Sunday, June 28, 2009

What a day

Woke up this morning early to go to Boston. We spent the drive fighting with the GPS, which consistently gave us different directions then Mr. Ramsey's car. Weird.

We arrived at Tufts, and started our self guided tour. The campus was beautiful, full of green lawns, trees, and old brick buildings. We stopped to talk to a Bio Major who was studying frogs over the summer, and we talked to another woman who was entering the occupational therapy program, which is supposed to be one of the best in the country. Other than that, however, the campus was deserted.

Next, we went on to MIT, where a Hercules High Alum gave us the insiders tour. MIT was the most interesting campus that we visited. I particularly liked how the schools main focus, math and science, was incorporated into the architecture. There was a building who's roof was one eighth of a sphere, all supported at two points. Then, there was the Strata Center for electrical engineering and computer science, designed by world renowned Frank Gehry. This multifaceted building was composed entirely of shapes that could be made by folding one piece of paper.

When we left MIT, we traveled over to Harvard, to meet another Hercules Alum. First we went to Harvard Yard (pronounced "Hahvahd Yahd") and continued on to the freshman dining hall, which was one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen. The inside was filled with ornate wood work, imposing brick, and stained glass windows.

We came back to Providence, driving through the most intense rain storm I've been in for a while, and then, just as abruptly as the rain started, the sun came out. When we got back to our dorms, I took a quick nap before heading out to dinner at Mill's Tavern.

The discussion was lively, focusing on our impressions of the colleges (it was very interesting to see how even though many of us come from similar backgrounds, we are all looking for such different things. Courtney liked Tufts because it was removed from the city, giving it a quaint atmosphere, while I disliked it for those exact reasons.)

Then we shifted the topic to the CAHSEE, where peoples view points differed even more. However, I don't think the table ever came to a consensus. Tomorrow, we have the brunch with the Brown Alumni.

Until then,
Joseph Young


Charles Tillman Ramsey said...

Thanks Dennis for being a team player. We know that you are clear wtih your choice and I love it. Like Kiana Ward from last year you know what you want and Brown University is it.

Glad that we had the conversation about Early Decision and we know with you that it is all about Brown. So we will keep our fingers crossed and see where it ends up.

I had thought that maybe Harvard would have created some doubts, but I see that you are not wavering.

Nice discussion over brunch and yes, I was happy that Dennis had our GPS system programmed correctly for the multiple trips that we took through the Boston and Cambridge community.

Thanks again for sharing your impressions.

Charles T. Ramsey, Esq.
School Board Member
West Contra Costa
Unified School District

Dennis Shem said...

I think you mean Joseph, Mr Ramsey.

And yeah go for it Joseph! We all want to see you get in at Brown!

Don Gosney said...


Nice commentary about the trip and what you saw.

I hope this trip helps you understand that we can’t become too reliant on technology.

I recently spent some time in San Antonio and one afternoon I was following some friends in their car. They had the GPS and I had a AAA street map. They kept going off in strange directions when they could have done better by just looking out the window. We pulled out of parking lot to head back to the freeway when the lead car took a turn to go through some residential streets. I could clearly see the freeway three blocks from the parking lot but we drove several miles out of the way because the GPS told them to. A little later they started to make a left turn to get back on the freeway when I was ale to look out my front window and saw the stadium lights two blocks to our right. I decided to let them go on their own and after I had parked in the stadium lot and enjoyed my cool drink for about 15 minutes they finally pulled up.

Technology may be fine but it should never supplant common sense.

One of the best reasons for campus tours is exactly what you referenced: different people see different things.