Sunday, August 10, 2008

Naked Chocolate

Haha, you're right Mrs. Crespo, I do love taking and putting up photos of food! I'm glad you guys liked the pictures of Le Bec Fin, but wait... there's more!

On Thursday, July 31st, June Chu took me, Cynthia, and Courtney out downtown to Naked Chocolate. We also watched a little of "The Princess Bride" outdoors, but Naked Chocolate was really the spotlight of that night. I'm so happy we got this opportunity to have fun outside of campus. A UPenn student, Monica, accompanied us for the beginning half of our outing, and Caroline came along for the second half. Both of them told me so much about either Penn or college life and applications in general, great thanks to them! We all had a lot of fun that night and absolutely loved Naked Chocolate. If only there was one in the Bay Area... :)

That place was amazing! It sold all kinds of chocolate, from little candies to lolipops and solid chocolate sculptures (check out that carriage and the leg!!!). Everything looked so delicious, it was hard to decide what to buy or eat.

Although chocolate was its speciality, it had a wide range of deserts and sweet drinks as well. June bought 4 different deserts for us, which we all shared so we would have an opportunity to try a little of everything. I dont remember the exact names, but from front to back: the cheesecake, the chocolate cake, the lime cupcake, and the oreo tart! The cheesecake was a melt in your mouth, the chocolate was extremely rich, the lime had an excellent oozing filling, and the oreo was fluffy and creamy. They were all sooo good. My personal favorite was the cheesecake!

After we finally finished our treats, we walked it off by going to the outdoor screening of the "Princess Bride". It was the perfect finish!

Thank you June for taking us out and treating us at Naked Chocolate!

We had a blast. :)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Watching "my girls".....

I have to admit that I believe that the best part of this whole month long experience was just watching "my girls" become themselves! At the beginning of our journey, I remember Courtney being kind of quiet and shy, Cynthia seeming to be indifferent, and Susan always smiling and happy. Through the last month, I got to see more of their true selves come out as they learned to be more independent and critical thinkers.
I remember the first time I saw Courtney busting up laughing when we were walking down the street to Ben & Jerry's for our first meeting during our first week at UPenn, shattering my initial impression of her as a quiet, shy, young woman. I loved that Cynthia's dad called to check up on her because she kept telling him that "everything was fine" and he didn't know if that was true, or if she was just saying that because things weren't fine. And I remember when Susan first took charge and made an executive decision that the four of us should meet once a week at a "nice" to catch up and discuss the following week. All of them caught me off guard and changed my initial impressions of them. Throughout the summer, I got to see "my girls" become more confident in class and take initiative by going to PAACH to talk to June; become more social by making so many new friends from around the world; become leaders by taking charge in their journal club groups, presentations, and final essays; and come closer to the amazing and dynamic women that they are destined to become by achieving their dreams and goals by going to magnificent universities.
Now, we all have to support Susan Lee (and bug throughout the semester) as she applies to UPenn's "The College" this coming fall. She should be well aware that she has all of our support and encouragement during this difficult semester of AP courses and college applications and statements of purpose.
I can't begin to thank Charles, Madeline, and all of our supporters for the amazing opportunity to spend a summer with three amazingly bright women. I know that we always focus on what our students learn and gain from the opportunities that the Ivy League Connection offers our students, but as an educator, I too am always learning new things from my students and my experiences with my students. By far, this has been one of the best experiences I've ever had.
I believe that this is how all four of us felt by
the end of our month at UPenn! Thanks Susan.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A little more on Le Bec Fin

Above: The menu at Le Bec Fin and Mr. Ramsey in front of the restaurant.

Reading Mrs. Crespo's great post was like going back to Le Bec Fin all over again. So, in this post, I would just like to add on a little of my own experience at Le Bec Fin!

In addition to being able to try out some fantastic food, the dinner was a chance for us all to meet with Mr. Ramsey, Bertha, June (PAACH) and America (La Casa Latina). I had a great time talking to everyone during the dinner, and thanks to June for giving me so much more information on the Penn College/Wharton's! The dinner was the first time I learned about dual majors, transfering, and the fact that we missed filming of the Transformers 2 on campus (awww).

And as for the food...

For the appetizer, we had a variety of breads accompanied by a lobster and peach drink. My favorite bread was baked with tasty sun dried tomatoes.

For my main course, I had scallops followed by a half lobster. I thought I never eaten lobster before, but my mom later told me I had it a few times when I was younger! It must have been before I was old enough to be afraid of trying new things. The lobster turned out to be very delicious, sort of like shrimp and crab combined. I'm glad I tried it.

The desert was my favorite part! Like Mrs. Crespo mentioned in her post, there was a fabulous cart of cakes we could choose from, and the best thing was you could have as much as you wanted. I tasted a little of a few different cakes, and they were all delicious! I took a little back home to my room mate, and she loved it too. :)

Thank you Mr. Ramsey for taking us to such a wonderful restaurant!!!

That's it for now!

Enjoy the Olympic games everyone. :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Whirlwind Tuesday morning....

Once we got off of the trolly at the University City exit, we were smack in front of the building that would be Bertha Romo's dorm next year. This granted us a perfect photo opp of Charles and Bertha in front of her dorm, as shown to the right. Charles' smile captures the excitement, pride, and joy that we all feel for Bertha.
On Tuesday morning, Charles and I had a 9:00am appointment with Jacinda Ojeda, the former California representative for UPenn. We had a great meeting with her regarding UPenn's method and approach regarding recruitment in disadvantaged districts and their success within the schools in this district.
After our meeting with Jacinda at the Undergraduate Admissions Office, we had to book across campus to Market and 38th to meet with John Ceccati, the program director for the summer school programs. John had been such a great contact this past year and helped us tremendously with enrolling our girls and dotting all of the t's and i's. After spending a little while with him, we had to rush back to Undergraduate Admissions to attend a last-minute meeting that June Chu had set up for us with John Toomer, Director of Multicultural Admissions at UPenn. He had many great suggestions in order to help students from our attend Ivy League universities.
After rushing to three meetings within two hours, Charles had to rush off to the airport. His aunt picked him up from the hotel and and was going to spend some time with his family before leaving Philadelphia. Alas, Charles' visit had come to an end. It's amazing to think of all that Charles was able to accomplish in just a few days in the Philadelphia area. He's a powerhouse who is non-stop and it's because of that dynamic energy that the Ivy League Connection continues to grow, expand, and succeed.

Le Bec Fin with the girls & Charles...

