Friday, June 3, 2011

ILC Orientation: The Attached Strings we all Must Uphold and Honor

Hearing Mr. Ramsey proudly declare “Everyone is on time!” was the perfect foreshadowing to what I’m now convinced will be a great year for both the Ivy League Connections and the students participating in it this program this year.

The library of the new and beautiful El Cerrito High School was packed with parents, students, chaperones, and other integral figures of the ILC. The Yalies congregated to the right side – the only group in a circle of chairs because all the tables to the left of us were already surrounded by students and parents that, for the most part, almost touched shoulders.

Amongst those integral figures that I mentioned earlier, I immediately noticed Mr. Ellis standing off to the side at my left. I recall a great series of conversations with him and Ms. Kim and was pleased to see him again at the orientation for I then became very curious to know why he was there. Eventually, sandwiched by alternating speeches of Mr. Ramsey/Ms. Kronenberg and Don, everyone in the room had their attention directed towards Mr. Ellis and his upcoming, budding idea – The Ivy League Connections Press.
This was not news to me because Mr. Ellis expressed great interest and enthusiasm of such a unique program being available to students in our district among our chats at the Yale dinner. “Wouldn’t it be something” I could still recall him say “for a junior or senior student in high school to graduate with a book already published?” I agreed with him back at the dinner and I continue to agree with him when he reiterated those very words to everyone at that orientation that very evening. I see potential in that program and am looking very forward to see its developments unfold in this upcoming year.

At break-out sessions, the Yalies discussed in more detail the general plans for the summer. Unlike emails, all the parents and students were able to physically interact with Lori, which proved to be a meeting long over-due. Our application forms for the YISP were due tomorrow and Lori was to take care of all the mailing for us. But, before we handed our packets of forms and papers to her, we all diligently looked over everything and bounced our confusions and questions off one another until everyone was on the same page with the completed forms. Although filling out all the forms did go a bit over our session and had also rolled into the final group meeting back at the library, I was very pleased that all three of us had all our forms filled and in Lori’s hands upon our departure from the El Cerrito High School library.
The orientation was informative and helpful. I thank Ms. Kronenberg for reminding all of us that this program was a gift but also a very expensive one with strings attached and responsibilities for each recipient of such a gift to uphold. I thank Mr. Ramsey for emphasizing the importance of following directions and reaching out to past ILC alumni that have been to our program(s) before for more information. Lastly, I also thank Don for making a very clear and concise repeat of essentially, the letter he sent to all us ILCers regarding borrowing certain items we may need at the East, and being so generous with his offers.

The long list of YISP reading still awaits me. Every day, I read as much as my schedule will allow so as to prevent any string of consecutive summer days to fall victim to nonstop reading. The last week of my junior year in high school is almost here and almost over; finals will eventually come to pass and I will happily enjoy its one-year absence once more. I am pleased that once school takes a break from being the center of attention in a matter of one more week, I’ll finally have the chance to spend a majority of June reading voraciously.