Thursday, June 23, 2016

A New Day A New Adventure

The day started out with our cohort waking up slightly later than we had envisioned we would wake up. We then rushed downstairs to quickly eat our breakfast at the Omni's Breakfast Buffet. I didn't really view many of the options since we were in a bit of a rush but I just picked up pretty much what I saw that I could eat at that moment which ended up consisting of 2 pancakes, a slice of bread, and a small chocolate scone with a glass of water. We then caught a cab which dropped us off at Northwestern in Evanston. We took it as the time to see why Chicagoans say they have a beach even though they don't live near an ocean. So we headed out to see Lake Michigan which is right behind Northwestern. And it was pretty cool. It actually looked and felt like a real beach except for the fact that it was a freshwater lake. And because of that, the water didn't have that salty smell that beaches in California have. I found that super cool and interesting. The addiction of this beach next to Northwestern is something I really liked because if I were to attend away from California, I'd still at least have the California beach factor with me. Which is not found in other schools in the east.
After the beach, we then headed inside the waiting room for our tour of Northwestern. One thing that Northwestern really likes to make prominent is the amazing things that their students and alumni have done. In the first display case shown, they had the Game of Thrones book on display because George R.R. Martin was an alumni at Northwestern. And me being the Game of Thrones fan I am had to take a picture of such a display.

There was then a huge interactive display of what Northwestern students were doing. Me being the fact nerd I am loved looking through it because it definitely gave an idea of the kind of track i would want to take at this school and how the school would help me get there. From what I could see from the display board, the school focuses A LOT on entrepreneurship. And as someone that wants to create something of my own one day, I see this as something really great. Also as someone that wants to go back to my country of origin and also do a lot of work there Northwestern gives a lot of help and access to that. I was super interested in their Mandela Washington Fellowship For Young African Leaders Initiative because it aids as a strong support force for 25 African entrepreneurs who want access to many different opportunities to help them take this knowledge and bring back to their countries of origin. That program stood out to me the most because it took the approach of applying what we learn and sharing that knowledge and community uplift instead of other peoples usual approach of just donating food, clothes and such.
I also realized that Northwestern deals alot with technology and innovation like many other top schools. They are dealing alot with science in this school such as nanotechnology, Green technology, technology to help with medicine, technology to help teach and so much more. As someone who is a huge science nerd it was super awesome that the school so heavily supports science and innovative thinking among students.
The tour guide then called us into a room where we watched a video about Northwestern. I have done previous research on the school a while back before ILC so i already knew how prestigious and well known the school is. But one thing I really found out today was how the school made sure that every class we were taking was being taken for a reason. Because the school does not have a core curriculum, it allows for more flexibility when it comes to choosing classes which was the main thing I got out of the presentation.

After the presentation, we went to the tour. In this tour there were two tour guides in our group. They took us around and showed us many of the buildings, and told us many of the traditions that took place at the school such as painting on the rock (which was a tradition that formulated from a prank pulled by the freshman against the seniors), and a spring festival that takes place where many bands such as the Mowgli's, and singers such as Chance the Rapper, that go on stage and sing for the Northwesterners. Also, the school showcases a lot of spirit because it is a Division 1 school, so there's not a place you can go without seeing purple. The buildings that they showed were extremely nice. I really liked the fact that the buildings looked really old style and dated yet they looked very clean and well taken care of.
After the tour, we took the train back to the hotel where we waited for Mike's cousin Amy. When she came, we started walking towards a place called Eataly. And it was something completely different than I had seen before. Eataly is a Italian restaurant / market where one can buy different Italian foods and also food and dessert. It was super cool! I had ended up ordering a forcaccia and at first I was super unsure about it because for some reason I thought it was another variation of a deep dish pizza which we had yesterday but I wasn't a very big fan of. However, after eating it I was blown away by how delicious it was (Before I wrote this blog I definitely googled some forcaccia places around the Bay Area). While we were eating, we talked more with Amy and she told us some amazing things about her position in Chicago and what made her take the route that she took today. She also got her master's in Public Policy which was pretty cool to hear because of the fact that I'm taking Public Policy at Cornell this summer in a few days. She talked a lot about her job with CBS and it was super interesting to hear. She definitely opened my mind about the city.
We then went to Shake Shack which is where I bought something called a Concrete which was somewhat of a fancy version of an Ice Cream cup. It tasted pretty good! I wish there was a Shake Shack in Northern California though because as someone who can't really eat most of the options at In N Out, Shake Shack gives a better variety.

After Shake Shack, we then went to Dylan's Candy Bar. Which was a massive candy shop with two stories. Coming from a person that doesn't eat much candy, I thought the store was awesome. I literally felt the 10 year old in me as I roamed through the store and looked at all the candy choices. I was extremely impressed. There was a huge room with just a giant row of chocolate lined up. In the end I walked out with a square of fudge as we headed for our next destination.
After the candy store, we ended the adventure with going to Garrett's Popcorn Shop. I picked up a bag of the Classic Chicago style popcorn which consists of a mixture of cheddar and caramel. Even though I don't like cheese flavored popcorn, the mixture makes the popcorn taste really great. Out of the Chicago style pizza and the Chicago style popcorn, I'll definitely remember the popcorn the most.

We then said our goodbyes to Mike's cousin and headed back up to the hotel room where we packed up ready to leave the next day for University of Chicago and then back on the plane for Detroit. Today was definitely a great day filled with great food and a great university (that I will definitely be applying to). I can't wait for what the day will bring tomorrow!

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