Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Final Step As Adventure Awaits

The Ivy League Connection's final milestone event before our departure to the east coast and Vanderbilt finally came! The ILC congregated at the new, fully remodeled Pinole Middle School. While I was in the 8th grade at this middle school, the school was only half reconvened, but coming to this orientation has shown me how much the school has changed. It was beautiful, and to be honest, it looked way better than what Pinole Valley High School looks like today. I felt very nostalgic--having not visited this school for at least one or two years. It made me miss the old middle school days, when things were a bit easier (although not a lot easier because that age for everyone, in my opinion, is pretty frustrating and one of the worst). But it also made me realize that college is coming up just in a year for me, and by this time next year, I will know what college I'm going to! I guess I'll have that same nostalgic feeling when I visit PVHS again, as I did when I visited here.

But enough of the nostalgia. Most of the time at this event, each program was given an itinerary and practically everything the ILCers and the chaperones will do (other than at the school). I was stunned to see just how much effort, organization, and preparation the ILC administrators have put in to our trip. No wonder this is the only program of its kind in the nation. They nearly had everything we were going to do for the week before we start the program. I was also surprised, and of course excited, that we will first arrive at Duke in North Carolina, and then conveniently fly to D.C. to spend our time at the nation's capital for 4 nights. But what surprised me the most was the fact that I had a hotel room all to myself while on these college tours! I believe at D.C., we're staying in suites too, because I'm getting a king bed and a couch bed (you know--just in case I want to change up where I sleep for the four nights there). We also will visit UPenn by train, which I'm also excited for. It should be an amazing week before our program at Vanderbilt starts.

One important thing that I felt was brought up in this orientation was when Ms. Kronenberg mentioned that the ILC is not truly a reward for the students. Yes, the trip will be fun, and I will learn a lot, meet many new people, and visit new places, but there are strings attached to this "reward". The ILC ambassadors of the West Contra Costa Unified School District have a job. We must act like young adults, be on-time, be courteous, but most importantly, share all our experiences with everyone. We're the ones representing this district; to people, one person from an area really is seen as a reflection upon the entire community--and we must and will behave accordingly.

The surprising rewards and just simply, surprises, will never cease to stop so long as I am in this program it seems, and that's totally fine with me. In fact, I don't think the surprises will ever end even after this program is over. I already know, as the ILC administrators constantly tell the ambassadors this, that I'm going to be a new person, who sees society in a different way. And I can't wait any longer; adventure awaits!

1 comment:

  1. Chris,

    We don’t take this lightly. We put a lot of effort into the ILC to make sure that everything is just right. From the selection of the schools and courses to the panelists that select our ILCers to the dinners and the itineraries of the trips. We don’t like spontaneity or the unknown. We want to be sure of everything that happens so we can be sure that everyone will get the most out of their experience.