Let me begin with "wow".
I read Brown's blogs and my classmates told me about their dinners, but there was nothing like experiencing it for myself. Usually I'm the one rushing my dad out of the house, but this time he was the one to rush me. We got to the El Cerrito BART station about fifteen minutes before 5:20 and saw Don, Dean, Mr. Chan-Law, and Mr. Rubin. Rochelle arrived after and next thing you know, the whole ILC group is there.
Cornell alumni, representatives, ILC participants, and parents shuffle up the escalator to catch our 5:42 train. The train is crowded and half of us end up standing up, holding onto the straps dangling from above. Tamilyn, Jenna, Rochelle, and I are all somewhat delicate so we would all budge a little once the train came to a stop or reached a bump. Some of us budged more than others. Don and Mr. Ramsey yell "ILC', so we all exit and make our transfer. Trains pass as we see our reflections in the tinted windows. I spend most of my time on the second train conversing with Jenna about school and travel.
Once we arrived at the Embarcadero Station everyone associated with the ILC filed out and up into the city. We made a right into One Market, past the bar, and into the atrium. Each of the walls was a restaurant, office, or apartment. If you looked up, only glass separated us from the clear blue sky. Sky's the limit, right? Waiters start offering us drinks and appetizers ranging from mini crab tacos to sliders. We all break out into conversation. For a while, my cohort stuck together. It seemed like the adults were already in conversations, but we were probably just too shy to introduce ourselves. Luckily, a Cornell alumnus, Carolyn, approached us! She asked us about ourselves and talked about her love for Cornell. We spoke until it was time to take pictures.
After taking pictures, we went straight to dinner. At this moment, I started to feel regret. I wish I had pushed myself to approach the other alumni and past ILC students. I wish I asked more questions and met more people, so when dinner came along, I made sure to speak with those around me. I was wedged between Mr. Levy and Mr. Vollmer, both Cornell alumni. Mr. Levy graduated more recently, so he had a lot to say about the scenery and professors. Mr. Vollmer spoke to us about his engineering endeavors.
While our watercress soup was served, Ms. Kronenberg introduced everyone. Rochelle, Christian, Eric Wang, several benefactors and Mr. Ramsey spoke. Mr. Ramsey gave another empowering speech about giving back and remembering the people that helped you get to where you are. I know that I probably wouldn't be attending Cornell without the ILC and support from members of the community.
My delicious mahi-mahi was served as the table continued to converse. A few key things that I learned from the alumni were: Cornell is one of the few Ivies to require an interview (unless you're applying for the hotel school), only 150 students are accepted into the hotel school, and Cornell offers unique programs that allow you to finish more in less time. Seeing all the pride that Cornell alumni had made me realize that there must be a reason why they love Cornell so much. I haven't even stepped a foot on campus, yet I'm so excited to go and possibly attend Cornell after high school.
Before we all reluctantly said our good-byes and left One Market, we ended the night with a warm, fluffy chocolate cake. It was even more appetizing than it looked. The cake was soft and melted right into your mouth. I'm so sad that the night had to end. I guess what everyone says is true; all good things come to an end. My cohort and I thoroughly enjoyed our night. The food was delicious; the people were insightful, but the real treat comes when we finally depart into the East.