Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Trip to Athens

This morning, we had a delightful breakfast with Mr. John Nesbitt, the former admissions officer of our very own Bay Area in California. It was a pleasure and such an opportunity to be able to sit down with Mr. Nesbitt, go over the admission process for Vanderbilt as well as learn more about the financial aid process for the university.

One of the most interesting things I learned today about Vanderbilt from Mr. Nesbitt was that Vanderbilt meets one hundred percent of a student’s financial need, and has a “no loans” policy. I admire that part of the financial aspect of Vanderbilt because it is well-known that many students, at the end of their college career, are weighed down by thousands of dollars of debt from student loans. A college education, of course, can prove to be very costly; however, with the help of the Office of Financial Aid that consists of experienced staff always ready to answer questions and even provide a prospective student with an estimate of the cost of tuition and financial aid that will be offered by the university, the process of applying for financial aid will be so much less tedious.

It definitely was a pleasure to meet with Mr. Nesbitt and learn more about Vanderbilt and all it has to offer, from its exceptional School of Medicine to its Peabody College of Education and Human Development.

Later in the afternoon, we embarked on our exploration of Nashville with our respective groups. Both Aiyana and I signed up to visit the Parthenon; other options included the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Nashville Zoo, and the Frisk Center for the Visual Arts.

We were the only group that had to walk to our location under the toasty sun - the others were a bit further from the campus, requiring buses.

The Parthenon is the only full-scale replica of the original Athenian structure. Within stands a forty-two foot statue of Athena, the Goddess of War, also a full-scale representation of the original that was lost.
After exploring the Parthenon for a short bit, we made our way outside to relax in Centennial Park. Our Activities Coordinator and proctor were kind enough to bring along some fruit punch and s’mores for us to snack on.

Though it was a rather warm day, I enjoyed it immensely and could not be more grateful for all the opportunities we have all had to this point. Time does indeed fly when one is having fun.

The Last of the Sundays

We woke up early today to go on a breakfast date at Fido’s with Ms. Bulls and Mr. John Nesbitt, who is a (recently former) admissions officer of the Bay Area for Vanderbilt. He’s had dinner with Mr. Ramsey before, and has been in contact with Pinole Valley High School and the Ivy League Connection. What I liked most about Mr. Nesbitt is that he was interested in us and our stories, since he has been working with the ILC for years now, and finally gets to meet the students for Vanderbilt. For every activity we were passionate about in high school (football, forensics, music, We Science Body, etc.), he mentioned a club or class that we could relate to and even briefly described them. For the college academic major we were interested in, he spoke about the programs Vanderbilt had for our possible future there. He also spoke of the admissions process: same as most other colleges, however there is no supplement essay and Vanderbilt, who is known for their financial aid, gives 100% of demonstrated need for students. And it doesn’t come through loans; Vanderbilt gives away the money as a grant. It was nice to meet the man who had helped connect the Ivy League Connection to Vanderbilt. We will be speaking to the new Bay Area admissions officer for Vandy this week.

Julia, Kye, and I still had some time before we had to be back at school for the next activity. We went downtown to be true tourists and shop at the cheesy tourist shops where I was reminded about how in love Tennessee is with Elvis Presley. I bought some nice souvenirs for my friends and some postcards to send before I leave.

We also visited a local mall which was pretty pointless since every store except Macys was closed. Julia and I wandered around the store, entertained by the pretty, but expensive, clothes and accessories. Finally, Julia and I went to Ross while Kye and Ms. Bulls went next door to a bookstore.

Our activity today was a choice between the Nashville Zoo, the Frist Art Museum, the Country Music Museum, and the Parthenon. A few of us from our proctor group signed up for the Parthenon. Little did we know that we would be the only group walking to our location in the hot sun, while everyone else got buses. Though the walk wasn’t too far, the heat and walking in sandals and a dress was not what I had preferred. But we toured the Parthenon, which is a replica of the Greek Parthenon that was destroyed in 1687. Inside, there is the largest piece of indoor sculpture in the Western World, which is the statue of the goddess Athena.

Statues decorate the rest of the floor surrounding Athena.

Other sculptures depicting Greek mythology are in neighboring rooms.

After the tour, we sat around Cenntennial Park having smores and punch. A few of us wandered over to the delicious fro-yo place, Tasti D-Lite.

During our proctor group meeting, Malika, our proctor, told us that VSA is making a yearbook. Each group gets their own page. For our group, we decided to put a group photo on the page, then have superlatives under each group member. Of course, I got best hair. The rest wouldn’t make any sense to any of you readers since they’re inside jokes and you don’t know them. But I’ll try to put up a final photo of the page when it’s posted.

A Simple Saturday

Honestly I have the best ILC cohort team in Aiyana Hedeen -Garrett and Julia Chang. We have team aspect unparallel to any other groups today. Although that last statement is a slight exaggeration, I truly appreciate the things they do for me. Things I usually never notice until I have time to reflect on them. Like today Aiyana called me in the morning before class to remind we were studying in a new building. Julia is always help especially when she reminds me to put my seatbelt on. I’m so lucky to have them as partners on this journey because sometimes without them I’d be lost.

I played a large amount of basketball today leaving my body feeling sore before our trip to the bowling alley/roller skating rink/laser tag facility/mini golf course. As you can see, I had a lot of options to choose from besides bowling which I felt would make me re injure myself. I tried it anyway, but left handed and in three turns I had a gutter ball, a spare, and an almost strike. After the game I decided to roller skate, something which I hadn’t done in years. On my first approach I was a little shaky, but I caught on quickly and began racing around the rink. I’m happy to know I didn’t fall once.

Tomorrow we will be meeting with John Nesbitt again for breakfast. I can’t wait to see Ms. Bulls again to see what she has been up to.