Tuesday, July 19, 2011

In West Philadelphia...

After 5 hours of nonstop flight the Yalies, Ms. Nardone, and Mr. Ramsey finally arrived on the East Coast.

Our first greeting on this voyage was a wall of hot, humid air that hit us square in the face as we said farewell to our airplane. We had left at 9 AM (West Coast time) and had arrived at 5:30 (East Coast time). We had dinner reservations at 8:15 PM so we got out of the airport as quickly as possible to check into our fabulous hotel, the Sheraton.

Tom and I settled into our room, threw our suitcases on the floor, washed up a little bit and began to dress for our dinner this evening at the glamorous Butcher and Singer steakhouse. Because our first destination was in Philadelphia, we were able to meet up with some of our fellow ILC cohorts from the UPENN group: Alex Elms, Julia Martien, Brian Seegers, and their chaperone Mr. Miranda. We all gathered up in the lobby of the Sheraton before departing to the restaurant via taxi cab.

When we arrived at our destination many thoughts were building up in my head. The most prominent one was just the very fact that I was where I was. I wasn't in Kansas I thought to myself, I was in the big city now, ready to live up to my ILC experience. This reality set in so hard that I just burst out smiling and laughing. I even told my fellow Yalie Dyana So how excited I was to be here and that I couldn't wait to start our education at Yale. Other thoughts that pervaded my mind were how hungry I was, how beautiful my surroundings were, and a curiosity for Swarthmore, a college that I had never heard of before tonight.

We got into the restaurant, took our places according to Mr. Ramsey's decisions and soon got down to business. All of the ILC students turned immediately to the Swarthmore representative, Joaquim Hamilton, and bombarded him with question after question. I paid close attention to what Alex and Dyana asked our guest of honor. They mainly discussed Swarthmore's general student life, what it is like there, and how it is run. Then things turned into greater and greater detail as Alex delved deeper into the engineering prospects at Swarthmore.

As the dinner pushed forward, we got our appetizers, and our entrees. Ms. Kronenberg gave me a nice nugget of wisdom tonight. "Always play to people's strengths," she told me. As soon as I heard her advice I immediately implemented it in the planning of my meal. As our waitress came up to us and asked us what we wanted, I asked her what she thought was the best appetizer to get. She gave me a suggestion and I took it. It turns out that she made a very good suggestion to me, the salad was absolutely delicious as was the steak.

The meal concluded with more questions being fired at Mr. Hamilton and we were able to pump a lot of information out of him. We learned that Swarthmore is an extremely selective small college. It is open and appealing to the applicant who hasn't yet found his or her way, and it emphasizes a unique style of teaching that focuses on core curriculum AND innovation. All in all, Swarthmore gained a lot of recognition in my mind, and now holds a spot for one of my college applications in the future.

Although the dinner was over, the night was still young. Tom, Dyana, and I accompanied the UPENN group back to their campus for a little private night tour. We wandered the streets of Philadelphia and I was able to absorb so many sights. I always knew that cities at night were magnificent sights, but Philly really took my breath away. The architecture, and style of the buildings really gave off a sense of "East Coast living." We got to UPENN, signed in at the front door, and entered the dorm area. The dorm buildings surrounded what is known as the "quad." Inside of the quad is a nice grass field, and stairs leading to a lower quad. Although it was night time and I couldn't see it in all of it's glamour, I could tell that it was a beautiful place, and that it would make for a great spot to just sit down and relax with some friends.

Time flew by there, and before we knew it it was time to head on back to the hotel. I walked away from UPENN eager to come back. I wanted to see all of the wonders that UPENN had to offer. Luckily it won't be too long until my wish is fulfilled. Thursday's plans revolve around a campus tour of UPENN along with a dinner as well.

To wrap it all up my day was great. I'm finally on the first leg of my long journey from home. After so many hours, days, and weeks of preparation I'm on the East Coast with my fellow cohorts, ready to experience what has been waiting for us this entire time. I end my day with a smile, and a hopeful heart for the joys that tomorrow has in store for us.

1 comment:

  1. Matt,

    What better way to conclude a day filled with an early get-up and a long airplane flight?

    After reading about your dinner, Matt, you left your readers wondering: just what kind of appetizer did you go with? Just in case I get lost and end up in Philadelphia we need to know what to eat when we got to Butcher and Singer.

    Just a suggestion, Matt, but when you know you're going to meet with someone to discuss their field of expertise, their company or their product, it might be a good idea to do some homework so you can speak with authority and ask questions that suggests you know the subject matter.

    This is a critical piece of advice when you're being interviewed for a school, for a scholarship and for future employment.