Tonight I was given the special privilege of sinking my teeth into a taste of what to expect this summer on the East Coast. After a capricious BART ride which thoroughly tested my balance, I arrived with fellow ILCers, parents, and contributors at the Embarcadero station. The venue for tonight's event was located just several meters from the BART station, and I watched the subtle-hued sign reading "One Market Restaurant" grow larger with each step I took. My stomach churned both in nervousness as well as anticipation, and when I entered the restaurant's wood-framed double doors, the alluring scent of cooking food made my mouth water.
|This year's Cornell cohort (Tomi Balogun not pictured), smile alongside alumni of the program|
as well as the university. Photo credits to Don Gosney.
We were led through the restaurant and out into a quiet space of One Market Plaza. Waiters and waitresses offered an assortment of appetizers such as mini sliders and delectable cheese risotto balls, and I savored the snack as I spoke with a Cornell University alumnus. The attendees were allowed to mingle for a while before Don called us out of the cordoned area for the customary group photograph. After a few minutes of shuffling and repositioning, Don the Photographer had everyone in place and fired off a rapid succession of blinding flashes. A second set of photographs was taken soon after, this time with the Cornell banner held in front of the assembled group.
|My dish of short rib. The meat was so tender it practically melted|
off the bone-- delicious!
After the group photos, it was time to enter the dining room and thus began an amusing treasure hunt for each individual's strategically placed name card. I found my seat in a corner of the room in between Cornell alumnus Jason Levy and my mother Susan Chai; also seated at my table was Michelle Phung from Pinole High School and her father, as well as Cornell alumnus Alex Vollmer. Once everyone had settled down, the night’s agenda began with introductions of students, parents, district staff, sponsors, and alums by Madeline Kronenberg, co-founder of the ILC. Rochelle Yee and Christian Abraham delivered wonderful orations, followed by ILC alumnus Eric Wang, and co-founder of the Ivy League Connection Charles Ramsey. The speeches were deeply inspirational and my smoldering excitement from the District Council Meeting last Thursday was rekindled with fervor.
|Jason, class of '07, was very informative and had a vast wealth of|
information from experience. Photo credits to Don Gosney.
Over a gleaming plate of tender braised beef short rib, I spent the rest of the dinner hours conversing with Jason and Alex about various topics such as what to expect when I arrive at the East Coast, information on the admissions process, what I had to look forward to, and so much more. This dinner was a night of information, inspiration, and exquisite food. From risotto to luscious chocolate cake to content-laden discussion, this night was a night of learning and preparation—a tantalizing taste of what awaits me in Cornell University.