Sunday, July 12, 2015

College Visits and Patriotic Fervor

Today started off with a small sense of distress after noticing that our meeting time was soon around the corner and here I was just stepping out of the shower. I got to our meeting place as soon as I could and by 9 AM we were on the subway with Ms. Thrift.

The first check box on today's itinerary was a college visit to New York University. During the presentation, I really loved NYU's global presence and the fact that it really does give its kids to travel abroad, but a gut feeling kept gnawing at the fact that this campus wasn't for me. NYU really is an extraordinary campus as it has absolutely no gates whatsoever. The campus does this as to fully immeres the student in the authentic New York City vibe and assimilate them to a completely new environment. Another attractive aspect of NYU's campus is that Washington Park sits in the middle of the campus, offering NYU students a chance to just relax at any point and time.  Now as appealing as all this is, I just knew that NYU wasn't right for me. The campus didn't have the combination of professionalism and school pride and proud history that Georgetown and UPenn had, killing the sense of school pride, which is very important in my college selection process.
Washington Park

Next on the checklist was the 9/11 Memorial Museum. A huge sense of melancholy and grief overcomes the individual upon descending into the actual museum. Vocal recordings of people's last calls and statements on where they were on the day of 9/11 greeted us as we descended deeper into the museum. 

On display next was the last cement column removed from Ground Zero which was written on by different police officers, fire fighters, and survivors. Near the concrete slab is the actual staircase that the survivors of 9/11 actually ran down during the attack. Two separate rooms contain the names and pictures of those who died in the attacks with one room filled with those who died in the North Tower and those who died in the South Tower. 

In the actual 9/11 exhibit, we were able to get a much more deeper view in how the attacks occurred, detailed information on those responsible, life before 9/11 and the heroism unseen in the attacks.

I didn't feel a sense of overwhelming grief as had expected, but rather a deeper sense of pride in my country. I was just awed by the fact that although the country went through a horrible time of loss and sorrow, we were able to rebuild among the tragedy. My dream to enter West Point only grew stronger, as I felt a need to play a part in defending our country and ensuring that something as tragic as 9/11 is prevented. 

My day ended with a Chinatown dinner, exploration around little Italy, and a deep discussion with Alyanna and Deborah on the topic of religion. We gave our own personal ideals on the subject matter and where we stood on a few issues. It was really a grand discussion, as normal high school kids normally avoid hot button issues in conversation, but it felt great to finally have some time to open up and absorb the interesting ideals we all shared.
"Stairway to Heaven", for some of the heroes that ran into the Twin Towers during 9/11

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