As my cohorts could corroborate, the whole BART ride on the way to the city I was stressing about my upcoming AP test early the next morning. However, the Cornell Alumni Dinner at Town Hall restaurant was probably one of the best things that could've happened to me that night- and not only because of the delicious food. As a Turkish proverb states, "No road is long with good company." And let me tell you, that Wednesday night my company was supreme.
Maybe I am a bit biased, but my table was, I believe, the best. Wouldn't you agree Don? Also seated at our little circular table were Yueming and her mother Mrs. Wang, and an alumni couple Doug Mitarotonda and Rachel Reichenbach. My mother and retired Hercules Highschool Assistant Principal Cheryl Lilhanand completed our group. After a few inspirational speeches and the very well deserved acknowledgements of all the hard work Madeline Kronenberg, Charles Ramsey, and Don Gosney do for all of us in the Ivy League connection (I thank you once more*), we dug into our dinner and got to know each other a little better.
Yueming, Rachel, and I Sitting In Town Hall
*I also want to thank again the individuals and companies who help fund this wonderful program, as well as the interviewers who selected me for it. There is a myriad of people whose support I am extremely grateful for, and would not have this opportunity without.
Yueming attended the summer Hotel Management program at Cornell two years ago, is now graduating from Hercules High School she will soon be part of the Cornell class of 2015! It was really inspirational to hear an account firsthand how the ILC program has shaped someone's life and to see it put into use. Maybe I'll even see her there this summer!
As inspiring as it was to see Yueming's story of success and her accomplishments to come before my eyes, I think it really struck a chord in me to hear glowing praise of Cornell from two of it's very own. Doug and Rachel not only attended school there in Ithaca, but they got married there! Beginning as a triple major, and then receiving both his Master's and PhD at Cornell, Doug is an exemplary embodiment of everything that Cornell has to offer. His greatest advice to me, other than good trails to run while I'm in New York, was about the broad spectrum of classes Cornell offers; it's broad range of classes leading him to take Nepali and further shape his life. Rachel, a graduate student of the Sociology Dept. of Cornell, also had very encouraging words about Cornell- and had also attended the University of Chicago, one of the colleges we will be visiting this summer, for her Bachelor's.
Rachel, Doug, My Mother and I
After the dinner, I made my way home happy and full, the least of my worries a silly little test the next morning. Not only had I enjoyed a glamorous night in the city surrounded by people I was honored to bask in the presence of, I had gained some insight. This amazing journey I will be undertaking this summer is not a fairy-tale born of my dreams, but reality. A reality that might even include me considering attending Cornell University for college, if it lives up to all it is said to be; because if I haven't made it clear already, let me do so now. I have heard FABULOUS things about it. :)
Looking forward even more earnestly to this summer with every post.