Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A City of Neighborhoods

My second day in Atlanta, Georgia included a tour of Emory University.  The two hour tour started at 9 o’clock in a lecture-styled classroom. We were first welcomed by Timothy Fields, a dean of the university. He first presented a 5-7 minute introductory video which contained a wide variety of opportunities; for instance, there are many organizations, community service, and extracurricular activities available for students. Emory has a tradition every Wednesday in which the clubs gather at a meeting spot to give out food and talk with students. This day is called “Wonderful Wednesday.”  Did you know that Emory’s women flag football team is the most competitive sport?  In addition, the women swimming and diving has won a banner for four years, 2005, 2011, 2012, and 2014. Timothy Fields stated, “[Atlanta, Georgia] is a city of neighborhoods,” because 75% of the student population are from out-of-state. He then jokingly revealed the reason for the traffic was because everyone brings their driving habits to Atlanta. I imagined one car zooming and swerving, while another car was cruising and relaxing on the highway. On the topic of international students, I was primarily interested in the study abroad programs. Emory offers 120 programs in 80 countries, such as Vietnam, India, and China, for a semester, a summer, or a year. I imagined myself traveling for a year to Vietnam, to improve on my Vietnamese skills.

Emory University's Mascot
After the informational presentation, we took a campus tour. Our tour guide, Kari Burdzinski, is a rising junior who showed us around. She showed us the freshman dormitory, which was completed in 2007. The room consisted of two beds that were lifted, two open closets, and a sink. Outside the room, there was a thermostat that controlled the room’s temperature. We also visited the “Duck,” a cafeteria that is a building within a building. Flags of different countries draped from the ceiling, a beautiful decal. Kari told us that we were able to eat at the Duck, but the food would be more catered to young kids; since children were taking a P.E. course on campus. Kari also told us another tradition that happens on campus, which involves a senior dressed as a skeleton. The skeleton is known to be Emory's additional mascot, and no one knows who is inside the costume because the faculty chooses the individual. This skeleton is able to dismiss students from their classes if, they right a beautiful poem commemorating the skeleton, or if enough students from the same class request to leave the class. I found it interesting to learn that the skeleton is surrounded by body guards... because of an event that happened a long time ago.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed touring Emory University, but the heat was making more fatigued than usual. If the location was cooler, I will be more interested in applying for early admission.  

Hot and sweaty after the tour, we went back to the cool hotel to pack up and leave for the airport. We arrived at the airport at around 1:50 PM, but boarded the plane at 3 o’clock. This time, we used the train to our advantage to reach the C gate. The plane had a slight delay before lifting off on our two hour plane ride. We landed at 5:20 PM to Georgetown., and headed toward the baggage claim. Luckily, the airport was not as large in comparison to Atlanta’s airport. The current weather was 82 degrees Fahrenheit, a lot cooler than “Hotlanta,” with some light showers. I was experienced with Georgia’s hot weather, so the weather was not bad. When the shuttle arrived, we entered the van to go to our hotel. The traffic was backed up, but the scenery from the airport to Holiday Inn was spectacular.  Georgetown has old buildings with a modern vibe.

When we finally arrived at the hotel, we were enjoying our surroundings. An employee told us that the hotel offered ice tea, water, and ice cream. Ice cream?! I was confused and shocked to see ice cream as complimentary. Once we finished enjoying our treat, we went to our rooms, and at 7:15 PM gathered at the lobby for dinner.

Old Europe's Sausage Combo
Pork Liver Salad
Dinner tonight was at Old Europe, a German restaurant. When we entered the restaurant, we were greeted by music. The accordion and the guitar harmonized together, and I enjoyed the ambiance of the experience. There were ships hanging from the ceiling, and portraits on the wall that decorated the restaurant. The vibe of Old Europe made me feel as if I was in another world, since there were employees and customers dressed up. Coincidentally, this was our first time trying German food, and I’m glad that we took the opportunity to go to this restaurant, instead of Asian food. When we were seated, we looked at the menu to see what the restaurant offered. We were all confused about what to eat and what to order. I personally asked the waitress what I should offer, and she suggested Old Europe’s Sausage Combo. I enjoyed eating the sausages that were delicious. The sausages were juicy, crispy, and cooked to perfection. Luckily, my plate was not as large in comparison to the others. After yesterday’s bison burger experience, I didn’t want to eat a hefty dinner that would weigh me down. It was nice to have musicians play and sing when we were eating. The whole experience was a memory that I will not forget.

When we finished our meal, we walked back to the hotel; but it then became a fast walk to a run. It was sprinkling, so we decided to run as quickly as we can back to our rooms. I liked how the progression from a walk to run began. We walked out of the restaurant, but once we crossed the street we picked up the pace. The six of us began to go in a fast pace, but Mr. Chan-Law was falling behind. We waited for him, and then he began to chant commands at us, similarly to boot camp. Furthermore, we scared a stranger who questioned our actions. I found it funny to see her reaction as she said in confusion, “What is going on?” Once we finally reached our hotel, semi-drenched, we quickly went up to our rooms to shower and change.

As the day comes to an end, I would like to reflect on what happened today. It has only been two days since we arrived at the East Coast. The days have been filled with travels and new experiences that I am happy to have with me. I enjoyed Emory University because their dedication on community service and the idea of giving back is something I respect as an ILCer. I can’t wait to tour more colleges and see what they offer to their students. 

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