Wednesday, June 18, 2014

An Inspiring Time At Yale

Providence Train Station
Sleeping was not my friend today. Trying to sleep at twelve thirty in order to get a at least four and a half hour sleep, I kept waking up during the night because of anxiousness of being late the next morning. I woke up at four fifty-nine, and arrived at the lobby at six eleven.

Fearing that we would not be able to catch the train, six of us walked extremely fast to the train station. This was my first time on AMTRAK. My tiredness exceeded my excitement, which I hoped that I could get back the hotel and have few more hours of sleep. My emotion deepened when I found out that my camera's battery was exhausted although I checked it yesterday and it showed that it was still fully charged.
But, this negativity did not last long. As soon I boarded the train, I felt that the train was really comfortable. On the way to New Haven, I watched the quick-passing natural and architectural scenes. They were really different form the ones in California. The tree species were different and the architectural styles also gave people another kind of feeling.

It was still a long time before meeting the Yale admission officer after we got off the train, so we went to a nearby restaurant to have some "Yale" style breakfast. I ordered veggie omelette, which was simple but healthy. It was almost time to meet Yale admission officer, Dara Nordwood, so we headed to Sheffield-Sterling-Strathcona Hall. Since we all prepared our own question to ask her, we were able to ask her questions without hesitation. I got my answer; Yale admission officers are looking for students who are passionate on what they do,  intellectually curious, nice, and involving. 

One of the Residential College
Then, the information session began. At the beginning, Dara introduced Yale College as a liberal arts college which allows students to create their own diverse combination of classes and features the residential college system. With the diversity of classes to take, students are able to experience fields that they have not stepped before, and they can also have the freedom to develop and combine their own interests and their learning from these classes into distinct combinations of knowledge and make connections within fields that might seem to be unrelated. In order for students to figure out what they really want to take, the college has a special shopping period, which is the first two weeks of school when students are allowed to walked into any classes and find out whether they are interested in the contents or not. Besides in school learning, Yale also provides a wide variety of opportunities for students to research on any topics they want and to travel abroad to experience new cultures and things that they are interested in. Aside from academic learning, students are also able to be involved in many types of clubs, ranging from music, politics, sports, and many other types.

The residential collage system is another feature that makes Yale distinctive. It has twelve residential colleges, each with a dean, who helps students on their academic lives, and a master of college, who is in charge of everything else. These two people help and advice students throughout their college careers. In these residential colleges, students create strong bonds through various types activities, including participating in intramural sports and freshmen Olympics. 

Inside of Beinecke Library 
It was a really informative and interesting information session, and we even took a picture with Dara. The following was the college tour. The air was hot and humid. After walking for a little, I started sweating, which I rarely did when I was in the Bay Area. I felt like I was back to Taiwan again. As we walked, our tour guide, Jordan, introduced the famous buildings and constructions with details and humor. The ones that I remembered the most was the Beinecke Library and The Women's Table that was built by Maya Lin. When I first walked in the library, I was amazed by the spectacular bookshelves. There were many layers, and each layer contained numerous ancient and precious collections. I even saw the copy of Bible that was printed by Gutenberg. The fountain was amazing because it was a memorial for women and was a symbol for gender equality in this educational institution. The tour ended with the introduction to Nathan Hale. I asked the tour guide why he chose Yale, and he said because the school was like a community where there is no division.

We met Austin, Xuan, and James after the tour! Austin was a Pinole Valley High School graduate, and he is currently an uprising senior at Yale, and is majoring in chemistry and political science. He also attended the DNA based biotechnology course at Brown when he was in high school. WOW! Xuan is an uprising junior who major in mechanical engineering. James is an uprising senior who majors in biomedical engineering. 

We entered the finest restaurant at New Haven, called The Union League Cafe. During the meal, we had many interesting conversations on why they chose Yale, what we have to do, how is the school,  the majors they are in, and many more topics. They told us to do what we liked and not to be burdened by others' expectations. People always have a set of opinions on the definition of success, whether is go to business school or medical school after college graduate, or study in a certain areas that people are "suited," but these are not the definition of success for us. Also, they shared their experiences at Yale. Since I was really interested in biomedical engineering, I asked James about the major at Yale. He said that it was a really good school for studying biomedical engineering because there were many research opportunities and resources available.

Crème brûlée
From their descriptions, I could hear their enthusiasm toward the school and could really feel that Yale was a fabulous school. Every student had close relationship with each other, they had a lot f extracurricular activities, and the most important was that they enjoyed what they were learning and that they loved their school. Besides talking, we also enjoyed the fabulous meal. I had swordfish, which was a specialty in the East Coast. The desert, Crème brûlée was just amazing. The taste was really rich and creamy. I would definitely try it again.

New Haven Train Station
Happy time always passed really fast; it was time for us to head back to Providence. We took a group picture in front of Yale. Although today was really tiring due to all the walking and heat, I had a really great time. I learned so much about Yale, had so many informative conversations, and most importantly I was able to build connections with so many awesome people. I am considering to apply to Yale in the following semester!

The Beautiful Group Photo

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