I was rather nervous yesterday morning. However, I wasn't nervous because of what lies ahead in the Ivy League Connection--fancy dinners, school board meetings, public speaking, traveling, Vanderbilt's program, and etc--was too overwhelming. I was nervous about giving a good impression to my fellow ILCers and my chaperone (not to mention a second impression to Don).
It was 9:01 AM, when I got out of my car to head to Don's tutorial, and I was late. It was pouring rain as my mother and I rushed to the tutorial/computer room in Hercules High School. My heart was beating so fast by the fact that I was late, I couldn't think properly. And so, it took a while to find the room. When I did, I was pretty wet; everyone looked at me. Being the person everyone was waiting on, I was very embarrassed. Don gave me the agenda packets for the day's tutorial, telling me that I should pass them out since I was late. Still nervous and embarrassed, I forgot to give myself a packet. I got up out of my seat to get an extra one during the tutorial, not thinking that Don would say anything, but he did. He said, "This is a test, Chris." And I knew when he said that, the impression I was giving to everyone in that room wasn't so great. I felt weak, stupid, lost, awkward, and embarrassed; and I was still nervous!
However, once we were allowed a break through after about a third of the session, Hannah and I (along with our mothers) had the opportunity to meet our chaperone, Mr. Mannix. After just a few exchanges of sentences with him, all the negative feelings I once had, were gone. I was no longer nervous, and instead, that feeling was replaced by excitement--especially when we found out that we're spending July 4th in Washington D.C.!
At first, I was worried that Mr. Mannix was going to be very strict on us. We heard from Don that our chaperone is a strict vegan and environmentalist and that Don really liked him. This scared me a bit. I'm not saying Don's judgement is not favorable, but I just wasn't sure why Don really liked him. However, I can see why Don did, because I really liked him. In fact, if I had a choice to choose out of all the chaperones available for our trip, I'd choose Mr. Mannix. It seems like we'll have plenty of freedom, but also know that he'll recognize our interests and opinions during the trip. He said we'll try to do things that everyone wants to do or is interested in, and that made me even more excited. It seems like the five of us are going to have a blast this July!
The excitement for my adventure to Vanderbilt continued throughout the tutorial as Don mentioned our travels, and it still continues as I type this. It relieved me to know that I'll be able to be loaned practically anything I don't have available for this trip, from a laptop to a laundry bag.
I also realized how important and how beneficial this program is going to be for me. Mr. Ramsey and Ms. Kronenberg took the liberty of coming and talking to us at the end. He said that because of last year's programs, 35% of the ILCers that year were admitted into an Ivy League College. That amazed me, knowing that the acceptance rate of most Ivy Leagues are less than 10%. It truly made me realize what kind of program I'm in, and I'm grateful for what the ILC has given me. I can't wait to see what lies ahead!
|Ah, three weeks here--too beautiful.|