I'm sorry that I have not had the chance to write in quite a while. As you can imagine, wrapping up at UPenn, arriving at SFO in the evening, driving to Delano early Sunday morning to pick up my own "kids" from "grandma", who met me half way from LA, getting back home Sunday night and starting work on Monday morning, I've been a bit cramped for time. Nonetheless, I still have so much to say about my last few days at UPenn and my overall experience with the Ivy League Connection program at UPenn.
After spending an amazing day at Princeton, Charles and I returned to Philadelphia to get ready for dinner with the girls and the representatives from La Casa Latina, America Espinal, and PAACH, Dr. June Chu.
Courtney, Susan, and Cynthia had all visited with June during the past week and had a great experience meeting her. The girls had all been a bit anxious about what to wear to the dinner, etc. One of the girls even asked if she could wear jeans or flip flops to Le Bec Fin for dinner. After saying "no" several times, the girls were ready to go to dinner. We all met at the Sheraton hotel and took the trolly to the civic center/downtown area near Walnut and 14th, where Le Bec Fin is located.
Upon entering the restaurant, we were all impressed and in awe with the beauty and elegance of the
restaurant. The menu had so many great choices that it was difficult to choose only a few items.
After finishing my divine pasta dinner, we all had the pleasure of eating dessert at Le Bec Fin. It turns out that dessert is limitless! We were told what every single dessert on the dessert tray was and then we were allowed to chose as many, and as much of what ever we so desired. Imagine that!! Now remember, Charles was with seven other women at this dinner, and at this point, we were seven, very happy women! At the end of our dinner, we also got to take a picture with Chef Perrier, who is very well known because of his success with Le Bec Fin.
After dinner, we all took the trolly back home to University City. That, in and of itself, was an adventure. The girls and Charles all thought that the ride home didn't seem too safe, but to be honest, it was perfectly fine. They just weren't used to the environment we had to traverse in order to get home. And, we also knew that we had Charles there to protect us!!
I can't begin to thank Charles enough for a wonderful evening, dinner, and time. We spent almost four hours at Le Bec Fin and during those four hours, we had the wonderful opportunity to not only get to know our girls more, but to find out about UPenn from June and America. Furthermore, June is going to keep in touch with Susan and help her with her application to UPenn this fall, and America is going to keep tabs on Bertha and help her transition into UPenn smoothly. So, a BIG THANKS from the girls and me!!

The end of a great experience...

Well, it’s been about 3 days since Susan, Cynthia, and I left Pennsylvania. Although I am very happy to be home (you can even ask Susan, I could hardly stop smiling when the plane started to land. haha), I’m truly starting to miss everything about Penn and a part of me really wants to go back. I miss the classes, people, independence, and just the lifestyle.

The class was definitely not what I expected. Truthfully, I was a little scared about the biomedical research program. I was expecting to walk into the class and have to listen to a mean teacher talk all day and be given a ton of homework to turn in the next morning. But I was wrong. Our teacher was friendly and tried to make everyone in the class comfortable. It was nice to be in an environment where all the students wanted to learn. However since some of the material she lectured on was pretty new to me, I wasn’t like some of the kids in my class who raised their hands to answer every question. But I can say that a learned a lot from her class and that’s the most important part of this experience, right? I’m sure I will be able to use all the knowledge I gained from morning lectures, afternoon labs, and journal club meetings in my future classes.

As I said before, I expected to be forced to do a ton of work and I thought I would be up all night frantically trying to finish everything in time. However, this was not how it was. There was hardly any work to finish after class except a few lab questions or a small activity. Oh and there was that final paper I had to finish during that last week of class. But other than those small assignments, there wasn’t that much homework, so I had a lot of free time on my hands.

Besides class, I also enjoyed all the extra activities. With the weekend trips to Washington DC and New York, I was able to take a look at other colleges other than Penn like Georgetown, NYU, and GW. The mandatory movie nights and the trip to Jersey helped everyone relax after a week of class. The daily activities (tie-dye and jewelry) were great ways to socialize and meet new people.

When I first came to Penn, I was a little nervous about meeting new people since the only people I knew were Cynthia and Susan (and I barely knew them!). But it was much easier to talk to everyone than I expected. I was able to meet kids from all over the country and the world. Everyone was different and came from different schools – private school, public school, small school (she had 100+ kids in her grade), big school (one person had 1,000+ students in her grade!). But we all connected in some way. It was extremely difficult to leave all these people and come home. I’m still not used to it. At Penn, all I had to do was walk outside of my dorm room and I would find someone to talk to!

One of the most important things I can take from this experience is being independent. For four weeks, I had to do everything myself. I had to buy food, do laundry, and wake myself up. I didn’t have anyone by my side to help me. My parents weren’t there to fix my mistakes. I had to be even more responsible because I didn’t have a roommate to count on. If I woke up late one morning, no one would pull me out of bed. Each time I left my room, I had to make sure I had my ID and keys because if I left them, I couldn’t call my roommate to bring them to me or open the door.

I’d like to end my last post by saying thanks to everyone who made this experience possible for the three of us. Mr. Ramsey and Mrs. Kronenberg, all of us who participated in the Ivy League Connection program are so grateful for the time and energy you two gave up to give us the chance to have this opportunity. Mrs. Crespo! Thanks for being such a great chaperone. You were like our mom in Pennsylvania always checking up on us, but you also gave us our space. My parents – thank you for giving me my independence during these four weeks. It was weird when all the teenagers I talked to said that their parents would call everyday to check on them, but I didn’t have this problem. I would also like to thank my teacher (and her two assistants), lab instructor (plus his assistant), and journal club leader for all the help they offered everyone in the class. I certainly learned a lot during this month. Finally, I want to show my appreciation to all of the sponsors. None of this could be possible without each of you. This is definitely not the summer I thought I would have and it isn’t a summer I will never forget. Thanks again!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Looking back to move forward

I was surprised when I stepped off the airplane Saturday night to be welcomed home by cool and crisp air. I had unconsciously expected the envelopingly humid air of Pennsylvania, and to be honest, I miss the hot weather just a little bit! I remember that when I first set foot in Philly, I was overwhelmed by the heat and moisture. But as the weeks progressed, the weather didn't seem quite as bad anymore -- I had adjusted.

