Sunday, July 7, 2013

Love at First Sight

Waking up today I did not expect my life to take such a drastic turn. It was just like all the other day. I wake up, and prepared for another awesome adventure. We had breakfast in the hotel's buffet again and it was very filling. Mr. Mannix commented on how I was eating runny chicken's placenta ( sunny side-up eggs), pig butt ( bacon), and assorted pig parts ( sausages). I just had a good laugh and continued on eating. After breakfast we went on our way to the Georgetown University tour. 

Georgetown is relatively close to our hotel and it only took about 20 minutes of walking to get there. After spending several days with Mr. Mannix, I can proudly say that a mile or two...or three of walking will not scare me any more. Anyway we got to Georgetown in no time and headed to the information session area. Before we even step foot on campus I immediately see the iconic Harry Potter-style building. It was just so magnifico. 

Our Georgetown experience started with an information session much like that of Columbia. The information was super informative compared to all the other ones. They had a PowerPoint and everything. I was so impressed with the school by the end of the session.

With the information session in mind we moved on to the tour. Our tour guide is actually a girl from San Jose and it made me feel good knowing that she was from somewhere close to home. Her attitude was definitely bright and happy and she really showed her enthusiasm. She really added a lot of her personal opinion as a student and she made sure to point out why Georgetown is a unique school. By the end of the tour I had fallen so deep in love with Georgetown University that I don't ever want to leave the pit. This was one of the most life changing events ever.

I knew immediately that this was my dream college, no doubt. I love it, first and foremost, because it is home of one of the greatest schools of medicine. They have state of the art facilities and great opportunities. Georgetown offers their Pre-MED students an early assurance, which is a rigorous application that will guarantee your acceptance into their school of medicine or law if you qualify. And you do not have to take the MCAT or LSAT in order to get into the graduate schools. And even if you don't qualify, about 80% of students get accepted to medical school compare to the 40% national average.

Second, They have a great financial aid program that will strive to meet 100% of a student's needs. Georgetown has actually given away about 75 million dollars in grants.

Third, students have a lot of resources to help them through their college journey. Our tour guide told us that she had about 4 advisors/counselors who all help her make decisions about what classes to take and help keep track of the requirements she needs to fulfill.

Fourth, classroom sizes at Georgetown are pretty small with only an average of 26 students per class. Of course lectures courses would include around 100 students but the professors. along with teacher assistants, have office hours where you can get the help you need or one on one time.

Fifth, students at Georgetown really have the best of both worlds. Since the campus is located in a peaceful neighborhood it's the perfect environment, in my opinion, for a college. Then, about 20 minutes away via bus or taxi, is the wonderful city of Washington where there are so much things to do and see. I could just go on and on due to the endless of the pros that I see in Georgetown. And to think that before today I haven't even thought about considering Georgetown since I knew nothing about it. I cannot express how grateful I am for this opportunity, I would have never discovered Georgetown if it weren't for the ILC. I just want to go back and take the tour again and again and again just so I can fall in love with the university over and over and over. The feeling of finding that one college that you really want to attend is just amazing and I'm glad I finally found mine. I was just blown away by this event.

After the tour, you could not have imagined how hyped up I was inside for the dinner with the Georgetown Student Body President and Vice President, and two Georgetown alums. I was ready to learn more about the school that I have so recently fallen in love with.

Of course we had about 3 or so hours before the dinner so we went to the famous Georgetown Cupcake bakery. There was a long line that resulted in a 20 minute wait. However once we were finished with the cupcakes we knew that the wait was well worth it. Kim and I was smart about the situation because we ordered different flavors and had half of each so that we could sample the different taste of each. I had a red velvet one all to myself, however, because it was their signature cupcake. The cupcakes were truly delicious and creatively put together. The frosting was very flavorful but light and the cake part had a soft airy texture to it. It was almost like eating magic clouds.

Afterward we decided to head to the International Spy Museum because we did not get the chance to see it on July 4th as we had originally planned. When we got to the Spy Museum there was a very long line in front of it. The wait time for the line was about 45 minutes and we would not have had much time to enjoy the museum if we waited. So we all went into the spy store and got some cool spy gear.

