Friday, June 1, 2012

Moving up

I now realize how quickly we are getting to boarding a plane and going to the other side of the country. It all felt surreal, but Thursday night's ILC Orientation has really got me ever so excited for this summer.

During the opening speeches, Mr. Ramsey was stressing the importance of punctuality and how time is everything, especially when we are traveling. Then Mrs. Kronenburg talked about the importance of being ambassadors of our school district. She made us all think deeper in why we are actually doing this program, not only to benefit ourselves, but to represent the ILC, the school district, and the 25,000 students that couldn't be in this program. This motivated me to strive for the best and to earn the right to say that I am an ILCer.

We then broke into our cohorts to talk about the logistics of the trip; everything from what to bring to dinners with admission officers. The most helpful part during this workshop was when ILC alums Yueming Wang and Terilyn Chen spoke about their experiences during their time at Cornell. They were extremely helpful in addressing our living conditions and possible extra-curricular activities. Unfortunately, they were both in the Hotel Management class, so they couldn't tell me, Alex, and Eric much in terms of what to expect in our Freedon & Justice class. I thought it was very helpful when Yueming told us to carry an umbrella everywhere because it can start raining at anytime, which I found very peculiar considering Bay Area summers are very predictable. One aspect of the program at Cornell that Yueming and Terilyn reiterated was that we are getting college credit for this, so they gave us the tip of "work hard, but have fun and soak up the college experience."

The ILC Orientation was extremely informative and fun. I learned a vast amount of information in the 2 hour time period and it is still sinking in. Thank you ILC for giving me this opportunity and Yueming and Terilyn for sharing your words of wisdom with us. 17 more days and it's off to Ithaca!

Countdown: 17 Days To Go

Thursday night marked the final event for the Ivy League Connection before the ILCers fly off to the East Coast. I arrived at the orientation in Pinole Middle School at around 6:25 PM, a few minutes before we started.

As I entered the Multi Purpose Room, I found my cohorts along with Mr. Chan-Law. I sat down, as papers were being passed around. I saw a lot of people bringing notes, and I got scared for a second that we had to take notes in the orientation. Good thing it wasn't mandatory because I would have seemed unprepared. Everyone faced toward the podium, and in a few minutes passed 6:30 PM, with the final students arriving, the orientation finally started.

Don started off by stating all the important things we must do, like emphasizing the need to be punctual for everything because no one waits for late students.. Then Mr. Ramsey introduced all the chaperons, followed by Mrs. Kronenberg talking about the difference between this program and other scholarships. Unlike scholarships, which gives you money to spend, the ILC makes everyone work for their money, like a job. With another quick briefing on borrowing items from Don, each program formed their own groups.

Mr. Chan-Law started handing paper that described the layout of our trip, and talking about where we were going. Then, previous ILC alumni, Teriyln Chen and Yueming Wang shared their experiences with us. They said that the Hotel Management Course was really hard, but they were still able to have a great time, as they were able to see museums and the Cornell campus on the weekends. All these discussions about how we're going to spend our time there makes me even more thrilled to be in this program.

Almost There

Today was the final step before the Cornell cohort gathers at El Cerrito High School with our suitcases ready to embark on a journey to remember. The annual ILC orientation was held at Pinole Valley High School.

The night began with Mr. Ramsey and Don speaking about the importance of punctuality and Mrs. Kronenberg followed up be who made it crystal clear that we earn the right to be in the ILC every day we're in the program and that being in the ILC is a job - not a prize. Finally, before we broke up into our cohorts, Don had a smaller version of his bazaar on display and explained that we're all allowed to borrow whatever we need but we have to return everything to Don.

We then broke into our cohorts and Mr. Chan-Law present each of us with our itinerary which looked pretty daunting because it was about 15 pages front and back worth of travel information. Mr. Chan-Law broke it down for us and told us about what we were going to do during our first week of college tours and said that he would try to work around our busy schedules during our program so that he could take us on some trips to see some interesting things around Cornell.

Finally, ILC alums Yueming Wang and Terilyn Chen spoke about their experiences at Cornell. While they assured us that we will be challenged academically, they also told us to go out and make friends and to not be afraid to ask for help. They also spoke about how enjoyable their experiences were and it just made me eve more excited to head off to Cornell.