Just as I got used to the weather, I gradually adjusted to life at UPenn. For the first few days I was there, I was a little lost on my own. I didn't know anyone there except Cynthia and Courtney, and could barely remember who my residential counselor was. I didn't know the shortcut to class, where the best place to eat was, how to do laundry, or how to check out books at the library. But, I eventually found out how to get to the gym, figured out my favorite type of quesadila, got used to my class schedule, and made friends with great people. The world at Penn was beginning to open up to me.

This trip gave me an incredible view on several aspects of an Ivy League university, including the campus, students, and academics. I thought UPenn's campus was amazing, especially once I knew my way around. It's buildings are beautiful, and the entire university is situated in the middle of a huge city, with downtown easily accessable. Shops and restaurants are interwined so that the campus is like a little town of its own. I thought the mixture of modern and historical architecture was just right, so students are always reminded of its dynamic past as they work toward their own vibrant futures.

But even more than I loved the campus, I loved its culture and the people. I took Bertha's advice to talk to as many people as I could, and ended up making some terrific friends. I was surprised how easy it was to find things in common with people who appeared to be so different; many of the people I got to know came from places I had never even set foot in. Just socializing with others helped me broaden my knowledge of the outside world, from gaining political insight on Hillary and Obama to learning about the latest HIV research. I also learned some little things I probably would have never known otherwise, like the fact high schoolers can be nationally ranked in fencing, the difference between a treadmill and an elliptical, and which jokes of mine are really bad. So many people were willing to open their arms to include me, and selflessly help and advise me in my endeavors (like June Chu of PAACH).

The people and campus together composed the wonderful UPenn culture I experienced. Like all other cultures, this one is just as difficult to describle, especially since I felt it more than observed it. To me, one of its most noticable characteristics was the incredible geographical and social unity of the school. Even though I was only there for a short amount of time, associated with a limited amount of the population, and could only explore a small percentage of University City, I got a taste of the deep bonds that were able to bring all kinds of different people together like a huge family.

But, I didn't want to go there and just be amazed by the East Coast; I wanted everyone to realize how great the West Coast is too! So, I shared some Bay Area slang (most notably "hecka" and "hella") with my friends and told everyone about why I loved California. When we visited New York and my friends were done telling me all about the city, I told them all about San Francisco. When we went to Ocean City, my buddies bragged all about their beaches on the way there, but I bragged all about ours the way back. I tried to bring the West Coast to them, and everyone tried to bring their cultures to me. It's also this sharing that makes the UPenn community so unique and diverse; the entire culture becomes a mixture of what everyone brings in.

I wasn't too sure how I would handle a college course at such a prestigious university, but I ended up learning a ton and having a blast. Of course, I would not have done nearly as well if I did not have such strong preparation from my teachers back at Hercules. However, even with prior experience, I can't say I wasn't blown away by the academic opportunities and advantages offered by UPenn. All my teachers at UPenn genuinely gave their all to help us, and made extra support avaliable to us outside the classroom. Because we are high schoolers and not actual college students, they adjusted the curriculum so it would be easier for us to take in and understand. If we students wanted to seek it, we could find latest research and information at our fingertips online or in the libraries. Through talking with current college students and faculty, I know that there are multiple study opportunities and programs to support all kinds of educational pursuits.

Just being in an actual college class was a whole new experience of its own. I learned so much about applying biology to medicine, and the labs I performed answered all my questions of how and why it happens. The lectures, labs and journal clubs really brought what I learned back home to a whole new level. But that's not all: besides the intellectual lessons I accumulated, I learned some life lessons as well. In my class of 70, I had to approach the teacher for her to remember me, which I never had to do in high school. Although we were required to attend class, no one was disciplined to take notes, pay attention, or do extra reading. It was from this I learned that if I wanted something I would have to reach out and grab it. Everything, from if I wanted the instructor to know who I was, to if I wanted to optimize my education and take advantage of my resources, depended on me to make it happen. No one was going to catch some fish and hand it to me, but if I asked and listened I could learn how to go fishing for myself.

Beyond gaining the feel of a college class, I was able to experience genuine college life (minus the part-time job!). I thought I was going to sad once my senior year of high school came along, but not so much anymore now I know how fun college can be. The program engaged us in recreational activities, like going outside the city on Saturdays, movies on Fridays, and little things like shopping and tye-dye during the week. We also had a few dances and parties, which was a great chance for us to get together and socialize. There also were some less exciting things, like doing laundry and buying food from the local convenience store, but it was still something new. Even when there really wasn't anything planned for us, my friends and I wandered around campus or ate out, and had loads of fun anyways.

I really grew up during these four weeks. My parents thought I was going to starve myself and never go to bed, but I think I took pretty good care of myself. I even had doubts about my own discipline, but it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be! I made sure I got three meals a day and enough sleep, and I was even responsible enough about my health to go to the gym! (sort of.) As a student, I had to balance time for studying with time for myself, also improving my time management. In my independance, I was able to acquire valuable life skills that I never would have been exposed to had I stayed underneath the tree.

(I edited this out of my last post because I thought it belonged in this one more, so if you've already seen it just skip this paragraph)It may seem like the game is over now, but in actuality, it is only just beginning. College applications for me are this fall, and after this trip, I definitely would like to apply to the UPenn College. It was at Penn this summer that I was able to gain a deeper understanding of the world outside my community back home, and more importantly, myself. Right now, I can confidently say that I am more sure of my plans for the future than I was before I went.

It is also because of my experience at UPenn that my entire outlook on potential colleges has been transformed. Before I left, I never even considered UPenn as a place I could apply to. Even though I had planned to apply out of state, I never really saw the Ivy League as a part of my options. But, going to UPenn has opened my mind and given me a chance to glimpse what else is out there, and Ivy League schools seem more within my reach than before. The horizon sure is broader than I thought!

The only thing I regret is not having enough time. We didn't have enough time to see the Statue of Liberty, or walk around the entire King of Prussia Mall. I didn't have enough time to write a 12 page research paper, or to even eat at Jim's! But perhaps that's why I still find Penn so interesting -- there is still more people to meet, more places to see, more to learn, and more to discover.

As a part of the first Hercules Ivy League Connection "generation," I feel extremely fortunate to have been given the opportunity to be a part of such a great program. The Ivy League Connection was truely my connection to the Ivy League, by making sure we were prepared before we left, oriented when we got there, and supported the entire way. Mr. Ramsey and Mrs. Kronenburg always called to see how we were doing, and even visited us while we were there. While I was busy studying or traveling, they helped me establish relationships with others so I could learn more about UPenn, and always found information for me to enhance my overall experience. Don has never failed to give us advice and show support through commenting on our blogs, and Mrs. Lilhanand was always there if I ever had a question or needed some help.

