Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Getting Down to the Wire

What seemed like a far away date that will not occur for many months is now approaching fast. In exactly two weeks time, my cohort and I will be off to the East Coast for three weeks this summer at Cornell university. But before that happens, the Ivy League members assembled this evening to discuss the final preparations that must be made during one of the last milestones events: the orientation.

The back of Pinole Middle School's multipurpose room
My mother and I arrived at Pinole Middle School at approximately 5:35 PM. As I was waiting in the multipurpose room with my mother, the other ILCer's, and their parents, I began to feel a combination of excitement and hesitance. While I am curious as to what memories and adventures I will make while back east, I also realized that I will not be enveloped in my known surroundings during that time. Temporarily, I escaped these thoughts as Mr. Charles Ramsey and Don Gosney called for the event to begin. 

Some of the loaner items for the trip

Mr. Ramsey and Don explained in detail the utmost importance of being punctual and following instructions in any and all the events that we will attend, especially on our departure dates. In my mind, I could not help but envision the scenarios that could occur if I were late and the consequences that I would face; the worst being expelled from the university and immediately sent home. Next, Don addressed the loaner items that we may need for the trip and advised us to bring only the ones that are necessary; like an umbrella and mini fan instead of fifteen outlets. Before the cohorts were separated to discuss their itineraries, Mr. Ramsey and Don made it a point of importance to get enough sleep before the day of departure and start making plans to adjust our daily routines to be prepared for the trip ahead. Not only was all the information important for the Ivy League members, it was very beneficial to their parents so any feelings of worry can be eased while we are away from home.

By 7 PM, the Cornell cohort gathered in a mathematics classroom of the school. Seeing the decorative posters of golden stars, multiplication tables, and names of basic Alegbra concepts on the walls made me realize that the days of my youth are fading as I begin my ascension into adulthood. Our chaperone, Mr. Chan-Law, discussed with us the tentative itinerary planned for the duration of our excursion. I was very excited to know that for the first three days in Chicago will consist of colleges tours at Northwestern and University of Chicago and elegant dinners with admission officers and alumni. But of course, it went without saying that the day we arrive in Ithaca is the beginning of our work load as Cornellian summer students.

Mr. Ramsey and Don speaking about what to expect this summer
Once we returned back to the multipurpose room, my ambiguous feelings returned and I tried to regain my composure as I was talking with my mother about these feelings. She reassured me that she and my father were just a phone call away, whether it was day or night. Thankfully, as Mr. Ramsey and Don were concluding the event, they reminded everyone that this experience was one to enjoy and learn from. During the plane, train, and car rides, Mr. Ramsey told us that us to absorb the scenery instead of simply sleeping, as it is a part of our experiences. On top of that, I will be visiting a whole new side of the United States, gaining lessons from a world-renowned professor, and widening my horizons by meeting new faces from all over the globe. Remembering this calmed my nerves and helped me see that I will soon embark on a journey that will allow me to grow academically, socially, and emotionally as a young adult. 

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