I arrived at Colgate last Sunday afternoon. The taxi dropped me right in front of the Admissions Office, an ancient building, which distinguishes itself from the rest of the campus by much resemblance to a castle with towers, the kind that we sometimes see in children books.
“Ha, so this is where they decide my fate”, I thought to myself. The sight of the building and memories of months of application provoked an ambivalent feelings within me: I used to see it as something to conquer, but now, it was standing there, close, friendly, and cryptically beautiful, and was going to be part of my life.
Anyhow, it was the Admissions Office who decided to accept me and who was so generous to pay all the expenses, making my trip to Colgate a pleasant surprise. I have a lot to tell right now, for the three days I spent at Colgate were unusually eventful. There was gorgeous campus, excellent food, interesting people. I may choose to narrate these stories in a factual manner; but you know my style: I favor small, witty anecdotes.
So if you want numbers and data about Colgate, talk to U.S. news. If you prefer my storytelling, then stick around, and entertain yourself.
The Admissions Office was close, so I walked to the library, where I was supposed to meet Mr.Nam Kieu (well, too bad this is America, Kieu Phuong Nam doesn’t exist anymore, so familiarize yourself with Nam Kieu.) He walked me through the campus to his dorm, and gave me the first chance of catching a glimpse at Colgate campus, which was proudly advertised to be one of the ten most beautiful in America.
And I had no intention to disagree. The campus spread on several hills, which made every step of yours a pleasure of discovering when the outline of buildings on the other hillside slowly arose from hilltop, blurred, and melted right into the background of the dusky sky. Of course it was breathtakingly beautiful, for it was not just a single antique building, nor just a single hill covered with utmost greenness, nor just a single picturesque view; they all came together and mix into such a pleasure to the eyes.
It was quite late already, so we headed to the Dining Hall. Colgate gives every freshman unlimited access to the Dining Hall, plus $200 to buy food at old-fashioned order-at-table restaurant. What words can possibly describe the joy that the sight of food, and not just food, but tasty, sweet-smelling, mouth-watering food, laid all over? The menu changed everyday, but there were always a salad bar, a grill bar, appetizer, two kinds of soup, not to mention various kinds dessert, fruit, drinks, and ice cream. I loaded my plate with lasagna, meat balls, and deluged them with thick tomato sauce, which bore the sweet-promising red, and dotted with the subtle green of flavor vegetables. What else did I eat the next three days I cannot remember, for every time I walked into the Frank Dining Hall, I was drowned in ecstasy. Thick, sophisticatedly creamy broccoli soup. Tasty, sensually crunchy french fries. Saucy, Chinese-style vegetables served with exquisitely soft brown rice. Everything just melted into one another, and begot an excessive indulgence for my spoiled taste buds.
So we have beautiful campus, delicious food. Let’s add the final embellishment with this small and cute fact that Mr.Hiệp Trần delightfully informed me. “Colgate seemed to have strong preference for beautiful girls”, he said. Well, since I came to the U.S., I had heard this mischievous comment quite often from our Vietnamese guys, so this time I voiced my major concern:
– “Thế ông anh tưởng là đớp được gái ở đây thật đấy chắc?” (let’s keep it verbatim for the sake of self-derision.)
– “Đớp được chứ sao không?”, he smirked so confidently that I couldn’t help visualizing him in the mid act of “đớp”.
So the next five minutes he lectured me of how to đớp American chicks. “Get involved in activities”, he said “And seize the chance when she shows any hints of interest.” Eloquently he convinced me that yes, we do have a chance to đớp them. And as though his rhetoric wasn’t convincing enough, the whim of fate attested to his strategy by dragging me into the role of witnessing his đớp technique. While we was walking out of his room, him bragging about the ladies of his dorm, we came across one girl in the narrow hallway. Yes, she was such a pleasure to the eyes but also a pain to the neck (guess why?). Seizing the chance, Mr.Hiệp Trần did just like he told me. He introduced me to the girl, which I doubted to be more a prelude for his ingenious plan than a kindness to me. Then he pulled his hands out of his pockets, holding an invitation to his concert, in such a swift and decisive manner as if previously planned:
– “Georgia, Ashley might tell you about this already, but I wanted to invite you to my music concert.” He ended the sentence gently inviting, with a smile whose charm I dare not judge, for I don’t possess the ladies’ eyes.
– “Oh, she didn’t tell me about that. Thank you so much.” She replied, and in the process slightly stood on her toes, heaving up and down in the gaily charming way that resembled a little girl’s. I wasn’t really looking, fearing that I might interfere with his clever scheme, yet I fancied that she did smile back to him, a warm and inviting smile that was just enough to prove his manly capability.
I was impressed. Really.
This is one part of my ongoing self-satirical Colgate series, friendly dubbed Weekend Entertainment. It’s a cherished and much anticipated Colgate tradition (of laughing at people). ha ha.