Sunday, June 1, 2008

Picnicing in Willow Park

Adding to the list of fun things that we've done so far, tonight we had a mentor picnic in Willow Park, which is really a tiny little off-shoot of a much bigger park. Cherokee Park (the big one) was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, the same landscape architect who designed Central Park in New York City. It looks a little like Central Park, and one of my co-workers mentioned that it serves a lot of the same functions, though not quite as centrally.
Anyway, tonight a little band called Caribbean Conspiracy played at Willow Park. As far as any of us could tell, the band was composed solely of old white guys, and it wasn't very Caribbean sounding. But it was great background music for meeting mentors.
Each mentor is a somebody in the Louisville community, and it's pretty amazing the kind of talent that Rowan Claypool, DC '80 (the founder of all the Bulldogs internship programs) is able to muster. He knows absolutely everyone and gets them all excited for the program, as well as for Teach Kentucky, his other brainchild. He's got judges and politicians, lawyers, real estate geniuses, random Yale alums. My mentor is a Presbyterian minister named Fairfax Fair, and she seems really interesting. She tells me that one of her parishioners is very interested in Egyptology, and that she's going to take both of us to lunch sometime and just listen as we go to town talking about Egypt.
Anyway, Rowan has gotten everybody really excited about this program, so people know who we are. He's made it a real community building project, and the whole city (which is friendly enough to feel like a town, despite being the 16th largest city in the US, larger than Seattle or Boston proper) is invested it in. Though Louisville only sends 3-4 students to Yale a year, 30 or more come every summer, and in the 10 years since he started the program, over 30 have moved to Louisville and are now active Louisvillians. We've met a few, and it really is a great way to make a difference here. It's pretty exciting to be a part of it, and even though moving here after graduation seems unlikely for me personally, as Rowan told us tonight, "You're now Louisvillians for life."


Annie Hilman said...

Good luck, Chris, you will do wonderfully! Also, in terms of tickling, you are now screwed anyway - I tend to make use of that knowledge!

Annie Hillman said...

Also, notice that I cannot spell my own name in my blogger profile.

Jessica said...

your mentor sounds perfect! that's so wonderful. have lots of lunch and fun.