Do you know where the district called ‘The Spirit of America’ is? I will give some clues for those of you who do not know. The world’s top universities are located there. Also, there is a charming mix of the old and the new. Do you have the answer now? The answer is Boston. Massachusetts is a state of the United States of America (U.S.A.) and Boston is Massachusetts’ capital. In Boston, world’s top universities, representatively, Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are placed. Moreover, Boston has the oldest park and restaurant in U.S.A. Boston Common is the oldest park and The Union Oyster House is the oldest restaurant in continuous service in the U.S.A. Along with classic places, there are many modern buildings like the Prudential Tower and buildings on Newberry Street. So, classic and modern atmosphere coexist there.
In New York, ‘The Empire State’ is written on car’s license plates because New York’s symbolic icon is the Empire State Building. Similarly, the phrase ‘The Spirit of America’ is used on car license plate numbers in Boston. From now on, let us find out why Boston is referred to as the ‘The Spirit of America.’
The city of education - Boston
In the picture on the left, you can see the Boston Public Library. The Boston Public Library is located in Copely Square. It is very easy to get to the library. It is convenient that the public library is located in the center of the city where so many people walk past daily. As you can see in the picture above, the environment is cozy and I felt as though I could really study well in that atmosphere. An even more amazing thing is high quality of events and lectures that are offered to anyone. Furthermore, they are free! Looking around the Boston Public Library, I started to realize a little bit about the reason why Boston is called ‘The Spirit of America.’
Laid on the both banks of the Charles River are Boston and Cambridge. Most of people misunderstand Harvard University and MIT is located in Boston. However, both universities are in Cambridge and I visited there. The first thing I wondered about was how students studying in these universities live their lives. I have been aware that many excellent students from all over the world have entered these universities. When I went to Starbucks in Harvard Square, it did not seem especially different from universities located in Korea. The students were doing normal student things like reading or doing reports using their laptops.
MIT has at least one attractive point different from Harvard University. As previously said, Boston has both an old and a new appearance. If Harvard portrays the classic style, MIT’s buildings portray a more modern style. The building in the picture on the upper right is famous for its eccentric structure and its name is the ‘Ray and Maria Stata Center.’ Its internal shape was also impressive because every inch of MIT’s building seems as though great pains were taken to trigger students’ creativity and imagination. An interior is colorful and there are many bulletin and activity boards in corridors where students can share their ideas and advertise meetings.
The MIT museum can mainly be classified into three parts: robots, holograms, and kinetic art. In the robot part of the museum, you can see all the robots that were ever invented by MIT students. Using the principle of science, a sculpture and engineer, Arthur Ganson made a variety of art works. You can imagine about fundamental things such as how materials move and so on. Even if you are not interested in science, things on display in the MIT museum are interesting and amazing.
TEAL Teaching Method
Technology Enchanced Active Learning (TEAL) class method is a new classroom setting in MIT. There is no blackboard in the classroom but there are several white boards, projector screens and circular tables. Each table has one white board and one screen. After students discuss one problem such as physics question, they write their explanation on each team’s white board. Professor comments one by one on the students’ explanations. While commenting on, cameras equipped on the ceilings keep panning the ideas onto ‘one white board.’ Therefore, cameras project to all screens so students can see other students’ thinking by watching a screen that is close to them. In using this type of classroom method, many cameras and computers are required. This kind of teaching method differs from the traditional manner where a teacher explains in front of the class and the students take notes. This method moves away from one-sided communication. It is expensive, sure. And, all classes do not need this kind of teaching manner. However, I felt this kind of try and attempt to change existing learning methods make MIT famous for being smart all over the world.
Media Lab The building’s interior is all made of glass so people walking through the corridors can see and check what people are doing in each room. It is the description of a Media Lab as a laboratory in MIT. In this place, specialists in physics, arts, music, and neuroscience and so on, research and work on projects. What they do exactly will be explained by a researcher, Sei LEE, who works in the Media Lab. Also, she gave the helpful message to the UOS students.
Not just Study and Study, but also Entertainment
Reading in the first part of my article, you may have misunderstood that Boston is boring. I can confidently say, “NO!” There are so many places to look around and things to enjoy in the city. Boston is famous for the Boston Red Sox, which is the professional baseball team, and do not forget the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. Watching a baseball game is exciting and appreciating to the orchestra is elegant. I could not say which activity is more fun than the other because each activity provides different charm or enjoyment. However, the average prices of both were $42.50 and $74 so their prices were a little too rich for my tastes. Since I was a poor visitor, I compared prices and decided other activities to see and do in order to enjoy Boston. Instead of baseball, orchestra and so on, I found some other super entertainment with affordable prices. I can enjoy high quality of performance.
‘The Red Room @ Cafe 939’ where I watched the performance is close to the ‘Berklee College of Music.’ Therefore, students from that school and other talented singers and bands perform. Seat prices are about 15$ and it is affordable for students so people can enjoy performances of high quality for affordable prices. At ‘The Red Room @ Cafe 939’, the genre of music varies from hip-hop to jazz. When I visited there, I was fortunate to listen to the music from the female singer Alicia Witt and the male band Young Pandas. Alicia Witt mainly played with the piano accompaniment and the Young Pandas had the typical band arrangement of drum, guitar, bass and main vocals. If you like small-scale venues and indie bands, check http://www.facebook.com/weliveforlivemusic or http://www.cafe939.com.
Markets in Boston
The Quincy Market Quincy Market is located near Haymarket Station. You can enjoy good meals and shopping. There is a long hall to enter Quincy Market that takes about five minutes to get through if you can walk in a fast pace. However, on both sides of the hall, there are diverse restaurants that catch your attention making it difficult to walk past them quickly.
The Haymarket The Haymarket is open on Friday and Saturday. In Korea, it is very hard to find fresh blueberries. Therefore, Koreans can taste only frozen blueberries. However, at the Haymarket, you can get two boxes of fresh blueberries for just $1.50. And, fruits that you cannot buy in Korea are found quite easily in the Haymarket and many can be bought at discounted prices. If you get the chance to visit Boston, you should really consider being there during these two days of the week in order to take in the Haymarket.
Restaurant- Seafood and U.S.A. taste
Sea food is famous in Boston because Boston is a port city. I visited the Italian restaurant called “Giacomo’s Risotorante.” Although it is an Italian restaurant, it uses the freshest seafood ingredients; the taste is great. It is so famous that if you want to eat a meal in this restaurant, waiting in a long line is for certain. If you like pasta, you can choose between various sauces, ingredients, and different kinds of pasta. Pasta’s ingredients decided consumers’ taste. When I went there, I wanted to try spicy sauces and shrimp so I selected it. If you want to eat different flavors, you can select different sauce and ingredients such as clam, squid and so on. It is definitely Do It Yourself food!
When you look around near the Harvard Square, there is a famous burger house called ‘Mr. Bartley’s Gourmet Burgers.’ Many of the Burgers are named after interesting American public figures such as Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga and so on. I chose the Michelle Obama burger. It looked like her appearance during her husband’s inauguration ceremony. She wore a white one-strap look. The Burger’s patty and sauce are remindful of her at that time. “Different programs exist in MIT and people who have different views politically, socially, and industrially, continue with their research. MIT is tolerant: accepting and comprehending of logic from different fields. I think this is a good environment for people to study in.” said Sei LEE. Except for MIT, there are many places to feel American’s intelligence. After visiting Boston, I feel this district is a really great place to live and really ‘The Spirit of America.’ There are high quality education classes available to anyone who lives in Boston and there are many places to see and enjoy. I really love this place. Definitely add Boston to your plan when you decide to travel around the U.S.A.!