Tonight was the second milestone event for the Hotel Management students - the Hercules City Council meeting. Unfortunately, all that self-confidence I bragged about in my last blog seemed to have left me as my nerves returned during the Pledge of Allegiance. My only consolation was that Frank He seemed to be even more nervous than I was (but he did great while speaking!).
After the formalities were over, Don Gosney went up to the podium to give his speech about what the Ivy League Connection is about, and why it is important for the City of Hercules specifically and for the district in general. As he spoke, I tried to decide what to say for my turn at the podium. How could I show my gratitude for the program and for the city's support without rambling about my entire Herculean life?
As Mrs. Ishmael called us up to speak, I made a final decision to keep my speech concise and contained. I knew everyone would be saying very similar things, and with seven of us, I figured I would not need to reiterate what was common knowledge - that I was a Hercules student and resident through and through, and was incredibly excited to represent that at Cornell. Sure enough, Kelly Xi, who went before me, took the words right out of my mouth (although more eloquently than I probably could have managed). When it was my turn, I stuck with my plan of short and sweet (which is what I am best at), and it seemed to work. My words of gratitude flowed effortlessly, without me having to think about exactly what I wanted to convey. I may not have shared that I have lived in Hercules for all of my life, or that this city has provided me with many opportunities, including a trip to Japan and the opportunity to go to an Ivy League school this summer, but I did not feel that my speech was lacking. I spoke from the heart, and said exactly what I wanted the Council and the audience to know, with no extra flourishes. It probably was not as impressive as Jobel's words representing all of us and the Ivy Leage Connection, or Mr. Litvin's praises of our Hercules "quintessential American dream." But I did give my own personal flair for what ILC should help me do - get things done accurately and consistently.