Sunday, July 1, 2012

304 Morris

The amount of sleep that I could have gotten, would have not affected my alertness at all today. I was so anxious to finally go to UPenn, to meet my roommate, and start class. We had our final breakfast as a group at the Sheraton. As we ate, I observed how much we have bonded and how much I am going to miss not being with them at nearly every moment.
New Bed

UPenn From My Window
Before heading off to UPenn, we took a quick stop at K-Mart to grab any need essential. We went back to the hotel to the Sheraton and decided to walk to the campus. Although it was only about three blocks, the walk was the most difficult walk ever, especially due to the luggage we had to carry. It was hard, but my motivation to get to UPenn pushed me to keep going. At check-in, I got my check-in folder, PennCard (otherwise known as student ID), and two keys: one for my room and another for the bathroom. I was very excited to finally get a college experience, to finally be in a dorm with another student. He is Kyle from New York, who is very funny, easy to talk to, and a new friend. I had a chance to unpack and relax before I discovered that I still had the change from the cab, so I ran our in search for Ian Lawrence. I found him along with Cloe and Mariko. There we explored the campus a bit and I got to see all the dorms. Ed Healy is very friendly with one of the best personalities ever. He approached us and took us to a near by store called Wawa, which in his words is "a seven-eleven on steroids." I went back to my dorm were I finished unpacking and relax for a while.
All The Hungry Students

At dinner, I got a chance to meet a whole lot more people. We met up outside as a huge group, then walk to the dining hall. It was a great chance for me to branch out. It is a big difference from the fancy restaurants we were just a few days ago, but it is something I can easily overcome. After dinner, we headed out for a 235 student orientation. Eli Hesser started it off with great humor, which drew me in and gave me a great sense of comfort.  He began the orientation by showing us how diverse the program is with students literaly all around the world. He went the structure of the program. Then Ed Healy went up to talk about the program, events that we are going to be doing, and the rules. Many of the events seem very fun and interesting such as our trips to New York City and Washington D.C. I am really happy to have the opportunity to do so much in only on month. I am actually scared that the time will pass by to fast.

After the orientation, we met up with our RC, Residential Counselor, who gave us a more in depth overview of the little things, such as managing food, showering, etc. Today, our cohort unfortunately didn't have a blog party. I can already feel myself missing them, but then I love making new friends. With tomorrow being the first day of actual class, I just wonder if I will get some sleep with all the adrenaline running through me.

Welcoming Committee

I woke up this morning with a growing sense of anticipation–we were moving into dorms today! After a quick breakfast we went shopping at Kmart to buy essential items like shampoo and laundry detergent. Once we were all prepared for our new lives at Penn, we picked up our luggage from the Sheraton and walked over to the quad to check in. I was super excited to meet my roommate and see my dorm, but first we had to wait to get our Penn IDs and welcome packets. Gradually our group moved into the quad, and we dropped off people at their dorms one by one. I was in the farthest dorm, Fitler, and Chloe thoughtfully helped me cart my luggage up the stairs.

Clara and Alysa at Orientation
My roommate, Christine, is amazing! She’s from Taiwan and is taking the Biomedical program, which has 105 students this year. She is so sweet and I think we’ll get along really well. Clara and I tried to do a load of laundry, which will hopefully be done sometime soon, but we’ve tried two different dryers and there hasn’t been any difference in the dampness. After that Clara, Christine, Samantha, and I went to the Penn bookstore to explore. I ended up buying Fast Food Nation, the book that I’m supposed to be reading for my AP Lang assignment. I hope I’ll have time to make some progress on it while we’re here.

Ed talks to us about security
We went to dinner at 5:00 and had a chance to meet some new people, which was really exciting as everyone is from such different places and backgrounds. After dinner we walked over to a chemistry lecture hall to have Orientation. Eli Lesser gave us the rundown of the academic side of the program, as well as some strong warnings about downloading illegal material from the Internet, sneaking out after curfew, and other generally frowned upon activities. Ed Healy also explained to us about some of the group activities that we’ll be doing on weekends. Some of the most exciting include day trips to New York City and Washington, D.C.

