Saturday, July 9, 2011

Plan B

I awoke to the sound of my alarm buzzing in my ear, and, tired from the busy day before, hit the snooze button to catch a few more minutes of sleep. I ended up rising from bed forty minutes later, which allowed me enough time to prepare to go down for breakfast with Aiyana, where we would meet Ms. Bulls and Kye when they were ready.

We dined at the Prime Meridian, which was just located inside our hotel. I asked for a glass of orange juice, and ordered a Southern Breakfast from the menu with a side of crispy bacon.
Grits--along with biscuits and gravy--are the staples of the Southern breakfast
It was one of the best breakfasts I have had so far; the scrambled eggs, grilled ham, home fries, and grits were simply delicious and filling. It also came with a buttery biscuit and a bowl of gravy. At first, I thought I was supposed to pour the gravy into my grits (don’t laugh—it was just my second time eating it), but Aiyana came to my rescue and told me I could dip the biscuit into it if I wanted to. I have had biscuits before, of course, but I had never had them with gravy before. The combination was superb, and I found myself savoring every flavorful bite.

They also gave us small bottles of ketchup, which I found absolutely adorable.

After breakfast, we hurried over to Morehouse College for an informational session. Morehouse is a historically black all-male institution with rich traditions and dignity. Although I will not be able to apply or attend Morehouse, it appears to be a very distinguished school with a strong brotherly connection between its students.
I was surprised to hear that if students at Morehouse would like to take a course that is not offered at the college, they have the ability to apply and take it in Spelman College, which is essentially right next door to it. After hearing this, I wondered why those with authority at Spelman would not allow one of our cohorts, Kye, on campus for a tour when they actually do allow male students on their campus, if not for educational purposes.

We did not step foot onto Spelman, but we drove around the campus to catch a glimpse of its beauty.

When we finished, we had a couple of hours before we had to head back to Clark Atlanta University, which is also adjacent to Morehouse and Spelman, so we decided to go to the World of Coke.
The World of Coke was very fun and enjoyable. We admired antique Coke brand artifacts and advertisements for the drink from around the world, including countries such as Germany and Japan.
We also had the distinct pleasure of exploring their Tasting Room, which was, in my opinion, the highlight of the “museum”, if you will. It was a large room with drink dispensers that featured different sodas manufactured by the Coke company that is distributed in only certain countries. For example, I sampled a soda called Ice which one can only find in Japan. It was actually very refreshing, and an almost minty “icy” feeling lingered on my tongue afterwards. Aiyana and I also tried another drink from Italy called the “Beverly”, which was not quite appealing to our taste buds. We could not get the taste out of our mouths afterwards.
Before our dinner, we decided to check out the Sun Dial, a rotating restaurant located on the 73rd floor of the Westin Hotel recommended to us by Mrs. Ray last night at our dinner. I ordered a White Chocolate Mudslide and a small portion of cheesecake, and we sat back and relaxed while we watched the beautiful scenery of Atlanta slowly pass us by. Everything was simply delicious.
After finishing up, we drove back to the Historically Black Colleges and Universities and sat in on an informational session of Georgia Clark University.

One thing I found very engaging was the institute’s Presidential Scholarship. If a student applies to the school with a 3.75 GPA, a score of 1300 or higher on the SAT, and a score of 29 or higher on the ACT, then the college will offer them a free quality education. This is one of the perks of private universities—they are usually always willing and able to offer generous financial aid, in contrast to public universities.

We had scheduled a dinner at Bacchanalia, a very lovely and fancy restaurant here in Atlanta. The menu was very diverse, and was served in a four-course style. Some of the items I ordered on the list included goat cheese with summer melons and peach cobbler.
Tyler Sant, the admissions officer from Emory’s focus session yesterday, as well as Ms. Bull’s friend, who attended UC Berkeley with her and is now a physician’s assistant at Emory, joined us for the delicious dinner.

We had the opportunity to ask more in-depth questions about Emory and absorb even more information aside from what we had already learned yesterday.

One thing Mr. Sant touched upon that I could really relate to was the fact that many high school students simply do not ask enough questions, especially when meeting with admissions officers. Often, he explained, students are afraid of asking questions they think may sound foolish or unintelligent, partly because they are intimidated by the presence of an admissions counselor. I could completely relate to students who do so, but now I understand that in order to be on the road to finding the right college with the perfect fit is to not be scared or distressed to ask questions about things that you want to know more about. The admissions officers are kind people that are there to assist you, so do not be afraid to use your resources.

We had a wonderful, tasty dinner, and I am very glad that we all had this opportunity to sit down with these two individuals that helped give us insight about Emory. Honestly, this experience changes a few of my former opinions and views of the college, especially about the benefits of going to a liberal arts college that offers such great student programs, such as study abroads.
Tomorrow, we will begin our long journey to Nashville, Tennessee.


  1. Julia,

    Of course, the purpose of the ILC is to open up your educational vistas by sending you to top flight highly selective schools to attend classes that will enrich you. At the same time we want to expose you to other great institutions in the area so you can add to your knowledge bank.

    Visits to The World of Coke were not exactly on our list of places you absolutely had to visit while there.

    That being said, your visit there had to be just SO COOL.

    Being exposed to the soft drink varieties from other countries had to be interesting. That Ice sounds kind of nice and I wouldn't mind giving it a try. On the other hand, even though I have a sister named Beverly, I'll take your word for the soft drink by that name and stick to my Dr. Peppers.

    Many years back my father traveled to Iran for a project and was appalled at the taste of the drinking water so he figured he'd live on Coke. How can you screw up Coke? Well, you can screw it up by using the same bad water running through the pipes there. His "long term" job in Iran lasted just seven days before he was back home enjoying soft drinks made with water he could palate.

    As for the grits and the biscuits and gravy thing: being from somewhere other than the South you wouldn't know of their dining proclivities. Coming from a family of dust bowl Oakies and being surrounded by Southern red necks all of my life I know al too well, that biscuits and gravy is almost a delicacy for them.. And trust me, Julia, you don't want to know what goes into the gravy to give it it's flavor. Let's just say that there's not a whole lot of nutritional value in that diet.

    Afte reading about your exploits in Atlanta I can't wait to read what you have to say about Nashville.

  2. Julia,

    I am loving your photojournalism. Good to see you're enjoying your travels. :-)