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.