The verdant lawns of Providence pierced my eyes and immediately drew my attention as I stepped out of the old tan-colored Honda Pilot on one of the longer voyages I had embarked in it over the past ten years. The old red-brick buildings entered my view distinctly behind the black metal fences that shut them. There were several trees behind the fence and upon the slightly racked and uneven sidewalk besides our parking space.
“Here’s your suitcase.” I felt the handle of the rolling carryon suitcase enter my hand and by reflex, lifted it onto the sidewalk. My mother put a reassuring hand on my shoulder, and I began to casually amble towards the main green and check-in for the Journalism summer program that I had applied for and been accepted for.
Admittedly, I was in a bit of a daze at the moment. “What am I doing here?” I contemplated in my stroll to the main square. In recent times, when listening to school rumors about certain colleges, Brown was supposedly the odd man out, extremely exclusive, the racially non-diverse university. It was the university where there was no set course for a major- the anomalous Ivy League member. One fellow student sneered derisively at the idea, talking about a story of a student who sought to major in video games, of all things. Of course, the university had created a customized curriculum eventually, but that was besides the point. “How ridiculous,” he said, “to have a major in video games. Not even to call it programming or development, but just in video games!”
I put it out of my mind. The last thing I needed was to think about school and the last year. After recent events, I needed a decent and productive break. Outside of my general volunteer work at the local library, I had just been sitting in a stupor Internet surfing and not doing much else. Maybe- just maybe- Brown was the restorative I required to get the motivation flowing.
After one long registration process involving giving my name to multiple counselors, receiving assignments, maps and a key, rushing to purchase a fan to supplant the failing air conditioner, I found myself, one hour later, in front of a door into the room that I would occupy for the next two weeks. I frowned, as I took in the black door, the messy whiteboard full of scribbled notes, and the two paper rockets adorned to the door.
One rocket read “Nectarios Kourtis” in a neat scrawl, and the other read my Korean name.