Sus and I decided that the day needed to be dedicated to all things Harvard. We quickly learned the difference between Harvard Avenue and Harvard Street, and we successfully navigated both the subway and the bus system. The one thing that impressed me about Boston was how easy public transportation was to navigate. We got everywhere we needed to be, and did so with little fuss.
When we made it to Harvard I really wanted to be impressed. On paper, Harvard is an impressive school.
Harvard at a Glance
About 2,400 faculty members and more than 10,400 academic appointments in affiliated teaching hospitals
Harvard College – About 6,700
Graduate and professional students – About 14,500
Total – About 21,000
More than 323,000, over 271,000 in the U.S., nearly 52,000 in some 201 other countries. See the alumni website for more information.
47 Nobel Laureates, 32 heads of state, 48 Pulitzer Prize winners
Veritas (Latin for “truth”)
REAL ESTATE HOLDINGS
The Harvard Library—the largest academic library in the world—includes 18.9 million volumes, 174,000 serial titles, an estimated 400 million manuscript items, 10 million photographs, 56 million archived web pages, and 5.4 terabytes of born-digital archives and manuscripts. Access to this rich collection is provided by nearly 1,000 library staff members who operate more than 70 separate library units.
FACULTIES, SCHOOLS, AND AN INSTITUTE
Harvard University is made up of 11 principal academic units – ten faculties and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The ten faculties oversee schools and divisions that offer courses and award academic degrees.
Under 8 feet of snow….it sort of loses its appeal.
I think another reason that I was underwhelmed was because the University of Edinburgh has ruined me for all other schools. The thing I liked about the campus was everyone was wearing Harvard shirts, people were super friendly, and there were an abundance of international students. Cambridge is a proper college town, and walking around the shops of Harvard Square was a lot of fun. Being that Sus and I both love books, we stopped in a great bookstore on the square.
When I was a kid, I thought Harvard was the be all, end all of schools. I wanted to go there. While I enjoyed the tour, and thought the campus was beautiful, I am not so sure I would have really enjoyed being a student there. While there is a sense of campus pride, and the people seemed nice, there is also a definite competitive atmosphere that lingers. I would rather have a collaborative learning experience, rather than one based on constantly trying to best my classmates.
We ended the night following the advice of Lonely Planet and visiting Little Italy for some pasta.
Lonely Planet did not let us down.
Carmelinas was truly amazing. The restaurant was small, and beautiful, and the food was great. I highly recommend the Puttenesca should anyone be lucky enough to eat there.
Behind the restaurant was a little bit of history. Paul Revere House sits quietly and unassuming between apartment buildings. It was closed, dark, and covered in snow, so the picture is not one that I took, but the house was impressive, and the history behind it makes the academic nerd in me giddy.
According to the Paul Revere Memorial Society:
The home was built about 1680 on the site of the former parsonage of the Second Church of Boston. Increase Mather, the Minister of the Second Church, and his family (including his son, Cotton Mather) occupied this parsonage from 1670 until it was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1676. A large and fashionable new home was built at the same location about four years later. Paul Revere owned the home from 1770 to 1800, although he and his family may not have lived here in some periods in the 1780s and 90s. After Revere sold the home in 1800, it soon became a tenement, and the ground floor was remodeled for use as shops, including at various times a candy store, cigar factory, bank and vegetable and fruit business. In 1902, Paul Revere’s great-grandson, John P. Reynolds Jr. purchased the building to ensure that it would not be demolished. Over the next few years, money was raised, and the Paul Revere Memorial Association formed to preserve and renovate the building. In April 1908, the Paul Revere House opened its doors to the public as one of the earliest historic house museums in the U.S. The Association still oversees the preservation and day-to-day operations of this national treasure.
One day I will have to go back and take a tour of the house.
After all the walking and all day outside, we were back at the hostel and in bed by 9pm. I have not been asleep by 9pm since I was in high school….