Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Let the Games Begin

With a rare daylight departure our three Yalies arrived at El Cerrito High School to meet up with their chaperone, pick up any last minute loaner items, receive a few instructions and take the traditional departure photo.

Their luggage was weighed and stowed in the back of the airport shuttle, hugs for the family were distributed and off they went.  As a good sign to start this adventure, traffic to the airport was light, the lines at airport security were almost non-existent and everyone was boarded super early.

Our three Yalies—Tom Miller from El Cerrito High School and Dyana So and Matt Lee from Pinole Valley High School—and their chaperone—Lori Nardone from De Anza High School—will spend the next four days traveling throughout the East Coast visiting Princeton, UPENN and Columbia as well as meeting at some fancy restaurants with representatives from these schools as well as from Swarthmore.

Of course, they’ll do plenty of sightseeing while they’re back there and they’ve promised to post lots of pretty photos.

By the end of the week they’ll be in their dorms at Yale ready to begin the 16 day Grand Strategies program.  During this time they will cover a full year’s course in just 16 days.  Attending classes from the crack of dawn until well after dusk—and then some—seven days per week, their mettle will be tested.  In reading blogs from students across the country after taking this course there seems to be a recurring theme: “what I wouldn’t give for another hour’s sleep”.

To help our Yalies prepare for this course, the ILC provided them with Kindle electronic readers so they could queue up on the 3,807 pages of required reading.  I’m betting that their greatest pleasure on boarding the plane this morning is that they no longer will be hounded by my daily demands for an update on their reading.  Now all they have to worry about is my hounding about their blogs (without interfering or detracting from their studies).

In three weeks time our Yalies will return to us as either tough as nails grand strategists or as cowering puddles of goo.  There is no in between. Don’t be fooled by those that might tell you that the ILC summer programs are nothing more than “college camp”.  These courses are tough college courses and the Yale Ivy Scholars Program is the toughest and most prestigious.  We have a strong history of sending only the best to this program.  They arrive well prepared, shine above the best and make us proud.

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