Tuesday, June 21, 2016

(R) T-Minus 15 Days

As our trip to the Midwest creeps closer, I have done some research on one of the schools we will be visiting: Northwestern.  The university is much cooler than I imagined and I have learned a lot about it.  The history, academics, athletics, and traditions are all fascinating.

The private university has locations in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois. Evanston is about 12 miles north of downtown Chicago, and the undergraduate campus is in Evanston while the graduate schools are in Chicago.  There is also a satellite campus located in Qatar.  As shown in the picture, attending Northwestern gives a more suburban feeling than attending a school in Chicago. The trip to the city is short and quick if a Friday night finds itself with nothing to do in Evanston.  That's a nice balance to me.
Relative distance of Evanston from Chicago

The school was founded in 1851 by John Evans, whom Evanston is named after, and eight other affluent Methodists in Chicago.  Evans bought a 379-acre plot of land along the shores of Lake Michigan and by 1855 the school was open. 

The school has grown to become a nationally-ranked institution with the fifth best business school and eighth best school of education in the country.  The university also boasts the eighth largest endowment in the United States at $10.19 billion. The school now offers 124 undergraduate and 145 graduate degrees to its 21,000 students.  These students come from across the US and the world and represent a vast array of races and cultures.  The majority is Caucasian followed by Asian, Hispanic, and African American.  

These students from Northwestern go on to lead successful careers and lives.  George J. Stigler and Saul Bellow are both Nobel Prize winning alumni from Northwestern.  Household names such as Jimmy Kimmel and Jerry Springer are also alumni of Northwestern.

The clock tower that is
illuminated purple
after athletic victories
The school is also chalked full of traditions that keep student life interesting.  At their football games, students will jingle keys during each kickoff and growl when the opposing team has the ball, to play along with their Wildcat mascot.  Another tradition is to turn the large clock tower the schools color of purple after wins in football, basketball, and lacrosse. The school also leads all their new students through Weber Arch while upperclassmen give loud cheers, and the University marching band performs.

The infamous Weber Arch that new students walk through
on the first day 
If I were to be accepted into Northwestern, I would either attend the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences or the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.  Both of these schools are critically acclaimed and ranked.  The science schools receive an enormous amount of funding for research, so I think there would be a lot of opportunities present. A lot can happen with $550 million dollars.  The researchers created 247 inventions and received 81 patents in 2013.  Also, the school covers 100% of demonstrated financial need, so I would not have to worry about overbearing debts.

Northwestern seems to be a very amazing school, and I can not wait to visit.  The future may find me attending Northwestern, and I know I would love it.  Only fifteen days until our trip begins and you'll be hearing about Northwestern again after our visit.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

(R) Where Can I Buy an Aloha Shirt?

So I have a new public service announcement about my title headings. The final (I hope) version is now "(R)."  Ernestina is trying to spell a word with her titles so I now will use parentheses to avoid confusion. Now, the orientation.
Ernestina better be prepared for more pictures like this in the windy city, and
I better get an Aloha shirt.
As you may notice, I am the only one without a nice flowery shirt, and it's a pretty big deal.  The Hercules tradition is to wear aloha shirts to honor Don and all his hard work, and I broke it, so that sucks.  But the orientation was still a success, and Don knows that we all appreciate him.  The best news: we get to leave on an afternoon flight and have two check-ins on Southwest.  The other cohorts all hate us right now.

The orientation was mostly for the parents, and it was nice that my parents got to learn all about what will happen on our trip.  In one month from today, we will be in St. Louis, and if there are not any more milestone events, then I will see you all on departure day!

L - A Splitting Wishbone

Dear Reader,
Would you like to know what it is like to be busy?
Being busy means every moment of your time (waking and sleeping) has a purpose, and you're acting on that purpose. Most people could say they went to school today. Most people could even say they ate lunch today (Oh wow! What a surprise!). Then there's me.
Rather than eating lunch, I went to help out a middle school string quartet that would be playing at the eighth grade promotion. Which is tomorrow. After practicing throughout their lunch and immediately after school (I filled in the empty position of second violin--side note: for a performance on less than a week's notice, they chose a relatively difficult piece for middle schoolers...), I headed over to Pinole Valley Middle School for the last consolidate meeting of the cohorts--ILC Orientation.
dem facial expressions op.
A bit before 6:00 PM, Jahnvi, Jae-An, Komal, Alice, and I (not all the same moments) were chattering in the evening chill about whether the Squeeze Theorem should really be called the Sandwich Theorem, the surprise of Jahnvi upon finding out I actually own a skirt, and the confusing invention of a block schedule (One word: why?).
After carrying luggage pieces and miscellaneous items to the front of the gym once the entrance doors were open, students and parents sat on the left hand side (upon entrance) of the bleachers to be informed by Don of general information they should know about our study trip for this summer. I sat between Jahnvi and Jae-An, who sat next to Komal and Alice! We had some interesting coversations about Jae-An's expression in every photo ever taken of him, and Alice and I remarked how much he looks like Sokka from Avatar: The Last Airbender. To make the day more memorable, the bleachers were stacked two benches high, so my feet were nowhere near the ground...unlike other people's... : )
Pretty much an average pic of your average ILCers.
Sokka, no wait? Jae-An?
At the end of the day, much information was exchanged between chaperone, Don, parent, and cohort. The closing of orientation was met with hugs and wrestling and an innumerable amount of extraordinarily awesome pick-up lines that will be used out of state. Chicago cohort seems to have it lucky, we get an afternoon flight, Southwest Airlines, air-conditioning, and overall great members. However, knowing that this would be the last time we would see members of other cohorts imbued an unpleasant feeling of loss between each student.

Well, who knows?

Monday, June 6, 2016

Don't Worry Parents: The Orientation

The ILC chaperones presenting at the orientation
In keeping with the spirit of the end of the school year, we had our last major mandatory meeting for ILC this evening. All of the many cohort members and their parents came together to learn the last little details about what to expect, what to pack, and whatever other questions they needed answered. At the very start of the meeting, Don passed the floor on to the chaperones. All of them gave excellent speeches about their qualifications and experience, and did a good job reassuring the parents that their students would be in safe hands. I am going to miss my family a lot on this trip, but at least after this meeting they can be confident that I will be well taken care of while I am away.