Sha’Quea Pratt

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    EOYDC/ Southwest Airlines New York College Tour 2010

    Waking up at 5am to be at EOYDC at 5:30am was pretty hectic. I tried my best to wake up at 4:30am but it just did not happen. Good thing I had everything ready so that I only would have to get up, complete a few tasks and leave right out of the door. I made it to EOYDC on time surprisingly and we left from there to get to the Oakland airport for our 7am Southwest Airline flight. It was my first time this year being on an airplane but my second time out of town this year. The plane ride was great even though it was very long especially for someone who really had nothing to do. I decided to pull out my laptop and watch a movie and right when I turned the movie on, I fell asleep 5 minutes later. Once we had landed in New York I was ready to go outside and see what New York was like. On our way to the hotel, I would catch myself staring at a lot of things I had never seen before. New York was quite amazing already. When we got to the room we had sat our bags down and had to leave again to meet with Brittany Harris at a Chinese restaurant that was really delicious. I had never been to a restaurant like that before where you would just reach from the middle of the table to get food. I really enjoyed the dinner and I really enjoyed seeing Brittany again. After dinner, we all headed back to our rooms and “called it a night,” we were tired and anxious for the upcoming days.

    Day two was another early morning. We had to wake up at 5am New York time which is 2am California time for us when I had gone to sleep only four hours earlier; I was exhausted. We were up and ready to head over to “Good Morning America.” It was quite fascinating how these shows worked. Before, I had no idea what Good Morning America was neither did I know there show was so open for everyone to see outside and for guests to attend as well. After the show we had taken group photos and toured the building then left to a briefing with Scott Turner and Ashley of the United Nations (USUNM). The briefing was wonderful. It opened my eyes up to see that there were more jobs out there than just the popular jobs people mainly look towards. After we took a group photo at the U.N. we left to meet with Lanikque. She took us around NYU which I found out was nothing like a regular campus styled school we know of; it was instead spread out amongst different street blocks. After the tour she took us to get pizza and we walked over to her dorm while we ate. Her dorm was quite closed in and loud to me because of the subway. But it was shocking because she had gotten used to the noises that I thought were really loud. While sitting and listening to the advice she gave I learned about Domestic Exchange from her. She opened me up to something new. Now I would like to be in the Domestic Exchange program. After we left her dorm we headed over to the Manhattan Bridge and we walked over the entire bridge to Junior’s Cheesecake Factory. I was tired and my feet hurt really badly from all the walking we did; I was ready to sit down. When we sat down at Junior’s and had a big slice of their cheesecake, I was no longer complaining about the walk. The cheesecake was delicious! After leaving from Junior’s we went back to New York City to meet with Professor Pedro Noguera PHD. His speech he gave us and the questions he answered were stunning. He really knew how to communicate with people and so did he leave us anxious to hear more of what he had to say. After we left Pedro we said bye to Lanikque and headed over to the hotel.

    On the third day, we met with Lanikque again and we all had a tour at the United Nations. of New York. The U.N. was inside of a beautiful building filled with a lot of marvelous treasures. We were shown around the entire building and informed of how all business is handled within the U.N. After, we went to Donna Karan’s office where we were told a life changing story by one of Donna Karan’s high level aides and closest friends. Soon after, we toured through Donna Karan’s floor of fashion, had lunch and got to know each other a little better. Next, we went to visit the National Basketball Association. The presentation they had for us was amazing. They shared a lot with us such as the Gatorade commercial they edited, the type of work they do within the company and lots of fascinating stories. Next on our list was BET’s106 N Park; we had a blast over at 106 N park. It was such an awesome experience I was able to encounter. Later, we had take out for dinner next door from the hotel and went to bed right after eating.

    On day four, we went to Columbia University for a campus tour. Our tour was amazing; I got to know so much about the school that I did not know prior to the visit. I learned about their dorms, their study halls and their lunch hall. The campus was really beautiful and I really enjoyed the tour. We met a few Columbia students and took pictures with them after talking with them about where they came from and what they do. We soon went to get milkshakes that were delicious. When going to get milkshakes I learned that people are not comfortable with a lot of people round so you just have to accept it and work with each other the in the best way possible. After, we went to the Malcolm and Betty Shabazz Education Center where we learned so much about this famous couple and their lives. We were able to see the very place where Malcolm gave his speeches to the community and died. The beautiful mural painted on the wall was very breath taking. It told the story of Malcolm X. While here, we met Abby who was doing an audio project on New York. We told her about East Oakland and EOYDC and let her be able to show that there are a lot of different people in New York. Abby went out to eat with us in Harlem and shopping with us a bit but soon we had to say goodbye to Abby because it started getting late. We went to the hotel to drop off our things and spent our night hanging out inn Times Square for the gorgeous view while eating McDonalds.

    On Day five we woke up later than the usual and got ready to go to the Schomberg museum. We ended up only going to the gift shop because the museum was closed when we got there, so we just bought items from the gift shop and went to the Ferry of Staten Island after. When we got on the Ferry it was very cold and such a beautiful cite we were able to view. The Statue of Liberty look more amazing then it did on television. Just to see it in person was such a great experience that I can share forever. After we went shopping in Harlem again for things we still wanted and in Manhattan for things we never had seen before and wanted to get. This was officially our last night so we stayed out for a bit and ate our last dinner at the ESPN Zone. The dinner was great and the restaurant was huge and amazing. We said our good byes to Lanikque at the restaurant and headed back to the hotel for our last night in New York.

    Day 6, a day we all disliked and were not looking forward to at all. This was the day we had to leave New York and return home. I did not want to go because I really enjoyed myself the past few days and did not want to leave so soon. One thing I learned and will never forget is New York is the fast city and everyone is on the move and it was something I did not want to let go so soon. Our plane left at 2pm from New York and we arrived back to Oakland at 11pm. I honestly did not want to come back but had to in order to catch back up in school. The trip was a breath taking experience and I would love to go again.   Thanks EOYDC and Southwest!

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