I arrived to Hercules High School this rainy morning around 8:55 AM, on time, but not without a little bit of discomfort due to Don's repeated emphasis on never being late. My ID and my passport, which included the now embarrassing photo of my 7th grade self, hair long and messy, were scanned, and I took a seat by a computer.
As the noise in the room died down, we were handed a thick packet (25-30 pages?) filled with the tutorial's agenda and about 10-15 pages of examples, good and bad, of previous years' blogs. I have never been one to write in a journal, so the blogging experience was a concern to me but after reading some of the previous years' blogs I could see that the process is much more simple than I thought. It seemed the most important tool to have is an active mind that can soak up information, something I'm sure the Ivy League Connection considered before accepting any students into this program.
Another skill emphasized was time management, and how blogging late at night or early in the morning will likely take more time and produce substandard results. It is the 3:45 AM, so clearly, I need some work on this part. The tutorial also went over photography techniques, what to bring to the East Coast and how to bring it, expenses and a few other topics, including a practice blog.
Upon its conclusion, I met with 3 of the other 7 members in my cohort: Leonard Eisen, Adrianne Ramsey, and our chaperone Mrs. L, who I was meeting for the first time. We discussed our upcoming potluck, and some Columbia and New York-specific information. Mrs. L emphasized that while the other ILCers would definitely be having a fantastic time themselves, we were in New York City and it does not get any better than that. She said of course, that academics would be the focus of the trip, but told us with a smile before we left that we would be having a fantastic time together this summer.
This tutorial, of course, will not be the highlight of my ILC experience, as it was mostly a briefing on how best to prepare for the experience itself. Yet I learned some very valuable information, and I am already counting down the days until our departure. To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement.