Sunday, July 5, 2009

Learn from Experience

Explore, learn, and find a connection; I think that is the goal of the ILC. Attending Brown not only allowed me to become a better leader, but I went back home knowing that there are such things as East Coast colleges. I was given the opportunity to choose another school this summer, and I made the daring leap of applying for Leadership in the Business World at the University of Pennsylvania. I must admit that I had made plans for the summer if I did not make it into UPENN, but instead I was so fortunate to be given another chance. I must say that I did not automatically jump onto this opportunity, but I think that my decision was made due to the fact that I really wanted to see what it would be like in a big city. I wanted to find out what location would fit my personality best. Though it has only been a week, I seem to be getting the hang of the bustling action. I was reminded of Brown once more though when we visited Vassar College today.

Vassar as well as it's location in Poughkeepsie, was not what I expected from a place like New York. It's red brick walls seemed to be more faded than both Brown and Columbia. The campus had a lot of trees and grass, and you could hear the birds chirping loud and clear. It was very quite and empty, probably since it was the summer. Gabe and I really wanted to just sleep in the shade under the tree. It seems more tranquil than Brown! I really had no clue where or what Vassar College was before this tour, and I think that I would consider applying. I am still tentative though, since I do not feel strongly connected.

We had a bit of time left after the tour so we headed to see Vanderbilt Mansion, which was previously built up by Frederick William Vanderbilt in 1895. It was later a home to Franklin D. Roosevelt! Our tour guide was very good as he lead us through the history and structure of the mansion. We could not take pictures inside, but there was a large guest room as one walks in and to the sides were different types of room for leisurely chats. It was amazing to see the items, which were from different parts of the world, especially Europe. I remember that the only American purchased item was the piano in the living room. Also having a particular interest in architecture and art, I especially loved the design of the exterior and interior. The colors and locations of all the items seemed to make the room glow. I really wished that there was more time to see the rest of the mansion, but we had a train to catch and the city cannot wait!

I think that going to the East Coast has allowed me to open my eyes to more styles and creativity. I have always thought that New York would hold a lot of fashions and designs, and currently it has not disappointed me. Looking at the variety of bridges, building structures and society, I know that I can use these sights to my advantage in the future.


Don Gosney said...


It's a shame when you go site seeing with a built in time table. You end up rushed and often miss some of the more interesting aspects of the site.

At least you got a taste of this humble abode. And we can't forget the purpose of the visit was not to see the mansion but to see Vassar.

I'm sure that seeing it in the solitude of summer made it seem so much quieter than it is during the school year. Although you and Gabe probably could have taken that nap back in March, it might have been tougher.

Finding the right fit for a college is a balance of many things and unless you're confident that someplace like Vassar will grow on you, you shouldn't even waste your money filing the application. The fit needs to be right from the get go.

Madeline Kronenberg said...


You wrote our motto: "Explore, learn and find a connection!" (In Latin: Rimor perceptum quod reperio a iunctio.") Now all we need is a seal.

I've been suggesting to everyone that now is the time to use the College Board College MatchMaker, and I think it would be a great help to you to whittle down your selections.

The link is:

If you "do not feel strongly connected" then, probably, your strong connections are elsewhere. The great news is that this is what you are exploring and learning: all about what will work best for you.

Stay open and keep listening to your gut reactions. The "right fit" addresses all aspects of your experience and I'm glad you're getting to really determine what is important to you.

Keep enjoying your time in NYC.

Charles Tillman Ramsey said...

I read your post a little differently than the other two. From what I read it seemed that Vassar had piqued your interest and that you were open to doing more exploration. I would strongly encourage you to find out more about this fabulous college.

Last year your colleague Adrianna Ramirez applied to Vassar. You may want to email her or speak with her about her experience and why she applied to Vassar.

I agree with Ms. Kronenberg that you have the chance to explore and stay open. This will be a big decision for you and I am glad that you have had a chance to see a lot of schools on the East Coast. Remember you will also have a chance to attend a College Fair at Columbia. Use that time to aggressively engage the college admission officers, it will serve you well.

Take care.

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

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