Quitting Smoking One Day at a Time...

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Remembering My Ivy League Experience....

I had been planning to post these pictures long before now but like I said, I have not been feeling too well. One of the reasons I am posting them even though its been awhile since I got back is people think I was living in the lap of luxury during the time I was out there. Don't get me wrong, when I first arrived at Harvard, it looked pristine and polished...kind of like what you see in the movies. I mean, I am the person who was on the ten year graduation plan from a Cal State, University which is ANYTHING but Ivy League so lets just say I had some lingering stereotypes from the media about Ivy League accommodations. From the conversations I have had with friends and family, most people tend to have the same stereotypes as I did before I got there. Don't get me wrong, the experience was AMAZING....and I am really grateful to have been able to do something most people only dream of. Even with that being said, the accommodations were not what I expected and I was totally shocked that rich folks would agree and pay a TON of money to live so badly!
The one really good thing I can say about the housing is the food was amazing and they had top notch caters and chefs cooking for us! Most of my fellow educators were also SUPER IMPRESSED that they had such a big liquor budget at the receptions that were held for us. I don't drink so I did not get to take advantage of the free-flowing booze but lots of others sure made up for it!! For some people, it was a "party like a rock star" fellowship and lets just say for those who do not know, teachers (including myself) can be totally "Ghetto" when it comes to free ANYTHING!

With that being said, I am super grateful for this experience as well as the others I have been given. This year I not only got to study under two of the most respected professors in the world, Skip Gates and Evelyn Brooks Higgingbotham; I got to work with some of the most talented educators from all over the United States. Its funny, when all of the other teachers shared stories and educational strategies, we all had the same issues to deal with. Whether we worked in urban cities such as Los Angeles or New York or affluent suburban neighborhoods in southern states like Florida or Georgia--most all teachers deal continue to struggle with the fact that most students do not choose to read and are usually at least two years below grade level. This is an issue in education that is becoming a bigger and bigger problem no matter what area of the country a person lives in. Also, teaching is not a job that comes with a ton of respect or compensation; especially when teaching in an urban public school. As an educator, you are rarely treated with respect for what you do and sometimes are treated like you have no brain cells at all in your head. I admit, some teachers are outta their minds and don't belong in a classroom but most really do care and want to change lives. I got into the field because I like to think I am one of the people who wants to change lives and hopefully, will continue to do so.

My Fellowship: Day One: checking in. This is the Cronkite Center for Graduate Students....our group stayed here for the duration of the trip.

The dorms look really beautiful from the outside....

The dining hall is where you go eat all of your meals. The meal plan is mandatory and costs like $5,000 for nine months.

These are the long hallways that remind me of a cheap motel. You have to walk down the halls to use the bathrooms.

The bathrooms are all up and down the hallways...most of them had two showers, two toilets, three sinks and that's about it. There were a few that had a shower, tub and a sink and toilet and you could lock the door for privacy.

My dorm room #215

This is the linen service..two towels, a wash cloth and a mni bar of dial soap!

This is the 9 by 9 cell.....I mean room! It had an extra long twin bed, a desk, a chair, a dresser and a closet.

The desk that I used to study and do my project on! Thank God for wireless access right? Unfortunately my computer was down during most of the trip so I spent a lot of time in the library or borrowing people's power cords!

I spent a lot of time by the window (when I actually was in the room as there was a bad heatwave ) and it was the only way to keep cool! They do not have air conditioner in the dorms! It reminded me of a cheap motel I stayed at when I was in Belize and we went to the Keys.

Anyway, gotta run...I will add post some more in the next couple of days. As for smoking, it has been a ton of days without smoking and I actually saved a lot more money than the calculator figured. I saved at least a couple hundred dollars more than it says at the top of my blog as I was on the patch for quite awhile and did not buy cigarettes. Anyway, hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend.

Peace, Diva


MamaFlo said...

I saw some of those places in the pictures when my son was looking at attending Harvard back in 1995 - yeee gads!!!
What a great experience, I'm thrilled you had it!
I'm real proud of you for not smoking either Diva!!

maggie's mind said...

Beautiful campus! My dorm room was practically identical, I think, and I know it cost a fortune. Then again, it wasn't quite Harvard...

Mz Diva said...

I guess people pay a lot of money for the "experience of it all!" My friend forced her kid to go live on campus at Occedential College and it costed a fortune too and looked like a brick cell. I was like, "Why are you trying to abuse your kid like that, she could live at home and drive to school." They were determined that she have the "experience" and even when she wanted to move home they said, "Hell No!" She teaches at USC so maybe there is something to the theory!

lynda w said...

Yep, looks like a dorm room! LoL. Much better looking than mine. The campus is beautiful.

Stan said...

OMG, the rooms are like prison cells. Which they probably are, or at least viewed as such when you are college age :P

My best friend is a Harvard graduate, and he mentioned about the rooms, but I never could imagine THAT. :)

But what I remember from living in Boston, Harvard campus is super beautiful.

Thanks for the pics! :)

Christie O. said...

wow! that must've been a great experience! the campus does look beautiful! my dorm room looked the same (tens of thousands of dollars cheaper too) but i can't imagine what it would have been like with out the a/c!

i'm glad you stopped by! i got really lucky on the prizes this time around -- i just wrote to companies whose products inspired me and they actually wrote back. imagine that! it was pretty cool! some of the prizes i bought on my own, but i really didn't have to, we ended up having more than enough sponsors! i hope to go another round soon (i have a great contest idea), hopefully i can find some more sponsors. :)

Brandie said...

Aww, I really hope you can find relief for your foot problem. I was lucky, I literally flew to Indiana from L.A. the day before the Northridge earthquake. My dad was in the process of buying a brand new house that got severly damaged in the quake (luckily he was able to get released from the contract to). But no one in our family was hurt, thank God. I'd like to hear about your experience and what you went through there.

I lucked out and never had to stay in a dorm, but that was because I was the non-traditional student; I got pregnant in highschool and dropped out. By the time I got my GED and got accepted to a 4 year I was a sophmore raising 2 kids. I'm totally glad I missed out on the dorm experience.

I wonder if those happened to be "guest" dorms -- a place where they stick visitors such as yourselves. Or they have those so that parents will splurge on the private, plush rooms? The food sounded good, though! I'm so glad you got to have this experience.

Jude said...

Wow, I hate to say it, but the university dorm I lived in was wayyyyy nicer and bigger rooms and you only shared a bathroom with one other person.

It looks like a cheapie dorm. i can't imagine ppl shelling out all that dough for that. reminds me a little of 'the catcher in the rye.'

good for you for staying strong, (again). that is awesome.