In about 10 minutes we meet with our RC’s to go over dorm rules, laundry, and other useful things. I’ll be sure to blog more tomorrow about what the dorms look like and how the first day of class goes. I can’t wait to meet my professor and get to know my classmates!

So Excited for This Trip in Philly!

“You guys, I miss this!” said Clara as we joined together in Ivette’s room for our blogging party.  Today is officially the first day that Ian Lawrence is not solely in charge of taking care of us all, as he is now shares that responsibility with the members of the Summer Discovery program.  
This morning I woke up in the Sheraton University Hotel, a little bit sad to end my rooming days with Mariko and Clara.  It was our last night in a hotel before we moved into our dorms, and while it was sad to separate, I was super excited to move into a room with a new person.  All day, from the moment I woke up to the time we arrived on the University of Pennsylvania campus, I was anxious and ecstatic to have my first long-term dorm experience with a total, awesome stranger.   However, contrary to my former beliefs, I was not assigned to a double dorm, but rather to a single room.  Although I was upset to not have this experience, I immediately decided that I was going to make an extra extra effort to meet the roommates of everyone else in my cohort along with the remaining 235 or so people participating in the various summer programs.  This is a promise that I’m making to myself, and I intend to make great connections with a number of people this summer!
Besides meeting new people, I have loved walking around the quad today and getting settled into my new home for the next four weeks.  The staff and students here have all been super nice today so I am feeling way more comfortable here, even after the first day!  This gives me great hope for the experiences and memories I will create with everyone new I meet here, and I definitely want to stay close with my cohort.  The activities and facilities here seem amazing as well, so I will also be taking full advantage of these provided engagements.   Can’t wait to start class tomorrow in this beautiful campus!

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Dorm Room?

I woke up today in the Sheraton, and now I am in my dorm room.  What a transition! After a nice late wake-up (we really needed our sleep) we ate breakfast together in the hotel.  It was slightly bittersweet knowing that it might be our last day to spend so much time together.  We went to K-Mart to get some last minute necessities and then dragged our luggage to the check in point.  I got my two keys, my check-in folder, and my student ID, which makes me feel very official.  
Students check-in in the main quad
Then, with a little help from Mr. Lawrence, I moved in to my dorm room: Lippencott 202!  All the hallways have inspirational quotes and some have lines from Dr. Suess books.  It was fantastic to finally get everything out of suitcase and in to the drawers.  After I had gotten settled in a little, I met my roommate, Temi from Texas.  We had a couple hours of downtime before dinner so I got my room set-up and went to the University bookstore with Mariko, her roommate, and her roommate's friend.  We walked as a big group to the dining hall for dinner and it was a great chance to see more of the campus and the city.  Dinner was good, though quite different than the fancy restaurants we have been eating at for the past few days.  No matter how much I loved those dinners,  I feel a little more comfortable in a big room with people my own age and food that I can pronounce the name of.

Chloe in front of her dorm
After dinner we went to an all student orientation.  Eli Lesser led the first half of the orientation.  Eli is a hilarious and kind person, he had the entire auditorium captivated by his intro, and I promise I'm not just saying this because he told me he reads our blog.  Sitting in the room with all 200+ students made me realize how amazingly diverse this program is.  I am so lucky to be in a program with people from over 20 countries and over 20 states.  Before the orientation I was a little scared and a little nervous about the whole program, but now all I feel is excitement. After Eli gave us the rundown on Penn and the different programs, Ed Healy took us through the logistics, rules, and outside opportunities at this program. I'm not sure if Ed reads the blog, but he was pretty awesome as well.  I can't wait to play laser tag, mini golf, and go to New York and DC.  In eighth grade, Chloe, Mariko, and I went on a school trip to DC, so I am very excited to re-live the experience.
My room
The quad from my dorm window
Tonight we have a group meeting with our floors and our RCs (resident counselors).  I miss seeing the cohort every second, but I'm very excited to meet all these new people.  Tomorrow is the first day of class, and I can't wait to start my course.  It looks like Physics isn't the most impacted class (Bio-Med has 106 students!) so I am hoping the first day isn't too crazy.