I could not sleep on the 14th - the night before. I vaguely remember dreaming, but that was it. Everything else was lying there, anticipating the dawn. I awoke before my mother came in at 5 am and told me to get dressed; dressed in a white sweater, pleated plaid skirt, stockings, heels, and a black Guess bag. I suppose some could denounce it as 'preppy', but this is a 'preppy' school.
So. After jamming toast down my throat and rushing to the airport, I say goodbye and find my way through customs and all that good stuff. After nearly losing my passport, I go check in; for check in, after waiting 20 minutes, someone told me I was in the line for the check in for planes that are going to Tokyo. I hurry to the Hong Kong line, get my boarding pass, get through security, and run as fast as I can to the gate.
I boarded just in time.
The feeling of flying again was amazing. Some 'seasoned travelers' don't notice, but I am still thrilled by the feeling of takeoff and landing, even though I've flown thirty, maybe forty, times. I apply my makeup as the plane is above a sea of clouds, pleased that new plum-colored eyeshadow looks good. For the rest of the flight, sans while eating the terribly tasteless airline food, I talk to thin air--practicing what I'm going to say. Yeh, I guess I got weird looks from the other passengers.
So I landed in Hong Kong. The landing was beautiful--gliding over water (the Hong Kong International Airport's on an island), where fishing boats look like mere toys, and rushing onto the runway. The first thing that I noticed was that it was muggy outside--75 degrees. Ah, well. I went through immigration/customs/all that good stuff and looked for a place to eat. The food on the plane was terrible--tasteless slush for "porridge", a stale muffin, a tiny roll, and canned pineapple [the "best" part].
I saw this place--some Spaghetti House or Sandwich House, I forget. The service was terrible, and I had to remind them that my sandwich was...ready. It was kind of expensive too. $45 Hong Kong dollars for what...? A sandwich and a small pot of yogurt. I should have ate at McDonalds. Pissed off, I go to the bathroom to check my makeup, and then go exchange my money. 500 kuai got me 480 HKD. Bought a train ticket to Central for 100.
The train was fast. Hong Kong Station in Central is several islands away. The view was good. Anyway, after arriving in Central, I hail a cab to Fairmont House. It turned out that it was this skyscraper that served as a bank and working place, methinks--there were lots of business dudes walking around and I didn't look out of place with my outfit.
Walking to the lobby, I ask for Phillips Exeter Academy. They tell me 21st floor. And the elevator...brings me up. I was a little nervous about it, but not really. I boldly walk in (hey, even if I'm not, I can pretend to be!) and ask. This dude named Naren escorts me in, tells me I'm early, and gives me the Exeter magazine to read so I don't get bored. The place was decorated nicely. There were lots of minature boat models, and interesting art pieces on the walls.
Eventually the two other students scheduled for the 2 PM interview arrived, and I checked them out warily. Two guys. I asked, and they told me they're applying for 10th grade (Lower). We had to fill out this form that the interviewer could look at for reference (about our activities and classes and all that good stuff).
As it turned out, my interviewer was the Director of Admissions.
We started out great, because his kids were homeschooled too, and as it turned out...with the exact same curriculum I use! So yeah. He was really impressed, I think.
1) I'm taking a load of hard classes this year. Plus, for middle school I was in IB.
2) My extracurriculars are very good. He was impressed that I've been published 7 times for writing, been on national TV (modeling), have not one but two agents, taken art 8 years, at my artwork (I brought my portfolio), the music (I play 4 instruments), community service and all that bragworthy stuff. I told him that I would have wrote more but the form only had that many lines.
3) I had a LOT to say about why I wanted to go to Exeter and he was like "wow, you've really done your homework". XD Because I was explaining about their famous alums, their departments, and the Harkness table, and how I would really love to go to their school! (Dropping in 1st choice, 1st choice a lot.) And I said that their admissions officers were really responsive---which they were. Other schools that are not going to be named here, didn't even RESPOND to any of my emails. One actually blocked me.
4) My questions, I guess, were pretty good. I asked him about vegetarian options (among other stuff), and he asked me why I was vegetarian and I showed him my passport picture and he was like O_O (because I was fat earlier...). But he told me that I can't stay at school for Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. :( I can for Easter though.
5) Flew to Hong Kong and found the place myself. Shows my "independence". I told him about flying to New York by myself and going to acting/modeling lessons there for two months.
The bottom line is that it was an awesome interview. Now I need to send this guy a thank you card. A Chinese-y one, so that he won't throw it away (souvenir value).
Then I went back to the airport, and got an early flight home. (My mom bought the 7 PM one, but the check-in guy got me the 5 PM one.) I bought souvenirs and wandered around the airport. They had Dior, Chanel, Prada, etc. stores, and I couldn't help but stare at the pretty haute couture bags and clothes. Didn't buy anything though...of course. And I wrote some reflections on the way home.
My mother picked me up, and that was that. I slept for a long while...and wow, it's taken me 2 hours to write this thing. But when I first started it, I was just waking up (2 PM. Hey, I need my sleep!).
I hope this information helps for Alyssa (if you haven't been interviewed yet? I know I saw the LFA thingy on your entry), Kip, and Met for their interviews.
Lots of <3, Katie