If I could go back and do it all again, I wouldn't even hesitate! These four weeks were probably the fastest four weeks of my life. Now I'm just looking back upon everything I've taken in, because it's all helping me move forward into my future.


Thinking about all the valuable lessons and relationships I have acquired from this trip reminds me even more of how thankful I am to be able to have such a wonderful experience, and all the people who supported me along the way. None of this would have been possible without Mr. Ramsey and Mrs. Kronenburg, who have worked so hard to give us a chance to take part in such a great experience. Mrs. Crespo was a great chaperone, always making sure we were doing well and never failing to take us to try new things. While Don, Mrs. Lilhanand, Mr. Hudson, and my parents never came to Penn, they were still beside me every step of the way. Throughout my trip, everyone has always offered help, and given me support, encouragement, and superb advice. I am thankful to my friends, who took care of me during my trip and made my journey all the more enjoyable. I am extremely grateful to my teacher, lab instructors, and journal club leaders, who never hesitated to spend time and help me. And, the Columbia group, which was in NY the same time we were at Penn, had an excellent blog that made me feel like I was experiencing two programs at once. Last but not least, I would like to thank the sponsors, who are the very foundation of the Ivy League Connection. Without them, none of us would have had this incredible opportunity and the chance to go through such an amazing learning experience. This summer was truely unforgettable. Thank you, everyone!


Well, our adventure at Pennsylvania is over. A part of me is sad and a little bit nostalgic but another part of me is happy to be home, in California. I'm attending a camp right now called Bay Area Asian Youth Fellowship and I'm happy to be here.

If I learned anything from being in Pennsylvania, it would be to reach out and take chances on people and other things. The first week or two of Pennsylvania, I was scared to talk to meet new people because I'm not the kind of person who would initiate a conversation. When people started coming up to me to talk to me, I started to realize how great the people at UPenn were. I think I really started feeling at home the last week of the program. It might have been because we had a lot more time to really hang out with the people, but it also could've been because I met a lot more people. I also learned this lesson from just taking the chance and going to Pennslyvania. I was a little unsure about going to the program in the first place because it was so far away and it was for a month but I'm really glad I took the chance.

I felt like the academic program at the summer program was very well organized. The teacher was amazing, I felt like she really cared about the students and she was very passionate about teaching. She taught us a lot about biology but she also showed us how a good professor should behave. Because of the fact that I want to take AP biology in the future, I'm really glad I went. The people in the class were very motivated as independent learners and I learned a lot from them also. Being in that kind of environment was encouraging and it was easy to be studious.

The college life is really different from what I imagined. We had a lot more free time than I had expected and the workload wasn't as heavy (but that was probably because we were in a summer program). We had so much free time that I didn't know what to do with it and I enjoyed that because at home, I barely have any. I learned that being independant is fun. I'm really looking forward to college in general now because of this experience.

I hope that this insight was enough to satisfy your curiousity about this experience. I'm at camp right now and we're about to go kayaking! I feel like the life lessons I learned at Pennsylvania was worth it and in conclusions, I'm really glad I went.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


I expected to be able to have a concluding post up by today, but upon reflection there is just too much to write in one night. I need a little more time to organize my thoughts, but I will try to have it up ASAP. Sorry to keep you guys waiting!

The Grand Finale

As always, the best is saved for last. This final week of my amazing UPenn adventure was truely a week to remember.

Just when I thought I couldn't get any busier, challenging final papers and presentations came along. The paper required a substantial amount of research, and I found myself spending most of my time in the library reading or on the computer looking up websites. I learned a lot more than I expected from this assignment; researching for it exposed me to new information in other areas and gave me a chance to utilize UPenn's excellent educational resources (both online and in the library).

Right after the paper was due, I began to work on my presentation with my journal club group. We were assigned to present as the last group on the last day, and I was supposed to be the last person in my group to talk! This arrangement, and the fact that there are about 70 students in my class, made me feel very anxious about going up. However, once it was actually my turn, I concentrated on what I had to say, stared at foreheads instead of eyes (thanks Mr.Hudson!) and did what I had to do. It wasn't as bad as I thought, and, it was such a great chance to practice my public speaking skills.

This week was also when I got to know better June Chu (the director of PAACH), and the many people she introduced me to. Whether it was over dinner at La Bec Fin, candy in her office, or sushi at Houston's, I always learned something new from June in a fun and interesting way. Everyone I met through her also had important advice to give me, from how to become a more competitive applicant, to which UPenn college may be more suitable for my interests. I had a great time getting to know her, UPenn, and Philly! I hope one day I will be able to come out from the recieving end and share with others like she has with me. (Actually, on second thought, that day might not be that far away. With everything this trip has given me, I now have sooo much to share.)

Now at the airport, I'm excited to go home but very sad to leave. For 4 weeks, Philly has been my home, and the friends I have made my family. (Here I had to board the plane, so changing tenses from here). I loved my time at UPenn; what an experience of a lifetime! Being in a top notch Biomed program revolutionized my knowledge of science and exposed me to new labs and research. Dorming there really showed me what it was like to be an actual college student, and talking to people of from all over the globe opened my eyes and changed my perspectives. It was an intense program because we had so many academic and recreational activities to do, but the hard work was worth all the fun and enjoyment. Going to UPenn was everything I thought it would be and more.


P.S. Even though I'm back home, I will keep blogging so I can continue to share my experiences with everyone. This way, the posts can stay short and sweet! Also, I have yet to post a concluding blog later today.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Day Twenty Five.

This is the night before our final presentation! I'm a little nervous to be speaking in front of 70 people, but I think I'll pull through. We finished with our presentations today, and we met with our journal club leader. She was a really good person, and I'm sad that we won't be seeing her anymore. We had some good talks about neurology, even though shes going to be a dentist. Our presentation is going to be the last one tomorrow, so I'm happy about that.

Today, after our short class, our journal club worked on our presentations. I think today was an uneventful day, but it was a different kind of uneventful. I enjoyed today a lot more than I did the other days. After we finished our powerpoint presentation, me and a couple of friends hung out. I really enjoyed getting to know these people.

After my last journal club meeting, I met up with Courtney and Susan to go to Ross in downtown Philadelphia. We walked around and I found myself a new suitcase to replace my old broken one. The embarrassing thing was having to carry it from Ross back to the dorms.

We went to McDonalds for dinner tonight. After eating, we hopped back onto the subway and went back to the dorms. I spent the night outside, socializing.

