Trip Start Dec 28, 2006
15Trip End Mar 01, 2007
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interview at another grad school, Northeastern University in Boston,
MA. The airline ticket was more than $600, but luckily, like U of I,
Northeastern would reimburse me for travel, hotel, and food. I flew
into Boston on Thursday night, spent all day Friday interviewing with
professors, Saturday I walked around and visited modern and historic
landmarks, and I meandered the streets looking for a few last things to
do on Sunday before returning to Seattle.
Once I arrived at the Midtown Hotel on Huntington Street Thursday night I threw my bags into the room and went off looking for supper. My wandering brought me to
The Globe restaurant and bar in Copley Square, which, unknown to me at
the time, is home to the Trinity Church and the Boston Public Library.
A group of middle school English students was also staying at the
Midtown Hotel; their heavy accents made Boston seem like London, and
for a moment it felt like I hadn't been booted from the UK. The Midtown is straight across the street from the Christian Science Mother Church; the view from my room included its giant golden dome and plaza as well as the Prudential Center, an upscale shopping mall in downtown Boston.
The interviewing process at Northeastern, to my surprise, was even more laid back than Illinois. Though I did meet and interview with many professors, there was no admissions committee sitting across the table, no "why should we pick you" questions, and no people competing for the same spot in the lab. My interest in Antarctic fish biology is what brought me to apply to both Illinois and Northeastern. I am interested in the research of Dr. H. William Detrich III, who studies the evolution and biochemistry of erythropoeisis (red blood cell formation) in Antarctic fishes. Jon and Joyce, his grad students from New York City, currently investigate the molecular pathways of globin formation, an essential process in the creation of red blood cells. I also spoke with Frederick Davis, the head of the biology department, Jacqueline Piret, the graduate student advisor, and professors Phyllis Straus, Wendy Smith, and Rebeca Rosengaus about their research. The attitude and intelligence of everyone at NEU was what I have come to love about academia; it is sure to be a difficult decision where I will decide to obtain a graduate degree.
Once I had my fill of marine animals and U.S. history I decided to take myself on a date, dinner and a movie. Adrian Gilbert, the financial advisor for the Biology Dept. at NEU, had suggested a few places to visit while I wandered the city. The Italian restaurants in the North End (it doesn't matter which one) are a must for eating out in Boston.
Sunday I checked out of Midtown and started walking, with no destination in mind. I figured wherever I ended up when it came time to get to the airport I could just hail a cab. Copley Square was calling my name. When I visited Thursday night Trinity Church and the Boston Public Library were shrouded in darkness; now it was bright and clear. Wandering the streets tends to make a person hungry, and when a hungry person happens upon an awesome little pizzeria, well, that person tends to order a delicious homemade mushroom pepperoni pizza and eat the whole thing. That person, having been re-energized by pizza sauce and melty gooey mozzerela, would then be inclined to wander more streets, looking for more interesting places to visit.
Where I stayed