Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Dinner Filled With Vanderbilt Alumni

I must admit, I am not a fan of BART rides, they are too crowded and I get sick from all that motion-and yesterday was no exception. However, the dinner at One Market really made up for it.

When we walked into the tastefully decorated restaurant, the waiters ushered us into an area where they offered us the most delectable hors d'oeuvres: a crunchy tuna tostada, and a juicy slider. I figured that if we waited any longer, I probably would be filled up on those snacks before I even sat down!

Right before all of us sat down though, I got the chance to have a quick chat with one of the many Vanderbilt alums, Casey Word, who finished graduate school there. We talked a little about life down in Nashville, and how it was a city in perfect balance between city life and small town life. The area was neither too small nor too big, which made me feel like I could fit right in.

When we found our seats, I discovered that I would be sitting with alumni John Tilsch, Rachelle Soderston, Casey Word, and School Board member Madeline Kronenberg. As we talked about Vanderbilt and how their personal experiences were for them, I expressed my concern for the lack of diversity there. Even though Rachelle agreed that Vanderbilt was not the most diverse, she assured me that it would not be a problem. Casey and John also confirmed this by saying that I can find any type of person at Vanderbilt, and that I would have a great time meeting people and making new friends.

As I was digging into my strange-looking Caesar salad, Mr. Ramsey talked to us about how the ILC came to be. It is amazing to hear that in just seven years, this organization has grown so successful. I was also surprised to hear that there is nothing like the ILC in the United States. This really shows how unique this program is.

Throughout the dinner, I had a great time speaking with all the people at my table. They all had very different and interesting lives. I learned that John is in a business that helps couple’s boutiques expand, while Casey is an analyst, who is someone that calculates the costs of insurance per individual. As we talked, she spoke about her experiences with grad life, like roommates. Although her Vandy roommates were great, her roommates after did not fit that description. In the end, she got a restraining order against this roommate of hers. “Never again,” she said, “I am done with roommates.”

I also got some great information from Rachelle regarding financial aid at Vanderbilt. She said that the financial aid there is great and I would not have to worry too much about the money. Ms. Kronenberg also told me that if a family makes below a certain amount, then they don’t have to pay a thing in some universities. I couldn’t help but laugh a little at the sound of my mothers’ sigh of relief. I think we are both glad to hear this valuable piece of information. 
The Incredible Tart

Overall, the dinner proved to be a great experience. I am so glad I got to meet all of these wonderful people because without them, the dinner would not have gone as well as it did. I am especially grateful for the delicious food I got to eat; the filet mignon was exceptional and the strawberry tart thing was so delicious, I definitely wanted an extra one of those.

This dinner has made me even more excited for Nashville, and I can’t wait to spend three glorious weeks there with my cohort. I give my thanks to Mr. Ramsey, Don, Ms. Kronenberg, and everyone who was there for a memorable night of great food and fun. 

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