All in all, it was an uneventful night but the reason I liked it so much was because I got to know people a little bit better. The sad thing is that we'll be leaving in three days.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Days two & three w/Charles.....

Charles spent most of day two with his family in Philadelphia. Luckily, he was indoors when we were attacked by a severe storm that brought us buckets of water and strong winds, and of course, thunder and lightening. Amazingly enough, this was the 2nd time in about as many days that people in Philadelphia were struck by lightening!! I suppose people here have many lives, or are really lucky.

Nonetheless, as soon as Charles got back to the hotel, we met for about an hour and half to go over possible ideas and questions for the barrage of upcoming meetings that we had lined up for the next two days. This is a great picture of Charles working during our Princeton sightseeing time. The next morning, Charles and I walked to the 30th street station to take the R7 to Princeton. Within an hour and a half, we had transferred at Trenton to the NEC train (North East Corridor) and then transferred at Princeton Junction to the small train that takes you straight onto the Princeton campus.
As soon as Charles and I stepped onto the Princeton campus, we were in awe. I have been to several Ivy League schools but Princeton by far takes the cake! The campus is absolutely gorgeous and part of its beauty is the fact that it's removed from the big city. The campus is lush and green and graced by old buildings that have born some brilliant minds. It was almost as if you felt smarter just being there. Okay, maybe I was just feeling hopeful but check out these pictures of this beautiful campus! The other cool thing about this university and town is that it is also so quaint and cute and it just feels so college-like. It actually reminded me a lot of Cambridge University in England.

Once we were done touring the campus, we got to Hamilton Hall where we were supposed to meet Tashim, the freshman at Princeton who participated in the Journalism program two years ago. She had so many great things to say about the program and the positive influence that it had on her life. Hey, she just finished her first year at Princeton and it loving it! So, the summer journalism program looks like a viable possibility for our students. It is very competitive but incredibly academic and rewarding. The day that we were there, the guy that wrote the piece in the New Yorker with the Barrack and Michelle Obama cover, was going to be giving a lecture after we left. I will finish later...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Day Twenty Three.

I am content.

We turned in our final paper today. I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off my chest. Except... now we have to work on our final presentation for our journal club.

Yesterday, we had a pleasant dinner with a few of the counselors (counselors? or the directors of certain programs) from the University of Pennsylvania, Mr.Ramsey and Ms. Crespo at the finest restaurant in Philedelphia. We talked a lot about college, what it's like and resources that are available as well as random things.

The whole day, before we went to dinner and after we came back from dinner, was dedicated to writing our paper and for that reason, we haven't been able to blog lately. However, now that we're done, we have a lot of time!

Except... our presentations are due on Thursday.

Four days in Philly w/Charles Ramsey.... Day 1: Bertha's arrival!

Where do I begin?!?
Charles arrived on Saturday morning and from the get-go, we were on a schedule. Charles arrived at approximately 7:30am at the Sheraton, at which time he called me using the hotel phone, and to wake me up! But it was actually perfect timing because Charles and I had enough time to have breakfast downstairs before leaving at 9:15am to pick up Cynthia Romo from the Philly airport and help her get settled in at UPenn for the PennCapp Program. However, I had to call Bertha's mom at 8:30am, 5:30am California time, to double check what time she was arriving at PHL. It turned out that she was actually going to arrive at 11:30am instead of 10:00am. That gave Charles and I a little more time. Actually, it was great for Charles because he was lucky enough to be get his room early. Since he had taken a red-eye flight into Philly, he really benefited from the extra time in his room to relax, shower, and relax for a while.
I had decided to call Bertha the night before in California to check in on her and to offer to meet her at the airport just to be there and to help her with her luggage. I remember what it was like for me to fly into Newark, NJ when I moved to NYC to start grad school at Columbia University's Teachers College. It totally sucked arriving at Newark all by myself and having to wield four pieces of luggage into a taxi cab all by myself and eventually get into NYC alone. Plus, did I mention that there's that East Coast humidity that we Californians are so not used to?!? Moving luggage in that kind of weather is awful. Read my blog from day one when Madeline and I helped the girls move in!
Charles and I took the R1 back to the airport, even though he had just taken it into Philadelphia a few hours before. We arrived at the perfect time because as we were stepping into the baggage claim area, Bertha called me. Sure enough, there she was, our first Richmond High student to attend UPenn! Charles and I were elated to see her and we were happy to help her with her two big suitcases and two smaller bags. We then took a cab to University City where Sky met us to help us take Bertha's suitcases up to her dorm room.
Bertha's staying at Harnwell during the PennCapp program. It's an awesome dorm, way better than anything either Charles or I had as undergrads at UC's! Bertha's dorm has a kitchen with a stove, fridge, and microwave, a living room area, and two singles and a double. Bertha ended up getting a double because she was the third girl to arrive. Of course, the other two girls snatched up the singles. It was okay though because Charles, Bertha, Sky, and I did a wonderful job in re-arranging Bertha's room. Initially, her room was cramped and there was barely any room to walk around. After putting our four brilliant minds together, Bertha's room rocked! Too bad I didn't take a picture!

After leaving Bertha to unwind and get ready for her packed day of orientation stuff, Sky, Charles, and I explored the campus after talking to the director of the PennCapp Program for a while. Charles gained a lot of interesting and pertinent information about the logistics of the PennCapp Program. Later, we went to visit the famous quad area, where Cynthia, Courtney, and Susan are all staying. Charles loved actually walking in the areas that he has seen in so many pictures and heard so much about.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Day Twenty.

We went to Jersey Shore today. The bus ride was horrendous, there was a whole lot of traffic getting there. At least the bus was comfortable.

We got there around 1 and then they let us roam about to our liking. The area was really friendly. There was a lot to do. The place reminded me of Santa Cruz in California, without the rides and with a whole lot of stores. We went to this really cool place that had a lot of candy. We bought a whole lot of salt water taffe! We went to buy fudge from this little place on the boardwalk.

We went to the beach and it was beautiful. There were a lot of people, but there was a lot of ... beach! The water was freezing cold and the sand was warm between our toes. It was great! I went into the water for a little while, by myself because the people I was with didn't want to go in with me. I was hesitant at first, because I was alone but I'm glad I did it. The water was so salty!!

