Saturday, July 11, 2009


This summer has meant a lot to me. Maybe it's too early to say that because it's only been the first month but if the rest of my summer goes like my experience at Brown, I wouldn't have the words to describe it.

My summer at Brown has been a growing experience. I've learned so much about myself and what I'm looking for in a college. I feel like I've learned so much these past three weeks. I learned things like I like a college that is about the size of Brown. I need classes to have a lower teacher to student ratio. I like being close to big towns. I would never have learned these things, had it not been for the ILC. I thought I would like bigger classes, and a campus like UC Berkeley but it turns out that I don't.

Where would I have been without the ILC? Would I even have thought of schools like Brown? Without the impact of the ILC in my life, I would be at home right now, sitting around and doing nothing with my summer. I doubt I would be trying new things everyday like I am here at Brown or meeting any of the great people that I've met here. Thanks to the ILC, I've been able to experience life in the fast lane on the east coast. It is unlike life on the west coast, that's for sure.

I went to the University of Pennsylvania last year and the two experiences can not be more different. The campuses, the environments and the cities are totally different. UPenn was a busy city, integrated into Philedelphia. Everybody was always busy, always doing something. Brown is more relaxed, located in Providence. The streets aren't as busy and the campus is really beautiful. I had a good time at UPenn because there was always something to do, but I found that at Brown, you had a lot more time to yourself and to your friends. Our class at Brown was only 3 hours, as opposed to the 6 hours at UPenn so that definitely plays a role in the amount of free time we had. But overall, I think I can honestly say that I like Brown more because I can see myself going here in the fall of 2010. The people here are dedicated to learning, which is what I admire the most.

Thanks to the ILC, I've gained a better sense of self. I've learned more about myself by getting out of my comfort zone and I would definitely encourage others to do the same. I want my friends to get the same experience that I am getting and I want them to benefit from it like I did. I want to inspire them to go places, like I'm sure they can if they put their minds to it. This is all thanks to the ILC. So, thank you all for your generosity, your caring hearts and your devoted attention. Thank you.


Madeline Kronenberg said...


I am so glad that you have gained a sense of "self" -- and that you have had a chance to explore your own preferences as far as colleges go.

I'm glad you got to be in the "fast lane" and understand your own feelings about it.

You will have a great deal to offer your friends when your return -- especially about how they need to be proactive to find out their own preferences and work to learn about more schools.

Please DO inspire them. I know you can and will.

Don Gosney said...


Sometimes we talk to people and they wishfully talk about how nice it would be to live up in the mountains or out in the country. They might talk about living up in the snow country.

They can say that because they’ve read the books, they’ve watched the TV shows and they’ve seen the movies and these are idyllic places.

Then they move to these ‘idyllic’ places and learn that there’s nothing idyllic about them—at least not when you’re sued to something else. They learn that you have to shovel the snow out of the way so you can get your car out of the driveway, they learn that snow is wet and it’s cold, they learn that living out in the country can be kind of lonely and the closes Starbuck’s is a 30 minute drive away, and they learn that the mountains tend to burn and you can’t drive a luxury car because it doesn’t come with four wheel drive, they learn that their cell phones don’t work up in the mountains and they can’t get cable or even high speed Internet.

The point, Cynthia, is that before we make a life changing decision—like where to attend college—then we need to do our research and, whenever possible, pay the place for a visit—an extended visit—so you can say first hand that this is the place for you.

In my younger days I rented an apartment on Central Avenue in El Cerrito. We looked at the place on a Saturday morning and it was quiet and peaceful. Once we moved in, though, we learned that more than 1200 cars per hour went by my bedroom window every weekday afternoon and the noise was horrendous. Although we checked the place out, we didn’t check it out under conditions that might tell us whether it was the ‘ideal’ place to live. That was a lesson I never had to learn again. When you check out your college, make sure you take heed of my warning. Don’t visit Vermont in the summer and think it’s going to be bright and sunny when you attend school there in the winter. Don’t visit Cal in the summer and think that there’ll hardly be anywhere there when you attend in the Fall. And on and on and on…