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Red bricks and much more...


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These past few days have been a blur; we have seen and done so many things in such a short span of time that I sometimes find it difficult to remember everything we did.

We went to Tufts University on Wednesday, and I definitely think it was one of my favorite campuses so far. This is due to it being in a rural area and having a lot of green areas. Similarly to Boston College, it is also right outside of Boston, so you get the best of both worlds: The entertainment options of the city and the feeling of tranquility one gets while being in a quiet section of the suburbs. The location wasn’t the only thing I liked about Tufts. I also had a penchant (a new SAT word I learned) for the beauty of the buildings, as they were all built using red brick, which I found very alluring. Another other interesting fact I learned about Tufts is that the school mascot is an elephant called Jumbo. According to our personal tour guide, Jumbo was a real elephant who was part of the Barnum and Bailey Circus and was the first elephant to ever come to America. Apparently Jumbo died after being hit by a locomotive, and in doing so he saved Tom Thumb, a young circus elephant, from being hit.

Another very interesting thing I learned while at Tufts was that there is a “cannon painting” tradition. On campus, there is an old cannon that was donated to the school a little while after the university was built, and one night a student painted it white in protest of the Vietnam War. Rumor has it that a history major walked by and thought this was destroying a historical artifact and that same night he went and repainted the cannon black. The next night the first student painted it white again. This went on for several nights until, at one point, the student who had painted the cannon white decided to hide in the bushes and wait for whoever was repainting the cannon to come along. When the history major approached the cannon, the student rushed from her hiding place and punched the history major in the face. Since then, it has been the campus tradition to paint the cannon. The cannon can, however, only be painted at night and needs to be protected ’til morning to ensure that nobody else repaints it.

On Friday we actually got the chance to see Harvard, one of the best universities in the world. I must say I really liked the campus as well, because, like at Tufts, there were many green areas. Although it was in a more urban area, I still felt that the campus was separate from the rest of the city, as it is enclosed. The stereotypical idea of a Harvard student is that they are very pompous; our tour guide, however, was extremely nice, and I felt that I could easily connect with him. My favorite building on campus was the dining hall, which had many stained glass windows and was supposedly what the dining hall in Harry Potter was modeled after. I liked all the other buildings as well, because like Tufts, they were built with red bricks. I am happy that we went to see both Harvard and Tufts, because although I may not necessarily wish to apply to either school, they have helped me discover which types of colleges I like the most.

We also got our SAT scores from the practice test we took on Monday. I felt that, as it was my first SAT test, I did very well. I had expected math to be my strongest area, however, it was surprisingly my weakest. I think if I practice and implement the techniques we are learning in class such as “plugging in”, I can improve my score a lot. I am really looking forward to seeing the results of my second test, which we took on Thursday.

-Nicholas

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