Friday, July 10, 2009

Chinese Food and the Joys of Laundry

This morning we had an awesome field trip to Westchester Research Labs. My favorite part of the whole day was the one hour bus ride both ways because I could get some shut eye since we had to wake up about an hour earlier. Just kidding, my favorite part of the day was the very first lab we visited, Virology. It is split up into two parts: Diagnostic Immunology and Tissue Culture. Diagnostic Immunology deals with diagnosing what is wrong with the patient. Samples are given to the lab and used to screen for HIV, syphilis, chlamydia, mono, and transplant complications. Some of the tests used are used to detect the presence of certain antibodies (such as IgG or IgM). Western blotting is used to confirm that the patient has HIV, even if they have a positive rapid test or ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays). Tissue Cultures deals with taking a sample from a patient and growing whatever virus they may have (influenza, varicella, and adenovirus, just to name a few). Ever since I learned about viruses in biology, I was interested in their life cycles and the potential threat they caused to humans. Immunology and virus epidemiology has always interested me, and it might be something I want to pursue.

We got back a little earlier to campus than we expected, so Jackie came into my room to watch some YouTube videos for about half an hour before our daily meeting with Mrs. Lilhanand. After that meeting, Sofia and I decided to go out to dinner. We really wanted Chinese food, and I found a place on Yelp, called Columbia Cottage. As I was on the elevator, some girls were talking about how John Jay's cafeteria was serving Mexican food. Last time they did, we all did not have a very good experience with the taste of it. After walking the wrong way for about a street, we finally found the place on Amsterdam. The food was okayish, and I put it on my list of restaurants to never visit again. Sweet and Sour Chicken is my absolute favorite, so I always order it, but it seems in New York instead of the chicken being battered in flavorful sauce, the chicken is just fried with watery sauce put over it. They forgot to put shrimp in Sofia's Lo Mein, too.

Afterward, we wanted to go Rite Aid so I could get my candy fix and Sofia could get some flip-flops. I got us a little bit lost again, but we passed through a Puerto Rican neighborhood (I think that was what the flag was) and it was interesting looking at people just chilling out on their stoops with their families and friends, just talking about life. We made it to Rite Aid, bought our necessary items, and decided that the night was still young, so we decided to do some laundry. On our way back to campus, we saw a lot of trailers, for movie production. We wondered who was there, and Sofia got really excited.

We got back to campus and noticed that barely anyone was doing laundry, so we got our clothes and headed to the basement of John Jay. We washed our clothes more quickly since we could use more machines. It was obnoxiously hot down there, so we decided to go to Pinkberry while our clothes were in the dryer. It was such perfect T-shirt weather outside. On our way back, we passed by the movie trailers again, but we didn't see anyone. We picked up our clothes and went back to our rooms.

I think I'm getting used to becoming independent and the college life. I can't believe we have only one more week left.


Charles Tillman Ramsey said...


This is nice to see that you are growing in confidence and that you are learning how to become indepedendent, even in deciding where to have dinner.

I am glad that you are finding your voice and seeing what may lay ahead for a career. However, what will even more valuable to us is how is being at Columbia different than being at Pinole Valley High School. I need you to take us "inside the walls" and give us your thoughts and impressions, not just about who you are as a person, but what you have learned about your strengths and weaknesses.

Many students at Pinole Valley High School had no interest in the Ivy League Connection. Now we see more and more students wanting to participate, why? Will you return to school and share the good news about how being part of the Ivy League Connection can be a life changing experience.

We also want to find out what it is like to have suite mates. Tell us about the international students that you have meet and what are there impressions of our ILC students. Finally, talk to some Columbia students who are taking summer classes, expand your curiosity reach and ask them about attending school. You may learn some things.

Let us also know how you plan to finalize your list of colleges and if you plan to apply to any school Early Action or Early Decision. We are trying to grow the ILC and any information would be appreciated.

Take care.

Charles T. Ramsey, Esq.
School Board Member
West Contra Costa
Unified School District

Don Gosney said...


It’s easy for us to get spoiled with certain cuisines because of where we live. We have such a rich history of Chinese being a part of our community these past 150+ years that when it comes to Chinese food we get the real deal. The same with Mexican food. I’m sure that when New Yorkers come out here and eat at an Italian restaurant they email back similar comments about eating Chef Boyardee.

You’re a trusting person, Cristina. I’m afraid that when using a laundromat—even one in a dorm—I would never walk away from my clothes. I’ve seen too many instances of people walking in and emptying machines—even when the clothes are sopping wet—and just walking away with them. You have to wonder about that kind of thief and how they figure that someone else’s clothes might be of any value to them. It’s not like there’s a big market for selling used clothes and the chance of grabbing something that might fit would be pretty slim.

And then there’s that whole Pinkberry thing again. What are you all going to do when you get back home and realize that the closest Pinkberry is down in San Jose—a full 55 miles away?

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