Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Nine to Ithaca, Please

The instructions that our Cornellians were given was that they were to be at El Cerrito HS at 3:15 in the morning to prepare to wing their way east to Minneapolis, then to Chicago and finally to Ithaca.

There’s an unofficial game that is played where we mentally bet on who will be the first to arrive and who will get us to worrying whether they’re even going to show.

Jobel Vecino won the prize this time around when he arrived extremely early and had his entire family in tow to see him off.  Even though we all know who the last to arrive was, there’s never a need to alert the world.  As we’ve been telling our ILCers they have followers in more than 40 countries reading their blogs.  I’m betting that our friends in Nigeria and Estonia can get by just fine without knowing who was the last to arrive.

As each of our cohorts arrived they were quickly ushered over to the bazaar table where they could pick from an assortment of ‘loaner’ items they might need.  Laptop security cables, Ethernet cables, card readers, laundry bags, alarm clocks, extension cords, umbrellas, travel irons, flash drives, desk lamps and USB cables—what every traveler needs.

Their luggage was weighed, they were reminded about blogging and then the obligatory group photo for the ILC archives.
Look closely at this photo and the recurring theme is that everyone is wearing sweats.  This isn’t brought up as a commentary on their sartorial splendor but to point out that they chose sweat to wear because they were cold.  Some of the young ladies are even standing in such a manner that suggests they would be more comfortable inside a building or the airport shuttle.

The strange part of this is that here in the Bay Area right now we’re experiencing a heat wave and even though it was 3:30 in the morning, it was 76 degrees outside.  I’m standing there in shorts, sandals and an aloha shirt and I’m sweating while our ILCers are dressed in warm clothing and still look cold.  What’s wrong with this picture?

With all of the pleasantries concluded, hugs and tears all around, the luggage loaded on the van and the Cornellians packed in like sardines, at 3:57 AM the eight Cornellians and their chaperone headed to their waiting plane which would take them to Minneapolis for a brief plane swap before spending several days in Chicago visiting some of the nation’s finer Universities.

By the end of the week, though, they’ll be firmly entrenched in their dorm rooms at Cornell where half of them will study in the world-renowned Hotel Management program while the other half matriculate to the Freedom and Justice program.

These students will earn college credits while at Cornell and study in courses the same as if they were enrolled as regular Cornell students.

If these ILCers perform as well as those we’ve sent in previous years—and we fully expect that they will—the people at Cornell will know the caliber of student produced here in the WCCUSD.

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