5.07.2009

New College Field-Trip

Just so you guys know from the get-go, I am writing this account a day after me and my family visited New College. If only I wasn't so tired last night, then I would have the experience still fresh in my mind. Oh well. You understand, right? Right. Moving on...

We all had to be at New College by 12:00, and it takes 3 hours to drive there, so my family decided to wake up at 7:15 so we could leave at 8:00 (which leaves us plenty of time to get there unrushed, with an extra hour on our hands). Bettina and I woke up at 6:00 in the morning! We were too darn excited to stay asleep! Oh well, more time for us to get dressed, have breakfast, make sure we got stuff ready, like directions, food, CDs for the trip, etc. I brought along the book I'm reading, "Strangers on a Train". It's pretty different from the movie version I so enjoyed (read my review here) but it's still fun to read. Anyway, I haven't mentioned the coolest part: my sister drove the 3 hours, nonstop, the whole family in the car, to New College, all by herself!

When we finally got to New College, I thought it looked smaller than I imagined. The building that you see here, College Hall, actually used to be the million-dollar home of Charles Ringling (of the Ringling Brothers circus) and his wife. It isn't used for classrooms, it's just a big, beautiful, early 20th century house, lived in by nobody, but still used for administration purposes. We signed in there, and got directions to me and my sister's classes. We had to go to the library building, which wasn't too far away, and a lot busier than College Hall. When I came into the Religion classroom, I was the only one there, except for one other early student, who I introduced myself to. Eventually, the class filled up to about 14 people, and the professor showed up almost 15 mintes late. I was slightly put off by that, and before then, all the other students were chatting all around me, and I felt distinctly like the odd one out, like the one who didn't belong there. It was a strange new experience for me, but I'm glad I had it. The class consisted mostly of a few students reading aloud papers that they wrote about evangelical Christians trying to convert Muslims, about the Paris Riots, and I caught names such as Rick Warren and Billy Graham, who I know next to nothing about (pardon my ignorance). I don't think I learned much of practical use to me at the time, but I got some idea of what a typical class at New College would be like. I should also have known that these students are about to take their finals before ending this spring term, so all their classes are tough.

After that, me and Bettina walked back to College Hall by way of the Promenade, a nice, straight path that cuts across the campus. We talked about how our classes went (she seemed to be in a better mood than I was) and how weird/wonderful it was that we were actually there after waiting for so long. We met up with our parents and brother Adam (if you're reading this bro, thanks for being so patient all day) and went inside to listen to this lady give an information "sit-down", where she spoke about the best parts of New College and how we could apply and what we would have to do before we're able to graduate. They have this special system that doesn't use letter grades or GPAs, instead the professors give detailed feedback on how well you learned the courses and what your strengths and weaknesses are. It's all on thier website. (http://www.ncf.edu/)

Once we were done with all that stuff (boring), we went on this great guided tour with a woman named Alanna, who was actually a student in her 4th year of New College and had a twin sister who also goes to college with her! Is it coincedence that she gave a tour to twin sisters who are looking to attend New College? And they share a dorm! How cool is that? She showed my family all over campus in one of those cool electric cart thingies, and we saw the dorm buildings, the pool and gym, the Thesis Room (where they store every single Senior Thesis ever published since 1965), and the marine biology labs where they showed us this cool octopus. Once the tour was over, she gave us these New College T-shirts and a foam football (it's a joke, because New College doesn't have a football team). I had a really good time, and Alanna was so nice and friendly. I hope we meet her again soon.

Afterwards, me and my family had a lovely picnic next to College Hall, by the bay, which smelled a little fishy if you asked me, but otherwise was fine. We ate sandwiches and talked about how much fun we had. It was really nice, because it reminds me of the time my family picnicked at Harvard University the last time we went to Boston, and how conspicuous we felt because we were the only ones doing it. At New College, it felt like the campus was made for picnicking.
The last thing we did before we left for home was meet up with Maya, a sister of a friend who told us about New College in the first place. She works in the library there, and she's in her second year. We only talked with her for a little while, but it was still a fun conversation. Maya spoke in the kind of quiet voice one uses when they spend a lot of time in the library, which of course she does since she works there, and she was smart and nice.

When we had to go, it was my turn to take the wheel. It felt really empowering to know that I'm able to drive long distances for long stretches of time. I really like driving on the highway, because I get to go fast, and I don't have to worry too much about making sure I'm on the right path. Still, no matter how much fun it is to drive for 3 hours (just me I guess), I was awfully tired and cranky after we got back home. Adam, Bettina and I ended the fun-packed day by cooking spaghetti and watching "The New Twilight Zone: Season 1" on DVD. Did you know that Bruce Willis played in the first episode of the Twilight Zone in 1985? Pretty cool. Finally I'm done writing this post. Can't wait for Mother's Day!

1 comment:

Rainy.Rani said...

That sounded like fun! Foam footballs, hilarious! And I don't think I could have drove for that long, I'd get nervous. So high five for making it!

How was Mother's Day? Did ya have fun?