We then had our lunch sandwiches in the nearby shade. While we were eating there was a little boy, about 8 or 9 years old, selling water. He was just all by himself and his parent(s) or guardian(s) were nowhere in sight. It just kind of breaks my heart a little to see such a young boy in this situation. I see this all the time in Viet Nam and it kills me but I never thought I would see something like it in this country. I see kids selling food on the street during fairs/festivals before but their parents were always with them.  

We took the cab back to the hotel to get ready for the dinner. We fancied ourselves up just like we did for the Vanderbilt dinner but with less layers since the temperature differences were quite big. Once we arrived at the City Tavern Club we were led to the room in which we were going to dine in. The City Tavern Club is actually a very historical, members-only eatery. The inside was elegantly decorated and it made me feel all prim and proper. Inside of the dining room, Paul Connor was waiting for us. Paul is a recent graduate from Georgetown and still resides in the city. Paul is actually from Southern California and we later learned that California represented a large percentage of Georgetown University. We all introduced ourselves and chat for a bit before Sean Redmonds, the president of the club and Georgetown alumnus, arrived. And it wasn't long before Nate Tisa, Student Body President, and Adam Ramadan, student body Vice President, joined us. Mr. Redmonds gave us all a tour of the Tavern and gave us the history of it. This club is actually very old and many Presidents have been there. The room we were going to dine in was actually the place where John Adams had been to make his speech and 18 toasts. President Reagan had his pre-inauguration lunch in one of the rooms on the lower floor. Mr. Redmonds showed us different maps that showed the planned layout for the District of Columbia back in the days. As I walked through the club and up the stairs I could hear the creak of the steps that reminded me of how old and historical the Tavern really is. Sadly not many people know about the Tavern because it is such a hidden gem. 

We went back to the dining room and settled ourselves at the table. We all sat in between the alums and students so that we could really talk to them. I learned so much about Georgetown and college in general. Paul and Nate told me about their application process and what they thought made them stand out. They both seem to agree that it was their amazing essays that pulled them through. They told me that when I write my essay I should have an emotional connection with it or otherwise it wasn't THE essay. That was such an important piece of advice for me because I have always wondered how you would know if your essay was good enough.

Adam, Nate, and Paul also told us about their experience with study abroad and how life changing it was. They described it as going to college for the first time again. They also occasionally reminded us that we were still in high school and we should enjoy the time and not stress about college too much.

They also talked about life at Georgetown. They said that it was really great living so close to Washington DC. Apparently, at Georgetown, classes are canceled if there's snowfall. We also talked about education at Georgetown and it's well known saying "Be Men and Women for Others". What this means is that with the education that you receive, you should use it to give back and benefit your community. I told them that this was very similar to the ILC where we are expected to bring our experience back, share it and hopefully inspire others. I gained so much from this dinner and I am very grateful that these alums and students took the time to come and enlighten us. 

Not only was the conversation amazing but the food was as well. I had a New Zealand Lamb Lollipop and I was one muscle away from moaning out load just as the flavors hit my taste buds. The food was absolutely superb and beautiful. For dessert I had peppermint ice cream which was nice and refreshing after a day of humid weather. Unfortunately it was getting late and we had to say our goodbyes. Before everyone left we all got together and took a group photo. Don would have been proud.

Our last night in DC ended with finesse and it was perfect. However, I am pretty sad that we have to leave. I have no doubt that our awesome adventure will continue at Vanderbilt. Unfortunately, for this time I cannot say "I can't wait". Maybe someday I will get to return if I get accepted to Georgetown University.

1 comment:

  1. Last year our experience at Georgetown was memorable for all of the wrong reasons. I wrote to Georgetown afterwards with a few suggestions. Whether they listened or not, what you all experienced was far better than what we saw last year.

    Even last year, though, the dinner with the alums was fantastic and our ILCers raved about it.

    And yes, I am proud abut the group photo.