After a great day at the beach, we went back onto the bus. The ride home was much quicker than the ride there. I'm starting to think that's how it always is. We got back and I did laundry because I felt like I brought home half the beach with me! While waiting for laundry, we socialized. It was really good to be able to meet more people. We joked and told riddles until Mr. Ramsey came to visit us. When he came, we went to go talk to him and sort of.. catch him up on what's been going on. It was a good night.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Last of week 3, PAACH, and a little reflection

The computer lab was down since Wednesday night, and is finally back up! Luckily, tonight's curfew has been extended due to the Philly's game we had, so I'm taking this opportunity to make a post before getting ready for a trip to New Jersey beach tomorrow.

I know Mr. Ramsey must have been eager to hear about the Pan Asian American Community House (PAACH) ever since he gave me June Chu's contact information. (Mrs. Chu is the director of PAACH). So, yesterday, I went to visit PAACH at the Arch building! After the lab ended at 4:30, I gave her a call and found out the Arch building closed at 5. I quickly ran to Locust walk, but finding the place was more difficult than I thought. No passerby I asked even had any idea what the Arch building was, so finally, I had to call Mrs. Chu again. I found out that I had actually passed it in my frantic running, but luckily, I hadn't gone too far away.

Upon opening it's huge red doors, I couldn't help but feeling nervous, since I was about to meet someone new. However, when I finally reached the PAACH office, I was surprised at how welcoming and friendly the people were. I ended up meeting 3 PAACH members in addition to Mrs. Chu, and everyone was very helpful and warm in introducing me to their organization. I had a lot of fun chatting with everyone, and although we didn't have too long to talk, I was able to learn about PAACH's various subgroups. I would still like to find out more about this community house, so I am planning to visit PAACH again sometime soon. Mrs. Chu is also joining Mr. Ramsey, Mrs. Crespo, Courtney, Cynthia and I for dinner on Monday!

I actually planned to visit PAACH with Courtney and Cynthia on Wednesday, but I lost track doing my research in the biomedical computer lab. This week is the first week I've spent time there, and it's actually a great resource for finding information on the entire spectrum of medicine. I was able to decide on the topic of my paper, gather sources and articles, and most importantly, get started! I had debated for several days whether to research Crohn's disease, AIDS/HIV, or Alzheimer's. I ended up picking something entirely different: an ailment called hypomania. Hypomania is a stage of bipolar depression, and it is most famous for causing individuals to have heightened brain activity, sometimes resulting in sporadic outbursts of genius! I'll save the details on it until after I finish my paper. :)

Today was the last day of lab, and also the last day of week 3. I feel sad both because lab is over, and also because it's marking the last days of UPenn. I know for sure that I will miss this place and the friends I made here. But I also know that I will be taking valuable lessons, experiences and memories with me, which will be mine to keep forever.

Once in my Journalism class, we interviewed a previous Hercules High student now attending Stanford University. He told us that we would think we were in an entirely different world once we entered college, and I remember feeling confused at what he meant. Now I know EXACTLY what he was talking about! Here in the UPenn campus, surrounded by people from all over the globe, a new kind of culture, foreign surroundings, and a busy schedule, it feels like I am not just in a different place, but a different world. My lifestyle has changed dramatically, and for the first time, I have to take control of all aspects of living (from laundry, to 3 meals a day, to getting to all my classes, to completing my homework, to going to sleep on time, to finding my way around campus... the list goes on and on). I feel privileged to be with such a multicultured and unique group of students, and I am meeting new people everyday. Everyone has their own story and has something special to share, and through them, I gain some insight into the rest of the world. In addition to learning extensively from my labs, lectures, and journal meetings, I greatly broaden my perspectives from the student community. Many of my friends have aspirations to continue their education at Ivy League schools, such as UPenn, but many of them also plan to go abroad, to the west coast, or simply attend a small college or some place close to home. The diversity of the students and the diversity of their dreams constantly remind me that there is more than one path to success. It's just up to myself to decide which road is the most suitable and if it's the one I ultimately want to take.

But, I have to say that I'm loving the UPenn community!


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Day Eighteen.

There are some problems with my "G" letter on my keyboard, so if i miss one here and there, I apologize in advance.

These past couple of days have been really something to remember. I find that I am warmin up to Pennsylvania a lot more than I was 2 weeks ago, when I arrived. I'm starting to get use to the weather. The weather today is really really nice. The weather right now reminds me of California, its breezy and it's not too sunny, which is perfect.

I know it may be a little early, but I already have a highlight for this whole trip. I'm really excited about it too. Last night, there was a thunder/lightning storm here in Pennsylvania. It was pouring and everything, it was really amazing. I went outside before it started raining because I wanted to see what it was like and it was beautiful and something to remember. The sky had a green tint and there was lightening everywhere and the thunder was so loud that it made me shake. The rain started light at first but quickly turned into a downpour. It was raining so hard, I felt like I was taking a shower outside. But that's okay, I took Courtney and we went outside to walk around and dance in the rain. I don't think she enjoyed the rain as much as I did, but we had a terrific time.

I've been starting to get use to the length of the classes. At first, three hours was a long time, but now it's not that hard. We learned about the immune system today and there was this really interesting guest lecture about autoimmune diseases. It was really interesting to learn about how things like your immune system work. The guest lecturer wasn't as enthusiastic as I would've hoped but he was really informative. I'm at my lunch break right now, blogging to you from the quad.

We're starting a new module in lab today so I have that to look forward to. After this module, we won't have lab anymore. The last week will be dedicated to preparing our presentations, which are due at the end of the course. The purpose of the presentation is to inform the other students about what we learned in our journal clubs. It's not that long, its suppose to be 10-15 minutes. I'll tell you more about that when we get to it.

I'll blog later! We're going to a Phillies game this Friday, Jersey Shore this Saturday and the King of Prussia mall this Sunday, AGAIN! I'm looking forward to it. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A wonderful weekend and the start of week 3.

First, I would like to say sorry since I haven’t been able to keep up with my daily posts. I was planning to blog yesterday, but I had a journal club meeting which I will talk more about later in my post.

Well, I guess I’ll start off by talking about this past weekend. Last week, my RC told me I had the choice of taking a tour around NYU or Columbia . In the end, I decided to pick NYU, so on Saturday morning I boarded the bus to go off on the tour of the college. However, when we finally arrived in New York , all the students were told that we wouldn’t be going on the school tour of the university. Instead, they gave us 30 minutes to go and explore the area of NYU. I personally would’ve liked a guide to show us around since all really got to do was walk around for a couple of blocks and then walk back to the meeting place. After this, we went to the Time Warner Center to get some lunch and shop for an hour. Then after meeting in Central Park, some of the RCs showed us how to get to Madison and 5th Avenue. Cynthia, her roommate, and I just sat down to finish our lunches and walked around to look at the shops. We went to the South Street Seaport to grab some dinner and I was able to buy some souvenirs. Then it was off to the bus to drive back to the campus.

