Friday, July 5, 2013


The day began early once again with Thomas and I waking up around 5:30 AM. After going to sleep around 2:30 AM from a late night of blogging, we got dressed in the appropriate attire for a hot New York City summer day. We made our way down to the lobby, looked around and saw no one around with ten minutes to spare. First was Mr. Mannix, then came Kim and Loan. Once the group was all together Mr. Mannix asked the hotel to get us a cab, and once it arrived we went to the place we knew best on the East Coast (D.C. train station.) From there we caught a three hour train ride to New York, which was everyone's opportunity to catch up on some lost sleep.

With thirty to forty-five minutes left on our train ride everyone woke up. As we went through New Jersey I couldn't help but think of Shaquille O'Neal's movie Kazaam, because it took place in New Jersey and all of the buildings looked like exact replicas.

As the train stopped in New York you can feel the change in pace and atmosphere in the air. As soon as I stepped foot off the train everything was sped up ten times what I was accustomed to. The fact that the city was functioning so fast made me feel like I was moving in slow motion. True enough I was moving in slow motion, because I was taking in the scenery of New York and trying not to take in the air it produced. When we got off the train, we were in the Empire State building area which was gorgeous, but the stench of the place was a mixture of garbage, sewage, and body odor. First we tried to adventure to the top of the Empire State building, but that was quickly shut down by the line that wrapped around the corner and doubled back. Instead we went to eat with only a few hours left until time for our tour Columbia University to start.

While eating lunch I got some much needed liquid in my system, and some of the freshest Pico de Gallo ever.  That Pico de Gallo was what made my BBQ chicken quesadilla. Then I got some tap water that tasted nothing like how the New York air smelled. I had three full glasses in five minutes of just waiting for the check to come.

After lunch I felt hydrated and ready to go on a journey. So we did catching the packed subway for the first time to Columbia. When I say the subway was packed I mean it was like having a van for eight people packed with twenty. The good part about the subway is that it dropped us off right across the street from the school, which meant saving our feet a little more for the rest of the day.

As soon as we got inside the school I had to locate a water fountain, because the ninety degree heat was making me squirt sweat like a lawn sprinkler. Re-hydrated and ready to take notes about the informative speech about the school, I pulled out a pen and paper. As the man with thirty-two years of experience began to speak, I started to feel an uncertainty to whether or not I should consider Columbia a college choice. At the end of the day in my mind I would't consider Columbia a college choice anymore.

I feel this way because with the beginning of the man's informative speech he made it seem as if he could careless if we applied for Columbia. Saying things like we have plenty of other applicants and a acceptance rate last year of 6.7%. This mixed with his non-enthusiastic tone gave me a sense of not being important and a feeling of why should I even apply to Columbia. He also kind of down played Columbia saying that Ivy League has nothing to do with academic success, which is true, but you don't just put down candidates ideas of thinking the school is special. Then he enforced the fact that Columbia doesn't offer scholarships. All of this was enough to push Columbia to the back of my mind.

I'm not just going to insert my con opinions of the school without at least stating some of the speakers good parts. The speaker did go on to say later on in his speech that they offer a need bases financial aid, somewhat like Penn's aid. He also stated that all of the freshman engineering classes are hands on classes. He really captured my attention when he said the school really doesn't care about SAT scores, but they like to see how you have done in class on your transcript. He also throughout that AP classes aren't necessary to be admitted. The tour guide even said that Columbia offers all four years of housing, but by the time some interests had been said, I had already had my mind made up.

Once we left the campus we made our way to the subway, then to Time Square where we walked down the street in aww with the lights of Time Square shining bright during the day. This was absolutely a better smelling part of the city, with 1000's of people walking down the street at a time just touring and having a good time. The best part of New York though was Central Park.

Central Park made my day as I reflected back on the natural preserved beauty of the place. Central Park was a forest in the middle of a fast pace busy city that needs a place for people to sometimes go and relax and hide from the city madness. This just goes to show that everyone needs a place of peace and tranquility in life regardless of who you are. After finding ourselves a little peace and tranquility it was back to the busy city to catch the subway to the train station before 7:30 PM when our train pulls off . Due to a couple delays with the train, we got there with enough time to spare and catch a bite to eat. After the train ride we got home with memories in our minds and happiness in our hearts as we call it a night.

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