Friday, October 21, 2011

on tour

Just went on my first college tour! My mom, sister, and I took an hour long road trip to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. My mom says she went there 100 years ago, but I'm not sure I believe her. Anyway, I have always wanted to visit. My mom also mentioned that colleges may read my blog, so in deference to this, I have decided to use proper capitalization in this post.

First, we went on a guided tour of the campus. It started off wonderfully, with my mom subtly informing our tour guide that his fly was down. Wow, what a truly awkward beginning to my first college tour. He looked so embarrassed, the poor guy. I don't think that I could tell a complete stranger that his fly was down, especially if I had to spend the next hour with said stranger. This just shows that my mom is an extremely nice person. In fact, she has also told two strangers that their shirts were inside out and two that their sweatshirts were backwards.

As you would expect, the tour only showed us the nicest buildings on campus. I was especially impressed by Gilman Hall. The guide said that they recently renovated the hall for $73 million. *Jaw drops*. The hall was really dark and old when my mom was at Hopkins, but I guess that the huge chunk of money transformed it into an amazingly beautiful place to hang out and study. The rooms are surrounded with stained glass windows that let light in. There is a little coffee shop with large white lanterns hanging from the high ceiling.

I also really loved the Hutzler Reading Room, nicknamed the "Hut," which is a study area. It looks so quiet and comfy. According to my mom, people pull all-nighters studying at the Hut.

The rec center is also really nice. It was created in 2005, so it is fairly new. Apparently, there are separate workout spaces for athletes and students so that students don't have to exercise next to athletes and feel insecure about themselves. Really, that is actually what the tour guide said. So, since there is a lot of equipment, the rec center isn't too crowded during non-class hours. My mom told me that that was a problem at Berkeley, where she went to graduate school. In addition, my little sister and I got pretty excited when we saw that there was a rock climbing wall.

We walked past the freshmen dorms, but didn't get to go inside. Then, we walked to the library, which apparently has six floors. According to the tour guide, the library gets quieter as you go down, so you can customize your study experience. Before we actually went inside the library, my mom, sister, and I left the tour early to catch another tour of the engineering school.

We visited three labs. One was a structural engineering lab where they tested cold form steel with a Multi-axis Structural Testing Rig. It was quite huge and painted blue, thus given the nickname, the Big Blue Baby. The next lab worked mostly on medical devices to assist surgeons. I found it really cool, since I am interested in the biomedical engineering field. One device they designed helps surgeons avoid tremor when doing surgery on the retina of the eye. My mom pointed out to me that the lab, which was programming-related, was located in Hackerman Hall, haha. The last lab was a material sciences lab where they tested how stress, heat, and electrostatics affect various materials.

I don't really have any other colleges to compare to, but I love Hopkins. It is close to home, the facilities are nice, and there are great research opportunities for engineers. I bought some Hopkins clothing at the bookstore, too. :)

1 comment:

Amitava Biswas said...

100 years ago? We graduated in 1984,that's barely 30 years ago!

I can verify your mom went there, as well as how much cooler it looks now than when we were there.

Same with Stanford, seems like half the buildings there weren't there when I was there - and that was less than 20 years ago.

So I'm totally looking forward to tagging along on some other college visits you know.

Come visit me up in Vermont this summer - we're building an off-grid house (makes its own electricity, water and sewage treatment, so nothing coming in or going out) - check it out at

Hope to see you soon!



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