On Tuesday, May 22, there was a recommended appearance for all the ILCers of Hercules to attend the Hercules Council meeting. In total, there were about nine students which included: four from the Cornell program, two from the Yale program, and one from the Brown Program. Joining us were the chaperones, Dr. Zak, as well as Beilul Naizghi and Terrylin Chen, who are both former ILCers that are heading off to college. We all arrived by 6:30 PM, waiting for the meeting to begin, so we could say our speeches and take a group picture. It seemed that I was the only one that was extremely anxious about talking in front of the council members because everyone else seemed relaxed.
We sat down for a while, and after the pledge of allegiance, Don headed up to speak. I remember asking Eric and Rachel about what the general topics that I should mention when I was up there were. I felt a little bit of a relief once they gave me a brief picture of what to do. It felt that Don was talking for a very long time, but it was probably due to my nervousness because he only stood up there for a few minutes. Then, as he finished, we all slowly walked up forming a line next to the podium, awaiting to speak.
When I got up, I everything that was going on in my head went blank. I forgot what to say as I looked on to the crowd that was watching me. I had to pause for a while to just remember what I wanted to say. Though I didn't do so well on my speech, I was happy to be able to practice talking in front of an important crowd. Also, I have learned from my mistake. From now on, I will practice a little before going up for a speech, because I would be able to sound more like a professional instead of saying "ummm" in every other sentence.
After the ILCers finished, the seniors of Hercules High spoke, which they did excellently. Beilul and Terilyn both talked about what it was like in the Ivy League Connection. They described how the ILC helped them with their college applications and the experience they received from this program. This helped me get a better understanding of what it was like to be in this summer program and how it will effect me later on in life.
There was one more speech following the former ILCers', which was Mr. Litvin. It wasn't mandatory for a chaperone to speak, but he did so anyways. I always knew that English teachers were good talkers, but I didn't realize how good until he went up and expressed his opinions. I loved how he was able to grab the attention of the audience and added side jokes to his speech. He didn't read off of a piece of paper, and his genuine voice made the words so much better.
I learned a lot from this event. This council meeting helped me realize how intimidating it could be talking to important adults. I hope that there will be more opportunities to talk to these people because it would help me improve my public talking.