Thursday, May 26, 2011

Lesson on Preparation

I had had a bad day, the kind everyone experiences every once in a while. As I hurried out the door Wednesday evening, I was not going to let the day's events spoil the momentous evening ahead at the Hercules City Council Meeting. Unfortunately, I nearly did by arriving late, almost a sort of brush-with-death experience as the embarrassment reminded me of what a privilege it was to be an Ivy League Connection participant and what responsibilities came with the role.
As the event began and I finished scribbling a speech, I clumsily got my arm stuck in the crevice of a chair while reaching for my pen, thinking, "Oh dear, this is going on the blog."

Even though I had sat in on a couple of City Council meetings before with fellow Hercules High student Justin Bautista Jones, who by now is famous with the Council, addressing the Hercules City Council was quite a new experience. I’m not proud that I felt almost like a nervous wreck inside. As an ILC student who is only human and not immune to stage fright, I know the importance of recognizing one’s flaws and working to fix them. That night I listened with the utmost admiration for the many fellow ILC students who spoke with confidence, spoke from the heart with no need of notes scrawled on tiny, creased sheets of paper.

Mr. Ramsey and previous ILC participants have expressed what a transforming experience it is to be part of this program, both for individual students and eventually for their community. In light of this, I dream of returning from Cornell and telling everyone how the life-altering ILC experience helped me mature, taught me how to handle myself in a variety of situations and conquer public speaking. A host of experiences await us this summer, and I know they will reinforce in me the strength and confidence to be independent, to compete with other talented students from across the globe, and to take control of my own destiny.

1 comment:

  1. Kelly,

    Sorry to read about the “bad day”. Something that ALWAYS picks me up when I’m down is to head to the closest City Council meeting, rise to the microphone and let them know what I think.

    The big difference here, though, is that your City Council, the people in the audience and your faithful viewers out in TV Land all wanted to hear what you had to say.

    I tried to tell you all time and again that you’re going to come across people who only want to support you but some of you just don’t want to believe this. Trust me, Kelly, it’s true—as was the case at this meeting.

    Like the rest of your friends who stood alongside you, you did a great job and we’re proud of you all.

    Something else I’ve tried to impress upon you all is that EVERYTHING we have you do is all done for a reason. Speaking before the Council or the School Board helps you build confidence in speaking to large groups of total strangers so when you’re back East and you professor calls on you to tell the class your opinion on the issue being discussed, you can rise and talk as if you own the room.

    When we have you blog about an event like this, it helps you to think about exactly what happened and how you felt about it.

    I hope you can see, Kelly, that in both instances here—the speaking and the writing—you’re a better person for it. We can see it even if you haven’t seen it yet.