BACKGROUND: This was the day that Dad and I did my college tours to MIT and Harvard. We had originally planned two days to see the schools, but because of standby trouble the previous day, it became a Weiss Vacation™ and we saw BOTH schools in the same day.
Of course, the details are much less than what I have written in the past. It’s interesting looking at my writing from older days, though! Hard to believe this was nine years ago.
Thursday, October 8, 2004
I woke up at 6:30, prepared, and caught up with this journal. In the mall near Uncle Joey’s apartment, we (i.e. Uncle Joey, Dad, and I) went to Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast—I had a sesame bagel and it was really good. Then, Uncle Joey drove us to Building 7 of MIT. However, maneuvering onto the road from the parking garage, the car HIT another one. It was just a scratch, and fortunately, the other driver [did not appear] angry (no insurance information was exchanged). We safely arrived at Building 7 a while later. Dad and I explored the building, and met his thesis professor: Dr. Wuensch! He explained a little about materials science and some other topics. Then Dad and I explored more on our own, including Strobe Alley. Then, we stopped at Admissions and I turned in my application. Also, I said hi to Amy again, the admissions officer who came to Omaha last fall. Then we went outside, crossing the chirping crosswalk.
First, we saw a sukkah, so we dwelt in it and said our berachot (even though the holiday had already ended) After that, Dad took me to Baker Hall, where he used to reside on campus. The laundry room, computer room, and Joe’s pizza delivery had all vanished. It’s a bummer, Dad really wanted that pizza for dinner. We proceeded to the MIT student center. Dad was in awe; it had changed significantly from when he was at MIT. He pointed out the “waffle ceiling” which I thought was pretty neat too. In twenty-five years, a lot can change! Our final MIT destination (for today) was Room 26-100. It was Physics I, and they discussed the work-energy theorem and also conservative forces. The lecture was entirely in terms of calculus. However, it was easy; I understood everything. We left via Vassar Street and took Mass. Av. to Harvard.
Lots of businesses dotted the avenue (duh!) As we approached Harvard, we got to Central Square. Dad pointed out that the McDonald’s, and everywhere beyond, made up Central Square. Eventually, we found Harvard Yard, where there was space and some very nice buildings. They reminded me of Wash. U. a little bit, and I have reasonable basis for comparison having been only a week removed from that visit! After entering and exiting the Science Center, we found ourselves LOST. Well, we saw the Law School and a yard. We followed its sidewalk, and found Garden Street. We looked for “lunch” before heading to Admissions. After walking in squares, we found Herrell’s Ice Cream. I had a chocolate-and-cookies-and-M&Ms dish.
Afterward, we found another Au Bon Pain (these are EVERYWHERE in Boston!), but this one is the “Chess Colosseum” (my coined name). I found an opponent of probably high skill level, but THIS game was for stakes! I played defensively, and evaded getting checkmated. Unfortunately, I was conked by the CLOCK and lost the price of $2 as a result. Dad was impressed with how I played anyway.
Then, we proceeded to Harvard admissions and I submitted my application. Then, I called each department of my interest and found a physics class open to visitors. I should have made prior registrations for visits—the process is more formal than MIT. So we sat in on the physics class. The professor (or it may have been a TA, as Dad later guessed) begun by talking about covariance derivatives, which I understood none of! The class must have been a senior- or graduate-level class! We seceded in the middle of class and returned to Admissions. [ED: Looking back at my notes, I still had no idea what they were talking about.]
The Admissions office had an interactive information session. It was helpful in terms of the info and more, and it was funny, too. The “game” was “Dispel the myths of Harvard!”. Then, we took a tour, to the Harvard Yard, the Science Center, Memorial Hall, Library, and the Statue of Three Lies. During the tour, a church rang its bells incessantly, probably as a test. They must have “dong”ed 75 times! The tour was helpful, but seemed limited in the campus’s span. We returned to Admissions once more, but missed Grace’s (admissions officer who came to Omaha last year) boat by about ten minutes. Darn! We moved on, for more.
We went to Chess Colosseum for a snack: a chocolate croissant and some Coke. Afterwards, we went to the Harvard Shop and I got a Harvard T-shirt. It was 5 at this point, and I said, “I think it’d be time for “T” and crumpets in England now”. Of course, the English would be asleep at this time in the US, but the pun successfully got through. We took the T back to Kendall. On the second T, I tested relative velocity—it was a lot of fun! At Kendall, we went to the MIT Co-op and I got a Beaver and a Periodic Table T-shirt. I’ll have to wear and show that Beaver shirt to Mr. Focht on Monday… muahahahaha! [ED: Maybe I’ll bring up the Beaver Incident later in this blog.] The walk back ‘home’ was easy.
When we returned, Uncle Joey was watching the Red Sox v. Angels game. We saw the tying grand slam, and then left for dinner at the ninth. We went to the Galeria food court. Quite a few of the places offered samples. We decided on the Cheesecake Factory. I ordered teriyaki chicken. We took it to go and I liked it somewhat. However, my impression of it seemed to worsen with each bite. The Presidential Debate began at 9, and we watched until I crashed, from which I have no idea what happened.
>>>TO BE CONTINUED…
Today is the tenth day of O.C.T.O.B.E.R. That makes one week and three days.