Wednesday, June 15, 2016

We Filled Up the Bleachers...(Not Really)

I called my mentor Shasa quite a few times before I got a hold of her. I waited anxiously after school waiting for her to confirm that she was still going to accompany me to the Orientation that was to be held on the last Monday of the school year. She finally sent me a message saying that she was to pick me up at 4:30 PM because she was at the Bill Clinton rally held in Richmond. I was quite astonished but at the same time worried because I was not sure if I was going to get to the Orientation on time. 

My mentor arrived and I ran out of school, still in a rush to get to the Orientation on time. My mentor had invited her coworker Gabino to accompany us to the ILC Orientation. I quickly got onto Google maps to make sure that we still had plenty of time to get to Pinole Middle School, and my mentor and Gabino decided to make a quick stop at In & Out before getting to the school. I was very nervous. For some reason, much more than any other event concerning the ILC. I really dislike being late to events and making a "quick" stop to one of the busiest food stops in all of California was not helping.

Nice picture I took
before entering
the gymnasium
Don talking about what to expect for the summer programs.
Fortunately, we arrived right on time. It was 6:00 PM and people were waiting to be admitted into the school gymnasium. Don eventually let us in and we sat on the bleachers. For what seemed an hour, Don stood beyond us explaining to the parents and guardians of the ILC members what he had told us the day of the ILC training weeks earlier.

We were eventually ushered to either ends of the gymnasium to discuss what was to occur on our departure dates going to and leaving from Vanderbilt. We received a packet that described the condition of our dorms. Fortunately, the dorms in Vanderbilt will be in good condition.

In other news, we were told that we will no longer be going to visit the University of Columbia and The University of Pennsylvania. I was very disappointed because I really wanted to go visit these amazing schools. Instead we will be staying in Atlanta and Nashville for an extra day touring the area. I still am looking forward to spending my summer in the South and cannot wait to experience the culture at Vanderbilt.
Picture with fellow Vanderbilt Cohort.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Things Don't Always Go as Planned

So most, if not all, of the ICLers and parents got to the orientation meeting on June 6th like Don wanted, except for the staff of Pinole Middle school. Don had been trying to get in for about an hour and was pipping red and mad that things did not go as he planned. We tried helping Don out and we, the ILCers helped him get his stuff out of the van and into the gym where our meeting was going to be held. Not fun to see Don as angry as he was.

Mentors Introducing Themselves
Don greeted us and explained what was going to happen throughout the meeting through his red face. The mentors introduced themselves to the parents and we got started by breaking off into groups to explain when we were leaving and what placed we would visit. We are going to visit Emery in Georgia and hopefully a few other stops along the way.
Vanderbilt Group Talking About Trip

We came back together and Don took over to explain to the parents, what kind of things we, the ILCers, should take. Don gave the speech them the speech he gave us and he went over loaner items we could borrow from him. The ILCers almost all gave Don a form to show what we needed. We were released and I was happy that my cohort and I stuck around to have a little fun and take pictures together.

Vanderbilt Cohort After the Orientation

Orienting at Orientation

When my family and I arrived, we only saw a few chaperons. We all had no idea where to go and waited for Don in a huge circle talking about our different schools, and teachers vs. students games. Don came and told us all where to go and us ILCers helped him unpack and bring everything inside the gym, where the bleachers were very nice and comfy. 

The chaperons gave their mini speeches, telling our parents that they were all trustworthy and
The Vandy Families
responsible (which they really are). Each cohort broke off into separate groups, and discussed their plans for the trip. We were deciding where to go after visiting Emory University since the college tour is only two and a half hours long. So far, we have decided on either the Coca Cola factory, Georgia Tech, or Center of Disease Control. Then, we also have some free time in Tennessee, where we haven't decided what we will be doing exactly yet.  Whatever the plans will be, I know I will have a lot of fun with my cohort no matter what. 

