Monday, June 25, 2012

18 Hour Day

San Francisco sunrise from the plane
I arrived at El Cerrito High School just before 2:45, thanking my lucky stars that I wasn’t the last one there. After weighing suitcases, picking up loaner items, and listening to Don’s last words of wisdom, we piled ourselves into the airport shuttle and took off for SFO. The flight to Phoenix went smoothly, and after a hasty dash across the airport to make our connecting flight, we were on our way to St. Louis.
Clara and Alysa in the airport shuttle
After arriving in St. Louis, we drove to the lovely Knight Center, where we’ll be staying for the next two nights. We’re staying on campus, which is a great experience as it gives a better feel for the university. Forest Park, a wide expanse of trees woven through with running paths that even includes a zoo, is only a few minutes away from our hotel. If we have time after our campus visit tomorrow, we might go on a walk there.

We arrived for dinner at Dominic’s with time to spare. I walked inside and was startled to find that the romantic, dimly lit restaurant was darker than the outside surroundings. We dined with Holly and Ashley, from admissions, as well as Charlotte and Gideon, current Washington University students.

Dinner–Veal with mushrooms and capers
The atmosphere at dinner was relaxed and friendly, as the admissions officers and students were happy to give us advice about Washington University, from the applications process to campus life to dorm food. (Apparently, the food is excellent.) Charlotte, who hails from Chicago, also told us about the weather in Chicago, as we’ll be traveling there next. 

I thought that it was really lucky that we were able to speak with
Holly and Ashley, who are both from northern California, and Washington University alumni. Holly grew up in Davis and Ashley grew up in Palo Alto, so it was wonderful listening to
Cheesecake with strawberries
them speak about their transition from the Bay Area to St. Louis. They both emphasized the mildness of the weather, and the friendliness and openness of the students. Charlotte entertained us with stories of her semester taking chemistry, where her entire floor studied for exams together in the common room. I was also impressed that both Holly and Ashley chose to stay at Washington University after living in the Bay Area their entire lives. I love the Bay Area, so it made a huge impression that they didn’t go back after college.

I’ll see how I feel after the campus tour tomorrow, but from what I’ve heard tonight, I have a very positive impression of Washington University.

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