Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Amazing Green

Rush is the only word to describe my morning. Since I woke up late, I only had sixteen minutes to get myself ready. Gladly, I made it.

Today, we took the AMTRAK toward Boston, which was a one- hour-and-fifteen-minute ride. Boston South Station was definitely a big station; almost all of the passengers in our train got off at this station. The station itself was crowded; and most surprisingly, there was a long line of people in front of Dunkin Donuts who are waiting to get their breakfast. For today's breakfast, I got an avocado chicken sandwich and a cup of hot chocolate at Au Bon Pain. I did not know that chicken breast meat and avocado could combine together and create such an amazing taste.

The Amazing Green Land
Our next stop was the shuttle station. I had never been on long-distance shuttle before in the U.S., so I was pretty excited about riding on the Dartmouth Coach shuttle. On our way from Boston to  Hanover, I mostly saw trees. There was endless land with trees, bushes, and grass; their greeness made me feel refreshed and comfortable since most of the time California's hills were covered with dry and yellow grass. Sometimes, we even went between two giant pieces of rock, which was spectacular. It was a long ride, so most of us was able to take a nap to make up our missing hours of sleep.

The weather today was really pleasant when we arrived at Hanover. The air was not humid and the breeze was cool and pleasing. Walking in a totally different weather from yesterday, I believed my Dartmouth tour would be wonderful. While waiting for the reserved time, we sat outside the restaurant and enjoyed the pleasant weather in Hanover. Since the inn that the restaurant offered cucumber water, I found out that it was really refreshing.

Before the tour, we went to a restaurant called Pine to have lunch with three current students, one dean, and an admission officer. The three students were AJ, Fermin, and Charles, who are all uprising seniors at Dartmouth College, and the dean was June, who is the adviser for over five hundred students. Unfortunately, there was something urgent came out that the admission officer, William, was not able to have the lunch with us. But, he still came by  and we all met him.

Fermin is in government and geography double major, AJ is in sociology major, and Charles is in economics major. Surprisingly, Fermin is also from Taiwan, which created many conversation topics between him and me. Since his parents are Taiwanese ambassadors at Paraguay, he lived there for seven years and finished high school in Taiwan. AJ, a football player, said that he really enjoys his life at Dartmouth. From conversations with June, Fermin, AJ, and Charles, I could really tell that this is a really friendly campus. Everyone is like family with one another, and everyone enjoys their time here. Also, I learned that there is a system of modified major in the school, which means that students can take out some required classes so they can take more classes other than their majors and to explore their other interests.

Besides academic topics, they also told us that there are many outdoor activities, including shooting, skiing, and many more, for students since the campus is in the nature. More appealing is that students at Dartmouth have six-week winter break. Accompanied the interesting conversation are some delicious dishes. I had salmon for my main dish and cannoli for my dessert. The salmon was cooked in a way that I had never tasted before. The sauce is a little bit sour but also sweet. The rice and corn with the salmon made the dish more delicious. The cannoli is crispy but not oily. The cream and raspberry with it added more flavors to dessert; it was sour, sweet, and crispy.

Baker Tower
After the amazing lunch, we headed to the admission building where we would have our private time with an admission officer and where the campus tour would start. Since we later realized that the tour was before the the private time with an admission officer, we started the tour. There were four tour guides, and I, Brandon, and Arnold followed one uprising junior who is in pre-health program. Her name is Jess, and she was really enthusiastic about the school. From her word to word descriptions about the campus and her college life and Dartmouth, we could all see her love and passion for the school. The first stop she introduced to us was the green, which is the middle of the campus where many students would hang out, have activities, or enjoy the sunshine. She then led us from buildings to buildings, which most of them looked new and modern. She told us many interesting stories about her professors, including a professor gave them roses on Valentine's day, that made me felt that the professors at Dartmouth really have good relationships with their students, which is essential to students' learning processes. She also introduced us the biggest club in the school, Dartmouth Outing Club (DOC). In the club, freshmen to seniors are all welcomed to participate in the outdoor activities it offers. The activities include skiing, camping, sailing, and many more outdoor activities. Through these activities, underclassmen are able to build connections with one another, even when one just enrolls in the college for one week, so this is like a big family which no clique exists.

We finally met the admission officer, Adria. We each asked questions that we were curious about, but mostly, Kevin was the one asking questions. Dartmouth wants students with passion and has impacts on the activities they do. Among the Ivy League colleges, Dartmouth is the smallest of all and is the only one that requires peer evaluations from applicants because these show what kinds of qualities do the applicants have and not just perspectives from teachers and counselors. She also said that personal statements need to be true and whole-hearted story about the applicants themselves, not people around them. At last, she told us what a seventeen-year-old student said to her that she thought was really important: "If you did not self-reflect and learn something about yourself when you were doing something, then you were not doing it right." This statement is really strong yet true. Life is about understanding oneself and finding a perfect position for oneself; if one cannot accomplish this, life has no meaning.

Our Chinese Dinner
I was righting this blog on the three-hour shuttle ride back to Boston. I was still enjoying the endless green outside the window while recalling all these wonderful moments that happened today. Later, we ate at a Chinese restaurant at the Chinatown in downtown Boston, which was right across the shuttle station. The meal was so different from all the other meals we had in these three days. We ate like a family: we shared dishes around a round table. The food was really nice.Tomorrow we will meet up at eight fifty, which makes me so happy since these two days we only got less than five hours of sleep. Looking forward to the Brandeis tour tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. Jing, I really enjoyed our family-style meal in Boston's Chinatown, too.

    While I loved Joseph, out tour guide at Dartmouth, it sounds like Jess' enthusiasm for the school was contagious. I would have loved to take her tour as well.