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Good Morning, Baltimore!

Sooooooo, I’m done with interview número cinco!I have returned from my cross-country trek to what many call one of the meccas of medicine: Johns Hopkins University! It was my first trip to Baltimore since I was a baby, but I was very excited to see both the school and the city! It was a bit of a shock at first, though, because I left my sunny California morning to arrive in Baltimore on a rainy night. Fortunately, no one was delayed, so all of the interviewees got to meet up in time for a late dinner at an Irish Pub! They had half-price entrees, and I enjoyed my bacon cheeseburger after sitting on the plane for so many hours!
After dinner, I got to chat with my host, Scott, and his roommates! They all live in a HOUSE! Like…a real HOUSE! That’s so cool, and reminds me about how I’m growing up after graduating college, and I wonder if I’m ready…but it’s totally exciting! So I slept on the couch, which was not as bad as you may expect, actually more comfortable than many beds I’ve been on, and then woke up at the crack of dawn (6:45 AM) to get ready for the interviews. Coming from high school, you may be thinking "6:45 AM, not too bad"…but now I feel that anything before 9 AM is crazy-early since my schedule has shifted at Caltech. Fortunately, I am a morning person, which has helped me get through the early wake-up calls.

Then, everyone met up in the MSTP office at Hopkins all dressed up in our suits and ties, and they explained our plan for the next 2 days. Overall, we each had 5 interviews over the visit, which was pretty spread out compared with what I have been used to. Well, I won’t bore you with the details of how everything else went, but I’ll skip to the exciting stuff!
I met a Techer! He graduated in ’02, so he’s been out for a while. But we still got to catch up over some neat Caltech traditions, like Houses and Interhouse Parties and professors. It’s neat to see how things have changed in 7 years, but also how Caltech still is the same in many ways (read: Core). And though he is a lot older than me, there’s something about the Caltech connection that is really strong. I was definitely able to pass the time between interviews talking to him and comparing our notes on Caltech! Speaking of Caltech, I really felt that the research environment at Hopkins Med reminded me of it – open and easily allowing for communication between labs campus-wide.

OK anyways I will wrap up in a bit, but before that – picture time!!

So now why would I go to Baltimore, which is 150 miles from my house, without saying "Hi" to my mom and dad?! I wouldn’t! After my interview, I took the train up to my BELOVED New Jersey and stayed overnight at home! My mom cooked me a delicious Italian meal, I got to watch some great TV ("Ugly Betty" rocks!), and ran some errands in the morning (including getting my brand-new horizontal 21+ NJ Drivers License!). It was a very busy 18 hours, but then it was time to head back to Pasadena…just in time for the Third Eye Blind concert (more on that in Dannah’s blog!).

Till next time – and then I’m back home for more than a few hours, but actually a few DAYS, while I interview at UMDNJ – Robert Wood Johnson.

Andrew Freddo ’10

Chemistry and Biology, Class of 2010

My name is Andrew, and I am beginning what looks to be a busy and exciting senior year! I’m originally from New Jersey, and always try to give my friends here at Caltech a taste of my East Coast roots. Outside of my chemistry and biology classes, I enjoy cooking (Italian food, of course!), giving admissions tours, writing food reviews with fellow blogger Dannah, and catching up with my favorite TV shows. Academically, this year will truly be a culmination of my first three at Caltech. I am currently applying for combined MD/PhD programs (also knows as MSTPs ? Medical Scientist Training Programs). In addition to juggling my sets and exams, I’m going to be visiting many schools around the country to interview for their programs. I’ll definitely be logging lots of frequent flier miles, snapping lots of pictures, and learning a lot about medical and graduate school!