Saturday, June 4, 2011

Countdown to Cornell (& Chicago)!

Sorry for keeping you readers waiting, and apologies again if I seem a bit incapacitated at the moment after the brain-draining SATs. Before I conk out again, I'd like to take a minute to express how amused I am that our momentous ILC events always seem to precede important exam days…but mostly to talk about Thursday’s orientation.

It was wonderful gathering in the library (seriously, I must admire what a well-equipped facility ECHS has) with the whole lot of bright ILC students, our parents, chaperones, guest speakers, as well as the people we wouldn't be here without: Mr. Ramsey, Mrs. Kronenberg , and Don. In every event I’ve attended, they have thoughtfully presented us with agendas, so I applaud their organization.

The evening kicked off with an overview of the wide range of experiences we're all in store of this summer.

We were introduced to Mr. Ellis of the Ivy League Connection Press as well as ex-ILC participants and now Ivy Leaguers themselves, our guest speakers:

Brown students Kiana and Cynthia & Yale freshman-to-be Austin Long (sorry I couldn't get you in there, Yueming! I have yet to discover the panorama camera setting).

Thanks to the generous Don Gosney and his convenient cart, we reviewed the important items to bring.

The super-important laptop security cable

What not to attach the laptop security cable to

Before long, breakout session time had arrived. Ms. Neal’s well-organized, in-depth review of our itinerary, forms, and questions was equally reassuring and stimulating. I’m still struck by incredulity that we’ll be making a stop in Chicago en route to Ithaca… shopping on the Magnificent Mile… visiting Northwestern and the University of Chicago. As my fellow Cornellians know already from my babbling, the former is kind of my dream school.

Just because everything will be all business from there on doesn’t mean I won’t be having tons of fun.

Just because we Hotelies were thrice reminded Thursday night by Ms. Sewellyn Kaplan, Ms, Kronenberg, and Mr. Ramsey respectively, that the Cornell Hotel course is the most difficult on campus, that class runs from 7 AM to 9 PM, that we will have virtually no free time even on weekends, and that we’ll be spending Independence Day not out celebrating freedom and fireworks but stuck in class… doesn’t mean I won’t be making the most of every valuable moment. I can neither express my gratitude nor excitement enough.

Stay tuned everyone! I’ll leave you with these tidbits from orientation, because the next time you hear from me, I’ll be off to Chicago!

Don, whom moments ago was taking a picture of me trying to take a picture

Gotcha, Kelly ~ Don

Waiting in the library

Ms. Sewellyn Kaplan wearing her Cornell hoodie

Mr. Ramsey pays the Cornellians a visit

17 Days to Go

Thursday night, all ILC members met at the El Cerrito High School Library for one big Orientation before each of our respective trips. We were reminded of what was expected of us and were given all of the specifics of our trips. We were told what clothing to bring and what we would need in our dorm rooms. We were told what we could borrow from Don and how much we could pack.

We eventually broke up into groups depending on what school we're attending. While Ms. Neal was talking to us about the food there and about what we needed to bring vs. what we could buy there, I felt strange. It was strange to think that in less than a month, we would be off to Cornell. I am starting to think that it won't actually hit me that we're going until we are on the plane, or maybe not even until we actually see Cornell.

I don't really know what to say except this is a positive sort of strangeness. Everything is just very surreal right now, but I know for sure that this is good. I don't know if this is normal, but I'm sure it's good.

Orientation: The Countdown Begins

Not that the count down to the end of my junior year isn’t exciting enough, but the count down to the end of my junior year and my Cornell trip (together) definitely take the cake. After Thursday night’s extremely informational orientation about the trip I leave for on June 21, I ran (drove) home to make a count down list. T minus 17 (days) and counting.

Mr. Ramsey, Mrs. Kronenberg, Mr. Rhea and Don did an amazing job telling the 35 ILC rookies what their responsibilities to the school district are along with what an amazing opportunity this will be for us to see what the real world is like. The amount of time and dedication the three ILC leaders put into our trips continues to amaze me. When I listened to all of them talk about the program it really stuck me that these people are giving me the opportunity of a life time; an opportunity to show the world who I am as a person and not as a test score or application. As honored as I felt after being accepted into this program, I felt even more honored leaving the ECHS library after spending the evening with these three amazing leaders and 34 other outstanding students.

The orientation began promptly, and I mean promptly, at 6:30. Mr. Ramsey opened out the meeting by thanking everyone for coming out and with a brief run down of the agenda. Next Ms. Kronenbreg introduced all the chaperones along with the students under their supervision. After all of us stood up, we were sent out to various classrooms to meet with our chaperones and family members. There we were given our itineraries, which included, to my surprise, our seat assignments for our various flights. I was happy to see that I get to sit next to Genevieve my soccer buddy.

After all the itineraries were passed out and all the papers signed, we met back with all the other groups in the library to conclude the evening. I cannot express how gratefully I am that the ILC picked me.

Itinerary ~ check. 
Forms signed ~ check.
Packing list ~ check.
Asked Don for extension cord ~ check.
Extremely excited to attend Cornell ~ check.
Cornell Summer College 2011 ~ I can’t wait