Because today was Independence Day, we were relieved from our classroom responsibilities and spent the entire day with Mr. Lawrence. Our normal dining hall didn't open until 11, so for breakfast I went to a place called Cosi and got a delicious breakfast wrap. Cosi is very close to campus and I know I will be returning in the near future. Mr. Lawrence came to get the cohort around 10:30 and we took the trolley and the Septa to see the Independence Day Parade. It was great to get some practice using the local public transportation, which is a lot like BART at home.
The parade was very exciting. It featured numerous marching bands, period-dressed historical actors, veterans, dancers, and some great music. As the first band went by, I began to miss my days in school marching band. However, as the temperature rose, I became incredibly thankful that I was not wearing the heavy jacket and pants of a band member. It was easy to see that the people here take their 4th of July much more seriously than those at home. Yet again, I got to experience a new cultural aspect of the East Coast.
After the parade, we walked down to the Penn Parkway to explore a festival. We walked around a bit, and I enjoyed my very first water ice. We took a break in the shade for a bit and then checked out the performers down the Parkway. We went for an early pizza dinner so that we could get back quickly and snag good seats for the free concert.
|David, Chloe, and Cameron sport their red, white and blue|
The concert was great. We ended up pretty far away from the stage, but I got to see The Roots, Nick and Joe Jonas, Queen Latifah, and others perform live. We watched a couple fireworks, but once they started going off in the crowd we decided it was time to get back to our dorms. We stopped at a Wawa (a super super convenience store) to get some water and stay hydrated.
|Queen Latifah on stage past a large sea of people|
It was a long, hot, and exhausting day, but I had a blast. Independence day on the East Coast is an entirely different experience than back home. On top of that, it was great to step back from school and spend some time with the cohort and Mr. Lawrence. Still, I am very excited for class tomorrow. We will have a teleconference with a physicist working at CERN. The scientists working here just made a major breakthrough that could change a lot of accepted theories about the universe. I can't wait to hear about it firsthand!