My lovely croissant
After all the groups finished discussing, Don called us back so he could give information about loaner items, and more, to the parents. However, us Vandys were unable to put the bench back inside the bleachers as it was before. We spent about ten minutes trying to figure out what to do and eventually gave up sadly. Once that was done, we all talked some more and had a photoshoot. Then, Ernestina and I tried to convince Jae-An to use the infamous Tennessee pick-up line in Vanderbilt. (The one that goes "Are you from Tennessee? Because you're the only one out of ten I see.") We took more pictures, and got tasty croissants from Ms.Scott! My family and I somehow ended up being the last family to leave, and I came home tired for some odd reason.
Hercules ILCers! Notice our flowery shirts?

Monday, June 6, 2016

Orientation Presentation Sensation

With school about to end, one of the last things I would expect to be doing would be going to an orientation. But a few minutes before 6:00 PM, I showed up to at the Pinole Middle School gym for the Ivy League Connection orientation. This was the last milestone event before our flight to Tennessee, so I was fairly excited to go over stuff we would be doing on our trip and meet the members of the other cohorts one last time. 

While Don looked for the mysterious disappearing custodian to open the gym doors, the rest of us waited outside conversing, shivering slightly. Topics ranged from my epically punny calculus sweartshirt to rapping to victory in a history debate to unfortunate pickup lines. Don't ask.

The Almighty Don speaks.
After a little bit, Don got the doors open, and we all filed into the gym to begin the information session. Most of it had already been covered for the students at the blog tutorial, but hey, you can't ever be too safe when dealing with a bunch of high school students. Also, a lot of it was to inform the parents what their children would actually be doing this summer, in case they hadn't known previously.

Don talked about various things we would need, general things to be wary of as our departure date approached, airport things, airplane things, and then more things. I found it extremely helpful, since I haven't been on a plane in a while. Or for that matter, away from home for such an extended period of time; all the reminders helped bring back some of the tips stowed deep in my memory, as well as build excitement for my quickly approaching travel opportunity.

Cohorts break into groups.
We broke into groups by cohort, and covered more detailed plans for our trip specifically. Although some parts of our itinerary hadn't been decided yet, it was nice to get a general idea of what we were doing. Thomas (our chaperone) also revealed that we would have around one and a half days in Atlanta and Nashville each to go sightseeing! Some suggestions on where to go that came up were Georgia Tech, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the MLK Museum. I'll have to research some places I want to go myself...

The end of the orientation was laced with a mix of bittersweetness and excitement. While the Vanderbilt cohort would be waking up one early, early morning in early July to depart for Georgia and then Tennessee, we would not be seeing the members of the other cohorts again. We all said our goodbyes, and returned home.
There's those two, looking cool and stylish...
Then there's me.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

We are LIVE!?!?!?

The school board speaking was a success. Everyone did a wonderful job at representing the ILC. My father and I got there a bit early and were having trouble figuring out where we had to go, but we found it anyways. I went in and I heard the voice all around gathered. I looked to my left and saw familiar faces. I went over and was greeted by my peers that go with me to Richmond. We started talking about how our day had been and how finals were coming us for most of us. Some of us, like me, didn’t really have any finals because our AP testing was over. It’s mostly fun for us now. We got a small idea to do for our fathers. So we all went and grabbed our fathers to make them sit together and socialize. *GASP*, I know right? As soon as they all sat down, we left so they could figure it out on their own. Everyone was all dressed up looking nice, and we headed off each in our own directions because we all ended up going with our cohort. I was the speaker of my group, and there was something that I never caught on to….it was live. I started getting nervous because it wasn’t
Excited Cohort
really that mentally prepared for it, so bad that I stood up there with 10-15 seconds of complete silence, not my high light, but I think I did well. I really liked everyone’s supportive attitude and I was really grateful to my cohort for helping me out before I went up there to talk. After the speeches, we went outside to take a big group photo which Don orchestrated. After which, my peers from high school decided to get a picture for ourselves since the set up was so nice.

Richmond Principle and Students