Friday, May 25, 2012

Bon Appétit!

Today, I was able to enjoy a lovely evening of both dinner and conversation with not only my fellow cohorts, but also with my chaperone--Mrs. L--, multiple of Ivy League Connection's generous sponsors, interviews and founders, and some of Columbia's prestigious alumni! The dinner was hosted at  Jardiniere, a French restaurant located in San Francisco.

My evening started at around 5:00 PM, when my mother and I arrived at the Ivy League Connection's meeting place, El Cerrito Plaza BART station. I would like to proudly announce that I was the first ILCer to arrive at the BART Station! Punctuation certainly is everything when it comes to important gatherings such as these. When everyone had arrived at the Station, we began to herd our sharply-dressed party towards BART Train, where we quickly boarded and began our commute to Jardiniere.

The ride to the restaurant was about twenty minutes to half hour, and during that time I started to acquaint myself with some of the alumni accompanying us to the restaurant. Namely, I spoke former ILCer and current Columbia Sophomore student,  Matt Arciniega, along with two of my cohorts, Adrianne Ramsey and Leonard Eisen. We asked Matt questions about Columbia's curriculum, dorms, and lifestyle, as well as his own experiences with the Ivy League Connection and Columbia University. Talking with Matt proved to be really helpful and interesting, I was able to get many of my questions about Columbia and get to know both of my cohorts a little better. The four of us got lost in our conversation and before we knew it, we had arrived at our destination of Civic BART Station. 

When we finally arrived in San Fransisco, the first thing I learned is the it is really, cold and windy there. Especially, when you're wearing a black dress, tights, and no jacket. Luckily, Matt was nice enough to loan me his jacket--which was another thing that I really, really appreciated.

During the five block walk to the restaurant, I started talking to another Columbia alum, who also happened to not only be a current Columbia student like Matt. Not only that, but I found out that she had attended my high school--Middle College High School. Her name was Beulah Agbabilea, and with the her help I was able to find about even more about the Do's and Don'ts of both Columbia and New York itself.

When finally reached Jardiniere, I was amazed. Everything about the place look magnificent--from the decor, to the wonderful servers, to even the fries they served to a table next to ours. The restaurant had managed to take my breath away before I was even seated!

When I was seated at the table, I was able to meet yet another alum, a Columbia post-grad named Mitchell Flax. I was able to enjoy yet another great conversation with him along with my mother and Ms. Kaplan, another Ivy League chaperone--although not my own--as well as one of the interviewers that accepted me into the program in the first place.

The food served to us was also spectacular. It was a four course meal that began with buttered rolls as an appetizer, followed by a salad, the the entree and finally dessert.  As our appetizers and salads were being served to us, Ms. Kronenberg stepped forward had introduced the cohorts, alumni, family members, sponsors, and major Ivy League staff members such as our founders and interviews. Afterwards, our cohort speakers, Adrianne Ramsey and Morvarid Mehdizedeh gave very well-written speeches, and they were then followed by Mr. Ramsey and his closing speech. With the conclusion of the dinner's orations the cohorts and the alumni were grouped together for a group photo. When the photo, or photos rather, were finally taken we were ushered back to our seat where we were able to enjoy our desert and entrees until our departure from Jardiniere. 

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