On Sunday, the three of us were supposed to go to New York again with Ms. Crespo so we would be able to explore more of the city. However, we just went to King of Prussia after having lunch in downtown Philadelphia. I loved this day! It was great to get away from campus for a little bit and shop. I was only able to walk through half of the mall in the 4 hours we were there! Luckily, we're going back this Sunday so I can shop around in the other half. After going to the mall, the four of us had dinner in a downtown restaurant. It was great to have food that was different from the food offered here. Don't get me wrong. I am greatful for the variety of food there is here, but it was getting a little old. Anyways, Ms. Crespo dropped us off at the campus after getting dessert.

Yesterday was the start of the third week here at Penn. It's weird thinking that I am going to be home in two weeks. Well, the day started off with a lecture about the spinal cord. I realized that I'm starting to like the lectures more and more each day. At first, I thought was going to get bored after the first few lectures, but the topics that the class is learning about really interest me. Although it's a difficult to understand the material at times, I actually like the things I'm learning and I know I will be able to use this knowledge in future classes. Well, after a little break, we watched the movie Gattaca since it deals with chemical engineering. I thought it was going to be some boring, science movie, but I I loved it! I thought it was very interesting and I recommend you watch it. :) This day I had a journal club meeting. It was an hour and 30 minutes this time since our leader, Kate, had to deal with a problem that happened on her way to the meeting. We just had a discussion about our second article which was about the sleep patterns of adolescents (the study used 9th and 10th grade students) during school. I thought it was much easier to read compared to the first one. I also thought it was more interesting since it deals with teens. We will be meeting two more times this week since we want to get started on our presentation. Our next article is about circadian rhythms and breast cancer.

Today, there was a lecture on the sense organs. We also finished the rest of Gattaca and had a discussion about genetic testing, selection, and engineering. I thought today's lecture was pretty easy to understand plus the topic was interesting to learn about. There was a mandatory presentation to see today. It was just about college and our futures.

Well, I have to go right now since I want to think a little more about my topic for the paper. I think I know what I want to write about, but I've been trying to think of my other options the entire day. Oh and when I have the time, I'll post up some pictures from the weekend and give details about what we do in lab.

PS about dinner with my students.....

I have to add this little tid-bit because although it may seem somewhat irrelevant, I actually think it'll make a world of difference for our students if they do attend Ivy League schools. Every time the girls and I have gone to dinner, it's been a learning experience and practice in and of itself. Someone may ask me what radhiccio is, or Mahi Mahi, or provolone, or bruschetta, or arugula, or a crimini mushroom, and so forth. I had to learn the hard way how to order and behave in an upscale restaurant and I truly think that our girls are so lucky to already have had a few experiences at home and here in Philly to go out to nice restaurants.
Charles arrives on Saturday and he's taking all of us out to Le Fin-Bec, which is run by renowned chef Georges Perrier, on Monday! It's going to be a mini-celebration because the girls' final paper is due that Monday. Susan, Cynthia, and Courtney are both excited but somewhat nervous about the dinner and restaurant. They've already asked me what they should wear. Maybe they're just trying to find a reason to buy something else when they return to the King of Prussia mall this Sunday!
I just wanted to add this as food for thought and to try to guide the program a bit next summer. Many of our students are having experiences that they've never had before but that many of us may take for granted, like going on a plane! More to come....

A weekend with the girls!

In spite of the fact that the heat and humidity here has been "oppressive", as the local news station states it, I have still managed to walk around Philadelphia and get to know the area outside of University City fairly well. My boyfriend finally arrived from his week with family in Pittsburgh and Erie, Pennsylvania so it's been lots of fun to have someone else to explore the historical sites in the city with.
However, after the girls' long, long day in NYC on Saturday, we were set to spend the day doing the historic tours in Old City. Originally, the girls really had their hearts set on returning to NYC for a day of "shopping", more like window shopping considering NYC prices, but taking SEPTA and transferring in Trenton, NY to the R7 which goes to Penn Station, or just taking Amtrak were both too expensive and time consuming.
So, because I didn't want to kill the girls' spirit to shop, Sky and I decided to rent a car to take the girls to King of Prussia, the second largest mall in America, next to the Mall of America in Minneapolis, which I've been to!! The girls were beyond elated. I just couldn't believe how much our girls love to shop, or just hang out in a huge mall. We picked up the rental car in City Center, ate lunch at Johnny Rockets in South Philly, then got on the 76 West towards King of Prussia. The sitting in traffic and ride were well worth it for all of us. As soon as the girls saw the mall, they complained about the fact that we only had five hours to shop! I did remind them that they would have next Sunday as well to finish their "shopping".
At 7pm, all of the malls closed and we were off to our weekly "fancy" dinner. Since we didn't go out to a big, fancy dinner our first night in Philadelphia and thus, didn't spend all of the money for that big dinner, the girls and I decided that it would be nice to have one "nice" dinner every week where we could catch up and have fun. The food was great and we had a nice and relaxing dinner. I didn't the girls home until 10:30pm! We did have a great time just hanging out, getting to know each other better, talking about what Susan is planning on doing next year since it's her senior year, and what Courtney and Cynthia were going to be taking as far as classes were concerned.
I'm going to meet with Johnny Irizarry and he's going to give me a tour of local Latino CBO's in the area that work with low-income students who want to go to college. We're also going to a fundraiser at the White Dog Cafe on Friday night. The proceeds from the fundraiser go to UPenn's cultural programs on campus, including Casa Latina, where Johnny works.
I'm off to north Philly!

Monday, July 21, 2008

More photos

Philadelphia City hall at night! and delicious clams with pasta.

The remains of ground zero, and I guess you can say we saw the Statue of Liberty...

A HUGE toy store in NYC! and posing with Cruella

Columbia U! and Pier 17

Smiling at Johnny Rockets and the other side of Pier 17

Enjoy! I decided to take shorter movies this time, and look, they worked! I have yet to figure out how to get the longer ones up.


Huge update, and here comes week 3!

Hi everyone! Before I begin what I plan to be a long post, I would like to apologize for failing to update for such a long period of time. Lately I have had many activities that have kept me very busy, but I will be sure to recount them all in this post. Sorry to keep everyone waiting!

