Saturday, July 2, 2016

I - Straight Shot from the Queen's Land to the President's Nation

Dear Reader,
The streets of London at 7 AM.

I have just returned to America from England.
If you are curious and wonder why, I was traveling with my youth orchestra, where we were given sectionals with members of the London Philharmonic and had a fabulous joint performance with the Warwick Symphony Orchestra and Choir.

However, this blog is not about the Brexit (which was decided the first day we arrived!), but about the upcoming flight to Chicago.

88 hours. 88 hours until our cohort gets on a plane, flying straight into the steely beams of Chicago, Illinois. In light of the upcoming departure, I have thumbed through interesting factoids on the University of Chicago, which range from the world’s largest (and most interestingly complex) scavenger hunt to 1$ milkshake Wednesdays.

Founded in 1890 and situated right between Washington Park and Hyde Park, the University of Chicago is an intellectual destination that houses 16,000 graduate and undergraduate students. Each of these scholars are chosen for their creative, innovative minds, and are subject to UChicago’s rigorous Core-based curriculum. These minds have gone on to be Nobel laureates. Rhodes Scholars, Marshall Scholars, National Humanities Medalists, Fields Medalists, billionaires, and Congressmen, with over 200 of these positions dedicated to UChicago affiliated persons.  

Feelin' the Bern from '63.
Wealthy alumni include Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Oracle Corporation founder and the third richest man in America, Larry Ellison. Alumni in the arts and entertainment stand out personally to me as both of which I had known of before, but not to the extent of their college education: minimalist composer Philip Glass and developer of the Halo video game series Alex Seropian.

Oh did I mention Bernie Sanders? Interestingly enough, Sanders was arrested at a 1963 anti-segregation protest for elementary schools in Chicago. He was charged $25 for resisting arrest.

Notable breakthroughs done by researchers at UChicago include discovering the link between cancer and genetics, revolutionary theories of economics, and the development of the world's first man-made, self-sustaining nuclear reaction chamber. The school is denoted as “ridiculously quirky in every fashion possible” by a few of its graduate students. From its architecture: an 18th century English inspired quad, to buildings that look like something from Futurama (Booth School of Business). Googling the juxtaposed visages of the buildings, I find it a wonderful mix. (Pictured below.)
Booth School of Business.


Currently, the University of Chicago is working with community partners to develop a major arts and culture corridor called the Arts Block. The Arts Block expands the University’s efforts to convert vacant spaces along the block into a mix of artist studios, performance and exhibition facilities, retail establishments, and public program and education spaces. 

The captured was released later.
The University's values include involvement in surrounding community, appreciation of humor, and a holistic approach to academics,which I look forward to. The small,  private campus allows for actively participated in college wide traditions.  The $1 milkshake wednesdays, Lascivious Ball (semi-naked dance party sponsored by the college!), Kuvia (6am sun salutations), and school-wide scavenger hunt (previous quests involve catching a tiger and building one's own power generator) are just a few of the aspects of UChicago that define the amazing college culture. 


1 comment:

  1. Really interesting that Bernie Sanders had a history with Chicago! I also look forward to hearing about Brexit and your trip to London. Well-done, Ernestina!