Thursday, June 19, 2014

Dartmouth Marks the Spot

I'm so excited about today's visit and experience at our site, Dartmouth University! Initially, I was not too interested about Dartmouth. In fact, all that came to mind was cold, gloomy days overtaken by blizzards. That might sound too exaggerated, but I'm so glad that that quite honestly ignorant perspective has changed completely. My day began with the usual alarm at 5:30 a.m. With another relatively restless night and a terribly strained neck I began my day. It was pretty miserable, considering that I could hardly move my head without being overwhelmed with a strong pain. Anyhow, I didn't let that ruin today. I hustled throughout the morning to meet up with my cohort and ,as you may imagine, head out to the AMTRAK station. There, another strenuous awaited before us.

I headed to the cafe to get some some water and a breakfast croissant sandwich to not leave on an empty stomach. We boarded the  AMTRAK train once again and enjoyed a pleasantly relaxing ride. Maybe a bit too restful enough to inevitably beginning o fall asleep. Alas, our Boston South Station came to an end as I disappointingly awoke from my half-awake, half-asleep almost-nap. At South Station, we  experienced a very busy culture and took time to rest up a bit and, for the others, eat breakfast. Initially, we were supposed to go driving somehow, but fortunately we had the Dartmouth Coach as a pleasant alternative, It's well quipped with WiFi, decently comfortable seating, a movie playing on several screens, and a restroom as well. The only bad thing I'd have to say is that sitting in the window seat may be bothersome because of the terrible air conditioning that freezes your arm. Other than that, I am very thankful for a great alternative to and coming back from Dartmouth.

Dartmouth's Bell Tower

From left to right: Jack, Charles, Kevin, and Ms. Scott at our lunch at Pine Restaurant
As a result of enduring the coldness for about 2 hours, I had imagined Dartmouth to be chilly, but when I saw people walking around in light clothing, some even shirtless, I knew the weather was anything but cold. The cohort and I got off the shuttle and made our way to Pine Restaurant as we waited for the thing on our schedule, lunch with the Dean, Admissions Officer, and current Dartmouth students. We were able to enjoy plentiful warmth and sunshine lounging outside on the patio-like area. It was actually pretty nice in the sense that we were able to take in the sunshine, warmth, and some rest that hasn't been as prevalent as we need it to be. When the time came, we made our way inside and sat with June Chu, Dean of undergraduate students and subsequently met current students Fermin Liu, Charles Park, and AJ Dillione. Unfortunately, something urgent withheld A Fermin is a '15 double major in Geography and Government modified with Gender Studies; Charles is a '15 Economics major; AJ is also a '15 Sociology major. One unique thing I learned about Dartmouth was the modified major, which is essentially ten courses, six for one field of study and four for another one. To do this, though, students must write a statement explaining the connection between both fields. Aside from that, I began to have an interesting conversation with AJ about his journey to Dartmouth and all that it had to offer like all of the opportunities outdoors. I think it was around that time that first made me consider Dartmouth, because before I wasn't very interested, let alone informed about what the Dartmouth and the Ivy leagues have to offer. In fact, I am actually considering to apply to it, but the time and place will come for that. Visiting it, though, makes me want to put even greater effort in my academics, extracurriculars, and personal development.

Flash Grilled Lamb on Ciabatta 

Key Lime Cannoli to finish lunch off

Top row: Jing, Brandon, Kevin, AJ, Ms. June, Ms. Scott, Fermin, Jack
Bottom row: Arnold (me) and Charles

Jess gave our group an AWESOME, very informative, and energetic tour
Heading out the campus tour was actually pretty fun. We had four students greet everyone for the tour and because each one of them was distinct from each other, the cohort split up into different groups. Jing, Brandon, and myself decided to go with Jess. She is a '16 Biology major and Government minor. What made me decide to go with her, though, was the fact that she is in the Pre-Health, which I am interested in. She was a great tour guide, full of energy and many stories to tell. I learned about the buildings, some of the requisites, religious services, and internship, study abroad and research opportunities. one of the things that I happened to learn after the trip was that Dartmouth has been ranked as #1 for teaching, which is really important considering that research isn't the only thing that goes on in college. One of the most unique parts of today too was having the opportunity to speak with Associate Director of Admissions, Adria Belin. We quickly got passed the shy and quiet zone and turned out to have quite many questions in mind. Ultimately it came down to a few things, being genuine, putting in not only effort but good effort, and being very self-reflective about yourself. In all, the lunch, tour, and Q&A session was really interesting and very informational. Again, I have to say that I'm really intrigued by Dartmouth and am considering it!
A zen statue of some rocks; maybe you guys have noticed I'm very in fond of anything zen

After finishing the day up at Dartmouth, we decided we'd take one final shot of the cohort at Dartmouth and hopped on the Dartmouth Coach where we made our way to the Boston South Station, We decided we'd try something more casual for dinner and explored Chinatown for a good place. Ultimately, we went to Bubor Cha Cha for some Chinese cuisine. We ordered quite a lot of food which we shared in a family-style manner. With a different dish with every single one of us, we had a variety of food, including Hot and Sour Soup, Honey Walnut Shrimp, Sesame Chicken, Sweet and Sour Pork, some veggies, a seafood platter, and Fried Rice. The Hot and Sour Soup was quite to new to me, but ended up enjoying it actually. It was actually pretty nice, especially because I've never really explored any Chinatown.

A nice family-style dinner for the night

As I sum up this blog, I lie on this comfortable bed which I've enjoyed from these past few days. looking at the pillows is something completely different. Since one of them in particular messed up my neck, I am not very please to see it anew, but let me not get too dramatic about that...Luckily, we stopped by the pharmacy to pick up some ibuprofen, so hopefully I'll finally be at rest from this bothering ache. Aside from all the jibber jabber, I can say that this has probably been the best campus tour and most informational day of all. I feel as though I learned so much about Dartmouth and can somewhat envision myself studying there for my undergrad. The downside of it is that its across the country from the Bay Area, California, where my home is. Life if full of so many opportunities, though, and it would be sort of a shame and bummer not to take such opportunity. As Saint Augustine said, "The world is a book, and those who don't travel only read one page." Until tomorrow's blog, goodnight!


  1. Arnold, I enjoy your writing style and I am thrilled that you enjoyed the Dartmouth experience.

  2. Arnold, I enjoy your writing style and I am thrilled that you enjoyed the Dartmouth experience.