“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” -- Margaret Mead

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sunday, June 26th–Day 2 (1 of 3): Tour de Harvard

Either it was the excitement of the trip or the birds that wouldn’t shut up outside my window – regardless, I was up by 6:15 this morning – without an alarm. A little annoyed at not being able to go back to sleep, especially considering we went to bed so late last night, not to mention the lack of COFFEE (sorry, but I need my cafecito in the morning), I took advantage of my restlessness and decided to go for a jog. Yes, a jog. At 6:15 a.m. On a Sunday. I know!

Harvard Law Library. Beyond that -- the dorms of little sleep.
I thought I was the only crazy person who couldn’t sleep. Nope. As soon as I walked out the door, I ran into another coo-coo-for-cocoa-puffs up-at-dawn-on-a-Sunday crazy person like me, Janna, from University of California Merced. It was kind of a relief I wasn’t the only one, although secretly I wondered whether this would be a good thing (I typically fly solo at the gym).
Turns out, Janna is one of the most interesting Latinas ever! Hellllooo. She’s a mechanical engineer working as a research assistant for UC Berkeley on top of her 3 businesses, including a Mission Foods independent distributorship, a healthy Mexican cuisine restaurant supporting only local farmer’s products and a media magazine. AND she’s a self-made entrepreneur at 26 years old! She was well aware of what it took to get into UC Berkeley, her dream school, and was both grateful and humbled by the Harvard experience. Hats off to you, Janna! Something tells me I’ll hear about Janna in the future and I will be able to say, “I knew her.”
Fast forward to normal waking hours – 7:30 a.m. – and everyone is gearing up for the much anticipated tour of Harvard. Mind you, our week is packed and this was our calm before the storm. We're all looking and smelling good, chipper as can be, right? Not for loooonnng. One of our crew, Anabetsy, tripped and took a dive head first from the top of the stairs: serious face plant. Well, more like a leap that seemed in slow motion as she fell meanwhile everyone said "wth?" and "oh, ish." No visual of the event, but here's the closest representation found on flickr:

Don't worry. No major injury. Natalie, the oh so careful mentor, took care of her while the rest of us went on the tour. (We later learned they ran into a Barney-esque Lobster in Harvard Square who gives hugs.) Ok, so the moment you've been waiting for: less type-y, more look-ey:

A regular day for Summer students.

Where's the yellow brick road?
Memorial Hall - 305 Rise
Two of my favorites at the Weiner Memorial Library.

David Grasso, mentor (and tour guide!) shows us the ropes around Harvard.
Don’t expect me to recount the story behind each building, but the one I do remember is that of the “three lies” of the John Harvard statute and the golden shoe. There’s a reason it’s golden. People rub the shoe for luck -- but our luck was the mentors telling us not to. Think: yellow snow.
Jessica at Golden Shoe
Don't touch the golden shoe!!! Disappointed smile
On to the Center for Public Leadership we went. We had lunch with Farouk Shami, the millionaire entrepreneur/hairdresser for a talk on Leadership and Business. He talked about not giving up on your dreams and told the story of when his parents disowned him for pursuing his dreams as a hairdresser, and when his doctor told him to give up his line of work when his skin had an allergic reaction to hair dye. Through these stories, he advised us to never take no for an answer, question the  norm and have the guts to stand up for what you believe in. Considering his success (see Day 1), one would be wise to heed his words of wisdom!
Farouk - Ldrshp n Biz
Farouk came to America in 1965 with $71 in his pocket. He is the Founder and Chairman of Farouk Systems, Inc., a multinational corporation that manufactures the world renowned brands BioSilk and CHI.
But that was just the beginning.

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