Friday, June 1, 2012

"I Watch Them Blossom" -Mrs.Lilhanand

"I watch them blossom," Mrs.L said referring to how she watches us and realizes every single day how much we have grown academically, emotionally, built confidence, learned to deal with stress, perfected our time-management skills, and became an all around better person. "You will realize that you are just as good, if not better, than the other students you meet from different countries around the world and different schools in the United States," she said.

Today was the Ivy League Connection Orientation at Pinole Middle School's multi-purpose room. I actually have a white board in my room that I write down all important dates as well as all my goals, and I must say it has been an exciting journey accomplishing all the tasks and attending all the ILC events. Each time I crossed out one completed event, I felt closer and closer to feeling the fresh, warm, New york air swerve across my body as I walk across the legendary halls of Columbia University. I felt one step closer to sleeping in the dorms of my proper residence hall, and staying up late nights diligently finishing my work to perfection. Now, as of May 31st, I must say it has been the most brilliant day me to arrive at the final step of preparation in regards to our trip. It is truly unbelievable that in just about two weeks, I will be a student at Columbia University.
At our orientation, Mr.Ramsey, Don, and Mrs.Kronenberg presented detailed speeches reminding us of why we are there and what's expected of us. Mr.Ramsey said, "You all exhibited talent and responsibility to be part of the Ivy League Connection, and we trust you." They all reminded us that this is not an average scholarship program, we are both representatives for the program and the West Contra Costa Unified School District, as well as successful representatives for all the children in our community and district. "25,000 individuals were not selected to go, YOU were chosen," said Mr.Ramsey. "Everything you do reflects on them, you serve not only them but your entire school district as a whole." This is a really tough responsibility that must not be underestimated. Later however, Mr.Kronenberg continued by reminding us that we have earned the right to be in this program every day, and it doesn't just end there. This right is earned every day even when we come back home. Such a program is for individuals who care most about not only their school, but their district, and their entire community as a whole. With the great college exposure granted by the Ivy League Connection, one will come back with renewed spirit and enthusiasm with participation in a program that is for the world, not jut for the United States (approximately 33% of students at the Columbia program with be from a foreign country). Last but not least, however, Don ended the speeches by telling us about the items we will need in the east coast and provided us with a list of potential items he can loan out to us.

After being reminded of such expectations, responsibilities, and our progressive achievements, we headed to designated rooms prepared for each individual program (such as Columbia, Brown, and Cornell) and participated in an hour long special orientation. There our parents received more information about our trip and almost every one there learned something new. All our answered in regards to our trip we're answered. Nonetheless, we also had speakers from Vassar University and a former ILC student that attended the Presidential Powers course to provide us with more information and insight. The orientation ended promptly at 8:00PM, right about the time my excitement towards my college adventures had fully rekindled.

As of now, my countdown begins. 17 days, 4 hours, and 42 minutes left.
Columbia University here we come!

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