Student Experience Sample 3

August 3rd, 2017

After a modest 5 hours of rejuvenation, I started the second day in Boston. On sore feet, I took a visit to Deer Island Water Treatment Plant. I thought this plant had to have something to do with Deer Park water.

On the island, it was a sure sight of classic factory-manufacturer type of area. On the right was the enormous body of water and to the left was a fenced top-secret area with mechanical giants standing.

The team was greeted in the reception area that resembled a common university hall, with actual classrooms. A display of a water processing machine from early last century was nothing but merely an outdated piece of metal scrap. Thanks to his curiosity, I managed to bust a display door open and not being able to close it.

The tour guide came and gave them a presentation on the history of the Island. The intro video was, frankly, probably recycled from last few decades; it reminded me of a video on how to use the internet. The guide then showed samples of water in different stages of purification.

The crew was led outside. Grey clouds covered the sky, attempting to cause some troubles to the tourists. A stench immediately hit me; it reminded me of the river I sometimes passed by when I went to school back in Vietnam. The team was advised against taking photos inside buildings, so sadly I could not showcase some tubes and chambers. The guide explained steps of processing raw sewage to release it back to the environment safely. Raindrops fell as the crew toured around the plant. From a distance, a strange-looking windmill was spotted; it was introduced as a new design which would be much more efficient than the current one. From the overpass, the team found a pleasant scene of raw sewage water, with foam and plastic cups floating atop; it was mentioned that the scene was much more tolerable than some other samples. At the end of the tour, the tour guide told the team about his entry to the field. He never expected to end up at the plant, but he has been enjoying it since. A key to finding your passion is to go out there and try different things: your passion might lie somewhere unexpected.

The water treatment plant was an underrated man-made marvel. The whole construction successfully transformed murky waters to release back to the environment while also produced clean air and fertilizer. Such body of work was the contributions of all scientists and faculty throughout decades. The team would like to express their gratitude towards their hard work. The future is hopeful with more methods to treat sewage with more efficiency and accuracy. Speaking of future, the future belongs to future researchers like Trekkers, who will take on previous foundations to develop more marvels. Topics alert: renewable power or pollution treatment?

Leaving the plant, mister Gage assigned Trekkers the scavenger hunt and went home to do administrative work. I was teamed with Monica and Alex. But teams were no longer a thing, because the whole crew decided to form a Team Alpha, comprised of all ten Trekkers. They first headed to MGH station, followed by an avoidable 13-minute walk to reach the giant dinosaur.

The team then reached Fenway Station to get to Fenway Park, home of Boston Red Sox. I could not care less because baseball will forever lie in his dark book. The exterior was strangely unassuming for such a big sport team.

Somehow, the ended up in a sketchy convenience store. I was very concerned because of all convenience stores in the whole Boston metropolitan area, why this knife-fight stadium? The items were probably decorative, as they probably expired already before this town was founded. However, behind the also sketchy vending machine, a little hip-hop-ish shoes boutique. The shop itself was pretty banal, but the entrance, it deserved the credit.

The library, in short, impressed me. The grandeur of the building was admirable, both exterior and interior. Different section and different rooms connected each other to form a maze of knowledge. The courtyard was nothing short of spectacular. A sitting patio surrounded a garden and a statue fountained located harmoniously in the middle of the courtyard. Queen Elizabeth would probably be very impressed with the designing job. The statue was funny to me though; it reminded me of a mother taking a selfie with her baby, although she was holding a toy or a flower.

The team reached Copley Square, a sight of knowledge and relaxation. The team spotted the Tortoise and the Hare, and they were quick to run their bodies all over the statues.

Fatigue finally hit them, and they were looking forward to going home. However, they decided to get one last push to the Public Garden. Such a nice spacious park! They promptly found the guy Summer in the list, but realized that it was actually spelt Sumner. The crew lingered for the bit in the park.

I lied down on the grass, the tingling touch of slight damp grass was soothing. I then thought about the time I was waiting for i-Trek result. Because of travelling inconvenience, I was so certain that I was going to give up i-Trek regardless of the decision letter. Nevertheless, I took this risk and endured a little bit more flying to join the program. I am glad I joined. Sure,  sleeping on an air mattress and day 2 already drained me a lot. However, I met some really nice people and gained insight to the best institute out there, MIT. This was the first time I came to Boston area, and probably would not be the last. Isn’t that the idea of putting yourself in the unknown? I joined i-Trek, never been to the area and did not know anybody in the program. But after the program, I would have much more experience and connections to help me with grad school application. Heck, it would probably make into top 5 of my most favorite trips ever. I might not be a yearned-for grad candidate right after the program, but this would be a start. I would plan a bit more carefully, be a bit more proactive, and feel a bit more confident.

The team dragged themselves back to the train station nearby. It was rush hour. The struggle was real. The station filled with people. The trains were stuffed like a turkey. They had to wait for the third train of the route to even get on. While they were waiting, on the platform, a street band performed “Daylight” by Maroon 5 with violin.