in the US, with over 7 million tomes on its automated shelves. I’m serious… the book shelves move! Additionally, with the press of a button, a machine claw will grab your book of choice for you. Personally though, I just like navigating the labyrinth-like aisles. I couldn’t help thinking that the place would be excellent for silent hide-and-seek.

I understand now what it means for a college to be entirely unique.

Strolling through the beautiful, quaint, and tree-lined Hyde Park community (even in the rain) is a pleasant experience. University of Chicago also seems to be a place where small classes of student-run discussions around a circular table prevail against the traditional lecture hall arrangement. There are a set of core classes capped at 19 students which everyone takes. U of Chicago offers a lot of merit aid options in addition to need-based financial aid. However, like Northwestern and probably most of the other elite institutions, about $1,000-$2,000 per year is available for NMS Finalists.

I must say that the highlight of the day was lunching with the U of Chicago students in the grand Hutchinson Hall, which also seems to be equipped with endless food options from all around the world. I opted for a salad and smoothie, while Genevieve tried the samosas and masala, and Terilyn ate sushi.

In our company was our friendly tour guide Elin Meliska, who had told us that the U of Chicago, established in 1890 and funded by John D. Rockefeller, was “Rockefeller’s best investment.” We also enjoyed the company of math major Cullen Seaton. I particularly identified with Pre-Med student, Lucy Peterson from Kentucky, with whom I share an interest in biological sciences and a rivalry between the Loserville—excuse me, Louisville Cardinals and the University of Kentucky Wildcats of my birthplace, Lexington. Lunch was really fun, and we thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed college cafeteria setting, but University of Chicago has some really awesome students!

1 comment:

  1. Kelly,

    I would love to see that automated book retrieval system in operation. That sounds SO cool.

    Out of curiosity, about how long does it take to get the desired book?

    Like you, though, I think I would rather be able to browse the stacks to see what else is out there. It's much like comparing a book store with Both have a wide variety of books but for the most part when shopping at Amazon we're searching for a specific book while at the book store we get to seek out fun and exciting books we might not even have know existed.

    Both have uses bit Barnes & Noble has made a fortune off of my browsing while Amazon finally turned a profit when I sought out specific books at a discount (plus laptop security cables--that I seem to have purchased by the truckload this year).