Secondly but very importantly, I would just like to extend my thanks to all the readers for being such great supporters of our blog. I really appreciate how you guys go through every single post and take the time and effort to respond with great ideas, suggestions, and encouragement. It means a lot for us to know you all are behind us every step of the way on our adventure... thank you!

Finally, time for the stories that have accumulated since the last time I blogged.

One of the biggest events last Friday was the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight. It was really intense (my friends and I were scared during the movie) but I must say it was amazing! There's no wonder why it has quickly become a box office hit. I feel really fortunate to have been able to see it the first day it came out, and I enjoyed it immensely. I won't give off any spoilers, but if you haven't seen it yet and you like action/superhero movies, you should DEFINITELY watch it. We were also able to see the premire of the American Teen on Thursday,also a good movie. It is a documentary about teenagers in their senior year of high school, and is expected to be released to the public later this year. Overall, I think the documentary did a good job in preserving an authentic teenage feel, instead of having it changed to something from an adult's perspective. I liked the film, but of course, I also think my own teenage life is a lot more interesting.

Although Dark Knight was in the spotlight for Friday, it wasn't the only major event that happened. After my lab, I actually went with a few friends to visit the School of Nursing, Biomedical Research, and Wharton's School of Business. We got lost on the way to Nursing and Biomed, but we were able to seek help from a passing professor. Not only did he provide us with directions, he led us on a mini-tour and told us some aspects of the Science field here at Penn. We ended up not being able to get into the Nursing and Biomed buildings because of the high security entrances, so we will probably have to call in advance next time. However, Wharton's was open, and we went inside to explore. The atmosphere was very professional, and upon talking to a few students, it seems to be a very enjoyable place to have class. The people were friendly and helpful, and there was also a convenient cafe located within the building. I managed to find the admissions office, but since they only open from 9-4 (the exact same time as my class), I have to find a day to go during lunch. I am hoping to learn more about both the world famous medical and business divisions of Penn soon!

The rest of Friday was pretty much like any other day of the week, with a normal schedule of morning lecture, afternoon lab, and journal club. I stocked up $30 worth of food from Houston's (my roommate and I were happy about the fresh supply of snacks), and also did laundry for the 2nd time. It's actually free to do laundry here!

Saturday was even more eventful than Friday. As you guys probably know, we went to New York and had a blast. I absolutely loved New York! It reminds me of our San Francisco back at home, but even bigger. In the morning, we visited a university of our choice (Cynthia and Courtney chose NYU, I chose Columbia). Although we weren't given a tour and only had about 20 minutes to explore, I thought Columbia's architecture was really beautiful, and the campus had an overall welcoming atmosphere. Before we left, an admissions officer introduced Columbia to us for a few minutes and gave us some tips on applying. One thing she said that I remember distinctly is, "it's not just about being bright and talented; we're looking for people with personalities so we can create an excellent learning environment." I really wish the Ivy League Connection Columbia group was still there when we were!

After visitng our respective colleges, everyone was driven to a mall near Central Park for lunch. That afternoon, we were allowed to explore 5th Ave and Madison St. for shopping. Although most of the shops were out of my budget (Coach, Gucci, Tiffany's & Co., Armani Exchange, Louis Vuitton, etc.), I had a lot of fun just looking at everything and being in crowds of bustling shoppers. I bought soft pretzels and typical "I <3 NY" shirts at streetside stands. At 5:30, we assembled once more to go to a harbor for dinner. There were a lot of shops and restaurants as well as a spectacular view of the river, so we were quite busy. What else can I say, my day at New York was superb! My only regret is that we were unable to see Times Square or the Statue of Liberty. Until next time, I'm sure I will go back in the future.

In the bus to and from NYC, I was able to get to know some of my classmates in Biomed, one of which an exchange student from Ghana. It was very interesting to be able to get an idea of what life is like in Africa, where I would like to visit when I am older. Surprisingly, his lifestyle is very similar to ours (he has an iPod, Nintendo, and other American electronics), and has a class schedule not unlike what we have at WCCUSD. I was really surprised when he told me in fluent English that this was his first trip to the U.S., but he explained later that English is considered a first language back home. However, despite these similarities, he mentioned that even in the major cities, poverty and third world characteristics are evident. He also commented that American cities had too little green when compared to the cities in Africa. I agree on that one! We definitely need more grass and trees in some places, but I am proud that Hercules is a very green community.

Believe it or not, Sunday got even better. Mrs. Crespo came up with the idea to take us to King of Prussia, the second largest mall in the nation! Summer Discovery is taking us this upcoming Sunday, but with a mall that big, it will take more than 1 trip to see it all! We had actually agreed the night before to just go shopping downtown and visit there historic sites, so this was a really nice surprise. We are planning to actually go on a historic tour sometime this week at night, so everything works out perfectly.

King of Prussia is only about a 30 minute drive away from our campus, so we were there in no time after lunch at Johnny Rocket. I almost fell asleep on the car ride there, but I sure was wide awake once we arrived! The mall has 2 sectons, called the Plaza and the Court. The Plaza is where most of the shops are located, and the Court is where most of the food shops are. I explored the Plaza, but since there are many shops in the Court as well, that is where I plan to walk around this Sunday. The mall has 3 stories, and is absolutely packed with every store imaginable. I really wish we had a King of Prussia of our own!

After shopping until the mall closed on us at 7pm, we went for dinner in South Philly. We walked it all off by looking through the little shops around the street, and then neutralized it by eating iced custard. I learned that iced custard is just like ice cream, but creamier and less likely to melt as fast. Both dinner and desert was delicious! We made it back to the dorms just in time for sign in at 10:30pm.

And of course, as something happens everyday, today was pretty eventful as well. In the morning, we had a lecture on the Spinal Cord, a sort of continuation from a lecture on the Brain on Friday. Mrs. Shuda wanted us to have a little variation, so we actually ended up watching a move the second half of morning class. In the afternoon, I got a good start on the final lab of the program, which I will go into more detail later on (this long post must be becoming very tedious). Our lab worksheets from last week was due today as well.

It's only a week until our final paper is due! And I can't believe we're already a day into week three. Time is moving fast!

That's all for tonight. I hope you guys like the photos and movies!


P.S. Like always, I will try to blog as much as possible. However, since the big paper is due soon, I probably won't be able to post on some nights this week.

group photo at Columbia U.

Streets of NYC!!!

Dorm birthday celebration.

More of Columbia U and "Love of Alma Mater."