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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Diverting and Bonding

The laborious waiting and yearning for this day has finally came. Because I knew today was going to be fun and exhausting, I slept shortly after blogging last night so I can wake up at 2:15AM feeling vitalized. I was full of energy while making my parents rise from their comfy bed positions but absorbed the laziness of the atmosphere when I arrived at El Cerrito High School. I arrived promptly to be given instructions and mingled with my cohort; the five people that I'll be hanging out with for a month. You can totally see how awake we are but believe me, deep inside we are all super excited to start this amazing journey.
Departure Photo!
The airport shuttle arrived at 4:30AM and we made it to Oakland International Airport at 5:10AM. Lucky for Elexis and I, we were picked for TSA Pre-Check and zoomed our way across the security stage. While waiting for the others to go through screening, we decided to make our way across to Starbucks coffee to get hot chocolate. This treat was probably the trick that kept me awake and alive for the next upcoming seven hours in air.

Our lovely airplane was on schedule and we left Bay Area at 6:30AM. But who would have known that we would be diverted twice in Texas. All was good on the plane until it started going around in circles. Everyone felt it and it was evident when we rose from 3000ft to 20,000ft in merely seconds. The cabin attendant finally announced that due to the sever thunderstorm that was happening in Houston, we were to divert our plane towards Austin instead and wait for the storm to clear. When this was announced, I was well convinced and accepted the fact that we would be late and it would be the weather's fault. Never would I have known that they also ran out of fuel so they are once again diverting our flight to San Antonio, instead. What?!?! 

This eventually made a 3 1/2 hour flight into a 6 hour flight. When we finally arrived in Houston, it was already 2:54PM. Our planned informational session and campus tour at Rice University was reluctantly sidelined. Although this had to be the outcome, we decided not give in to the weather. We agreed to check into our rooms and grab something to eat before heading out towards Rice to explore its wonderful campus.
Busy Houston afternoon @Hilton
We checked into Hilton Houston Plaza and I got paired with the amazing Chiamaka and Joanne from my cohort. Our bond tightened as we laughed our way up the elevator, taking several failed selfies and talking about our "air" adventure we had. Our cohort met up for lunch-dinnereon at 4:30PM. After filling up with these wonderful foods, Mr. Hillyer led us onto our own, ILC Rice tour. We made our way into the Jones Graduate School of Business and amazingly, it was open! Despite the national holiday coming up, the door was open for us to know a little bit more about Rice.

Joshua Lunow aka. Josh was kind enough to give us a campus map and answered a few of the many questions we had in mind. This gave me a little more information about the campus as a whole than just looking at its amazing architectural designs.Our tour ended with a splash on muddy soil and soaked T-shirt, but all was worth it. It was a shame that we did not get insightful information from admissions counselor and university students, but our own little tour made me feel just as great. Today might have not been the best planned day, but I have a feeling that because of today's experience, we bonded with each other in a way we would not have if all the rush happened. That being said, though, I hope the thunderstorm doesn't kick into Atlanta tomorrow so everything can work as planned.
A Happy Cohort :)

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