January 22nd, 2008
Thirteen graduate schools.
Planes. Trains. Business Casual.
Sunday morning, January 6th my dad dropped me off at the Houston airport where I would meet up with some of my fellow Aggies to embark on a fast paced, action packed trip that would take us to most of the major cities in the northeast to visit some of the top law and business schools this country has to offer. Mr. J. Wayne Stark started this trip over twenty years ago when he first took a group of students to visit the Harvard campus, and has been encouraging Aggies to get out of Texas since. Our days were long, our nights were longer, but the memories made and the friends met made every moment worth it.
While in Chicago, I had what they claimed to be the world’s best pizza and stayed with a former student who is finishing up her residency in the pediatric hospital near Northwestern. We all went to Second City Comedy Club which boasts some impressive alumni, including John Candy, Bill Murray, Joan Rivers, John & Jim Belushi, Chris Farley, Tim Meadows, Mike Myers, Tina Fey, Shelley Long, and Rachel Dratch, just to name a few. It was explained to us that this place is the last stop to SNL, and proved to be a hilarious as everyone claimed. The University of Chicago Law school was very impressive, but not nearly as impressive as the view from the 96th floor of the John Hancock Tower.
From a historical perspective, Boston was by far the most impressive. The city is littered with ancient relics and creepy old graveyards, tombstones half broken, almost undecipherable except for the prominent “Here Lyes…” marking the top of each stone marker. It is really hard not to love Boston, and its hippy sister Cambridge. One of my favorite nights on the trip had to have been dinner and discussion Ms. Schubert’s; to verbalize, share and process your goals, immediate and future and your justification for them was an incredible experience. Of all the schools on the trip, I was most attracted to “The Charm School on the Charles”- Harvard Business School. If it weren’t for the night I woke up almost frozen to the bone, Boston would be an ideal place for graduate school.
NEW YORK CITY
I wanna wake up in the city that doesn’t sleep!
and I did!
While Columbia and NYU were excellent schools, I made sure to take advantage of my time in the city. I visited old friends, made some new ones, took a number of dance classes at the Broadway Dance Center, and even saw a couple of shows, including Phantom of the Opera and appropriately, Legally Blonde, The Musical. On my last night in the city, a handsome young man asked me to accompany him for dinner at Robert Flay’s restaurant Bar Americain, where I tried crab and coconut for the very first time.
Needless to say, by the time we arrived in the “City of Brotherly Love” (the cab drivers do NOT live up to this title) we were exhausted. Once I got off the train, I had my first Philly Cheesesteak, saw the Liberty Bell and CRASHED. I slept until we had to get ready for another reception with George Hitchcox who was actually one of my mother’s closest friends in high school. I had a note from her along with pictures of him and their friends from thirty or so years ago! I was tickled to say the least. At dinner, as we went around the table, introducing ourselves and sharing tid bits about ourselves, my face turned pink when George, our Host of Honor, announced that he had “the biggest crush on Brittany’s mom when they were in high school.” Our last day, we all shared a love for Penn’s business school, Wharton, and it seemed only appropriate that it snowed on our way out.
We covered a lot of ground, met a lot of people, opened a lot of doors, and acquired a lot of Continental OnePass miles… and we got to miss the first two days of school (which has actually proven to be quite stressful.)
I think my biggest takeaway from this trip was how isolated Texas seems to be sometimes; believe it or not, there is a big world out there, and the education we receive at Texas A&M is ideal preparation for most of it. In addition to the great friends I made (it is a challenge to find fellow motivated young women who want more out of life than a few kids and a Volvo), this experience inroduced me to the life that I could live if I chose to. I think I might choose to, only if I find a warmer coat.