Sunday, March 29, 2009

Boston, days 1/2 and 1

So, as some of you know, I'm currently in the process of trying to make a decision about where to go to graduate school. I've pretty much narrowed it down to two possibilities. One the one hand we've got good ole Abilene Christian University, and on the other hand we have Boston University. Two schools which are worlds apart in oh so many ways! It's almost the differences between them that make the decision so hard. Each school has so much to offer; they just offer different things. Finding the right balance between those things and the right fit for me is proving extremely difficult, and I welcome all the encouragement and prayers you're willing to give!

In the process of figuring this thing out, I'm making visits to both of the schools. I've been to Abilene plenty of times before, but at the end of February, Scott took Corey, Hunter, and I down there once again to scope out the place. A good program, great professors, and amazing people all around. I know I would fit in marvelously there and get a good foundational education to prepare me for further studies if I decided to go that route. I came away from that weekend just *knowing* that was where God wanted me to be. I was comfortable with that knowledge and excited about the future. Within just a few days, I got a phone call. Boston University on the line. I already knew I'd been accepted. What I didn't know until that phone call was that they were going to pay for it. Full tuition, a decent living stipend, and most expenses for a trip to visit the school and check it all out myself. Yikes! Not something you can just turn your back on easily...

So here I am in Boston. Got a cheap ticket through Priceline and am here for six days. I figured if I'm coming all the way up here, I might as well have a bit of time to enjoy it. Plus it was even cheaper that way for some reason. I'm staying with Nellie's friend Vic from back in Malaysia. He's amazingly nice, so much fun, and quite hilarious! So how has the first day or two gone, you want to know?

Well, it started off interestingly... You'd think if I were to have bad weather mess up my travel plans, it'd be in Boston or in Cincinnati, where I was changing flights. One of those northern yankee cities. You'd be wrong. Saturday morning, when Nellie dropped me off at XNA, it was raining. But that rain quickly turned to sleet. And then snow. We all got loaded onto the plane quickly and were even going to be early taking off, but of course, the hose on the truck that was deicing our plane broke when they were almost finished, so they had to go get a new truck and then basically start all over. We sat out in the plane all that time, waiting, and we finally left nearly an hour late. So instead of a 30 minute layover in Cincinnati, I practically ran through the airport to try to make my plane but missed it and then had a 4 1/2 hour layover until I could catch the next flight to Boston. Oh well... Look on the bright side, right? Guess I got my workout for the day in...

I finally made it into Boston, grabbed my bag, found the shuttle bus to the T, and made my way across Boston to where Vic lives. In the whole process, I am proud to say I only got hit on once. The guy next to me on the blue line of the T. Let me tell you, he was something else with his baggy jeans, t-shirt, ball cap, and Red Bull. "Can I give you my number? I could show you around. I like being a tour guide. It makes me feel important!" Um, no. Not so much.

Vic met me at the T stop near his apartment and so very kindly walked me there. He had some dinner all prepared (mmm - Malaysian food!), and we had a very nice time chatting for a couple of hours as we ate and then as we walked a ways to a bakery/coffee shop, where we sat and talked some more. He's a really great guy who is so generous and so much fun to be around! Back at his apartment that night, he fixed me up with a lovely air mattress and anything I could possibly need. I slept pretty well after the long day.

This morning we slept in a bit. It was cold and rainy outside. Just the kind of day where you don't want to get out of bed. Plus, it had been a long day on Saturday, and neither of us is a morning person either. When we did get up and around, he fixed breakfast. Again, mmmm! Pancakes. But not pancakes like most of you are used to. More like a cross between MeMa's pancakes and the palacinky/Palatschinken you can get in Europe. Very thin pancakes which you can fill with a topping and fold over to eat with your hands. My favorite was lemon juice with a bit of sugar. I'll be eating that more often in the future!

After breakfast we set out to see some of the city. Like I said, it was pretty dreary outside. That front that had come through and brought the sleet and snow to Arkansas was here, but strangely enough, up here where you'd think it would be colder, it was warm enough that we just got rain. We took the T to the stops near Boston University and wandered around the campus a bit. It's very unlike the U of A's campus because it's located in a downtown area of a big city. The buildings are beautiful, but you can tell a lot of them were probably co-opted from their previous uses to serve the university's purposes. Most everything was locked up since it was a Sunday afternoon, but we stopped by a food court area and sat to have something to drink to warm our chilled selves. Sat and talked and watched the people around us. When we were warm and dry enough, we set back out and meandered down some of the streets to see what we could see. Kenmore Square, the Back Bay area, lots of nice shops and restaurants, the Apple store... Took the T to Government Center, where we walked by Boston City Hall, Faneuil Hall, through Quincy Market, near Long Wharf, and over to the North End and some nice little Italian areas. Got some gelato at an amazing bakery and then headed back across town to crash at his place again.

Here for the evening, we spent some time working on various things. I thought I might take a short nap, since I was sleepy and my knee was hurting a bit from all the walking in the cold, wet weather. But I ended up spending a couple of hours on the computer. (Yes, I know, come all the way to Boston just to spend my evening online!) But there were things that needed to be done. Forms that needed to be filled out, emails to send, things to figure out for all this silly admissions process which is more of a hassle than it should be. Got to email back and forth some today with a girl in Abilene who is looking for another roommate to fill the fourth spot in the house. She seems absolutely amazing, and if I end up there, I hope it works out. So I feel like I accomplished a lot this evening. I've gotten some things straightened out, I think, so that's good. Spent a bit of time talking to Libby this evening. I honestly don't know how I'm going to do without her! It's only been two days, and I think we're both going through withdrawals! How in the world are we going to survive months at a time?!

It's been a full but enjoyable day. Not too pressured or busy. Gave me an introduction to the city. Allowed me to wrap up a few things that needed taking care of so that I can really focus more in the next couple of days. Just the right way to start off my trip here. And now, it's nearly 1 am. So it's time for bed again! I'll keep you posted!

One last thing to leave you with: Boston By Fog...

1 comment:

Natalie said...

I really hope you enjoy your time in Boston. Nic and I loved it there and def want to go back someday. We'll be praying for you!