Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Celebrating Independence

Today was July 4th, Independence Day. For this special occasion, Brown gave us a whole day off from class to relax and join in on the festivities. Silly me, thinking it was just another day of class, woke up at around the normal time. The mistake I made, however, was going back to sleep, and the next time I awoke was to the sound of knocking at my door.

Following a quick prep I grabbed whatever was in my bag (which was rather large) and headed out for our 9:45 AM rendezvous with Ms. Kaplan. I have to admit, the day did not look very promising at first, with forecasts of rain and ominous-looking clouds hanging above us. Fortunately, it only sprinkled for a few minutes the entire day.  After everyone had arrived, we drove to Hotel Providence to meet up with the Women and Leadership group. It was nice having a chance to catch up with them and ask them about news from the Bay Area, as well as share our experiences from campus life and provide tips for them. Soon we departed for Plimoth, our main attraction of the day. I found it sort of amusing to see that the Brown II cohort had been provided a huge white van which held 12 people, and dwarfed our Suburban from the early days here.

We drove to Plimouth Plantation, the famous first colony of the Pilgrims, founded in 1620. I found it interesting that they had both Pilgrims AND Wampanoag people dressed up in act. I remember visiting similar sites of other colonies before, but mostly only the European settlers’ perspectives were portrayed at those sites. We explored both Native and Pilgrim villages, getting an idea of their respective lifestyles. I could tell why there was often tension between the two peoples, a result of their differences.

Afterwards, we went to Plimoth Rock and the Mayflower II, just a couple miles away in town. I had my own idea of what Plimoth rock might be like: a towering mini-mountain of impressive stone. It turned out to be nothing more than a small, disappointing boulder in the ground. However, the tour guide entertained us with several stories involving the rock, explaining the large crack in it. We had lunch before touring the Mayflower II, a replica of the original Pilgrim ship.

At around 5 PM, we made it back to Providence. Most of us decided to go to the mall to watch the new movie, “The Amazing Spiderman”. It was a great action-packed thriller (totally worth it), and I thoroughly enjoyed the reboot. Unfortunately, the movie lasted a bit longer than we expected, and we had to miss the Marvel trademark post-credit scene to rush back to the cars. We had pizza on the go, as we were heading to Indian Point Park to catch the 4th of July fireworks show there.

Honestly, the spectacular fireworks show was what made Independence Day for me. I don’t often get the opportunity to enjoy outdoor fireworks, but I never cease to fall under its spell. Although I’m not one for expressing my amazement out loud, I was just as enthusiastic on the inside.

Today was packed to the brim with excitement, and overall was a great bonding experience between cohorts. The next time we see them will be at the big culmination dinner at Mistral in Boston, on Friday. I thought it was great to have a chance like this to kick back, considering it’s the last week for Brown I. It’s also just what I needed to refuel for what’s to come. I think we accomplished the most time-wise today, and everything seemed to click right into place. While the girls are just starting their journey, we’re down to the last two days of our time at Brown, saddening enough. Tomorrow it’s back to business in my class’s last ‘normal’ day in the lab, as well as final studying for the final and paper presentation.

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