Saturday, July 7, 2012

Mixed Emotions

Harvard's Theater
The Brown I cohort tagged along with us to visit our last Ivy League College today. Harvard University gave me an experience that I was not expecting. First, we didn't have an information session given by a speaker. Instead, a video was broadcasted on a screen that pointed out some details of the school. Second, we weren't able to tour around because our crew passed the limited amount of people per group. The max number was eight and we had 18 present. Regardless of our situation, we did find a way to obtain more knowledge of this institution. 

During the short video I was able to catch a few notes. Harvard offers over 3,500 courses with an average of 12 per course size. The only exception would be for any introduction classes which can range from 100 to 400 students. Housing is guaranteed for your four years and because of it, 100% of all freshmen live on campus. Aside from that, I learned that 97% of the scholars end up graduating. That's a pretty high percentage considering the fact that Harvard's courses are very rigorous. After the video, everyone was told to exit the room and to proceed with their tour--except for us.

A student tour guide approached us and asked if we were apart of the ILC group. We responded by saying yes and she told us that we couldn't tour the school. We were all puzzled and the student said because of the school's policy of a limit of eight per group, we weren't able to continue like everyone else. We asked if we were able to split up into multiple groups, but she said since we're not a family that it wasn't possible. She told us to evacuate the room and we did. It didn't bother me much that I couldn't tour around the campus since it was because of school rules. That wasn't her fault at all. I did however develop a poor first impression. I felt unwanted and insignificant from the way the tour guide spoke to us. Her tone of voice sounded as if she didn't care about whether we could tour or not. She escorted us out without apologizing or trying to think of a way how we can handle our position. All of us stepped outside the building except for the four chaperones. During our wait, we heard the doors lock on us! That instantly turned my poor impression to awful. After waiting about ten minutes, the doors unlocked and we were "welcomed" back in.

With the help of Ms. Timmes, Ms. Williams, Ms. Kaplan, and Ms. Kronenberg, we finally had a solution to our problem! They were able to talk it over with our tour guide and she finally agreed to assist us. We still weren't able to tour, but now we had the opportunity to ask any questions of our liking. There were two current students (one was the tour guide from earlier), one alum, and one admissions officer, Roger Banks. Most of our time was spent on financial aid. Roger said that it is only need based and having Harvard cost at $58,000 per year, most students do need the aid. The more help you need with the payment, the more willing Harvard will be to pay for your education. From its generous assistance, students are able to graduate without any student loans.

Might Not Be the Best Firearm Holder
The safety of campus was also brought up. This school is on the Blue Light System so if the button is pushed, police officers will attend to your need within a few minutes. If you prefer to not travel across campus alone at night, there is a free van service. All you have to do is call and they will pick you up and drive you to your destination. If the van is not needed, security guards can walk with you instead. Throughout our private session, my opinion of the school did change again. From poor to awful then to grateful. These four people chose to take time out of their day to explain what Harvard has to offer. Even if I couldn't visually see the whole school, the new information helped me mentally see it. By helping me mentally, I can judge if this is the right place for me or not instead of selecting this place based on appearance. When the meeting came to a close, we left and drove to Paul Revere's house.

The home impressed me. A majority of it had to do with the way the home was built. Of course, the home needed to be fixed up a bit, but the final outcome was in tip top shape. Outside of the home were four men dressed in 18th century clothing. They demonstrated how rifles were used from the stance to putting gun powder inside to the shooting. When they finished their presentation they asked if anyone in the crowd wanted to participate and I walked right up! I didn't do the best job, but it was fun to get a hands on learning experience from professionals. Maybe I can shoot a shotgun one day from today's lesson. Hopefully I don't cause too much chaos.

All the walking and exercising from today made everyone become hungry and tired. We went back to the hotel and ready ourselves for dinner. After the appetizing food was devoured, we went to go see the Fire Water show. There was a romantic feeling in the air. The water glistened from the flames of the fire and soothing music was also playing. The sight made up for what had happened earlier this morning. I wanted to stay longer, but the night was soon coming to an end and I loved that it ended on a beautiful sight.

1 comment:

  1. Well, Iris, you seem to be the exception. Everyone else seemed to harbor something of a grudge for the way Harvard treated you all today while the others allowed it to color the way they now look at Harvard. I know that I couldn’t be so magnanimous.

    And considering the way you’re seen handling that musket, Harvard should feel lucky that you dont’ harbor a grudge.