To wake up, without alarm or rush, on a beautifully sunny Sunday morning, in a bed that is not your own, but is at the same time; in a place you do not know, but have always treasured deep down; beneath a sun that, although you have seen it before, feels different, like a tender stroke that cares for us while we are away, fulfilling us with a warmth that strikes beneath our surface. That is to wake up in your own little room in Harvard University, if you are as thrilled as I am to have the opportunity of being (everything that word includes) here.
I got up of bed and took a fast shower without delaying a minute. I put on pretty clothes (crop top peplum black lace shirt, jean shorts, black sandals) and headed to Memorial Hall aka Annenberg Hall aka Great Hall of Harry Potter with Tina, my Chinese roommate. The walk along campus was nice and refreshening.
Breakfast was… big; USA big. It consisted of a buffet continental brunch with tons of food varying from glazed wheat cereal (omg this are amazing), to Harvard Granola, to rice and chicken, to yellow apples and waffles… TOO much. I took my average fruit, a glass of skim milk, and a piece of whole wheat bread with blueberries on top, and a lemon herbal tea.
Tina talked to me about high school in China, and it was simply mind-blowing. Their school starts at 7:30am and ends at 10:30pm. How crazy is that? Is it even crazy? I think I am the crazy one right now. They also take only one placement test that literally decides your entire future, and some kids who fail just suicide themselves. She too talked about how streets were eternally crowded and you simply could not walk outside your house. Apart from that, we met other girls and it was real fun!
I am impacted by the amount of food people eat, and frankly horrified by the amount of food people do not eat and just throw away. In terror I had to deal with seeing full, perfect apples go right down into the trash bin with the rest of the food scraps. Fortunately, in the Harvard Green Tour we took later on with Tina, Ana (my colombian roommate), and Alejandra (a colombian girl we made friends with), I asked (because now I know how important it is to speak up) to the guide what happened with the food wasted at the dining hall, and she made me clear that all of it was transformed in compost, which is a relief for my plant mind. Apart from that, I learned Harvard University is actively searching to better its sustainability properties, produces 70% of all its energy (including the hot water we use to shower, which is great news for me), serves mostly organic food, plants its grass in organic compost earth, has solar panels in each trash can (that is always besides a recycling can), promotes reusing of dorm items, cannot put solar panels in building because of them being historical buildings, and most appealing to me, offers a summer club on sustainability.
Later on, I went with Alejandra to the ice-cream social event going on in front of the Science Center. I chose vanilla and coffee flavours and sprinkled assorted nuts in it; it was glorious.
The whole point about the event was to socialize with the rest of the summer school students. At first we were very shy and we just standed there in the middle of it, but shortly after we decided to just sit on a random table and simply introduce oursleves.
Oh, the faces I have seen, the people I have talked to. Amazing.
We made friends with a texas girl currently living in Angola who was going to apply for the chorus, a blonde curly guy (that I am pretty sure had some degree of autism) from South Saudi Arabia that had already attended the SSP before, a preppy and gorgeaus wide eyed girl from some state in USA and her friend from Egypt, and two girls from Saudi Arabia that dressed in expensive clothes and that the Prince of their country that owns their school had payed their study trip to Harvard. Incredible.
We talked about everything: cute boys, cellphone mania, school uniforms, women’s rights and their repression in African countries, courses of interest, hobbies, countries, and simple nonsense too. Espectacular. I now see through eyes that are not mine.
After that we had a meeting with our Dean and Proctors in the Science Center, where they explained us the basic rules about SSP. Then we headed to our Proctor’s (Esther’s) room and just revised the rules again and presented ourselves to the other guys in Wigglesworth Hall D. We then got out to buy some cards, soap and a salad with my roommates and a guy from the other dorm. He was very funny and nice! We headed to our room and the other guys came over. Played “Bullshit”, rapped, sang and joked around, that pretty sums it all up. Had a blast!
Now it all ends up on going to sleep and wait for tomorrow to be even more amazing!