Monday, June 1, 2015

Some Adventures Are Worth the Wait

To clarify on this blog's title, I have to say that the orientation we had to go through this evening simply another one of the progressive milestones as part of the ILC process. There was quite a lot going on as far as information, loaner items, and all and any questions that our parents or other ILCers might have had. Back to the title, though, it was a milestone event with loads of information and clarification, but that's not what the buzz was about this evening.

I had just finished eating before I headed out to the orientation. My mom, who came with me this evening, waited for my sister to pick up my nieces, who we were babysitting. Promptly after, we made it just at about 5:35 PM to Pinole Middle, amidst the bit of traffic we encountered, and arrived just before 6:00 PM, when the orientation would begin.

Our great group of this year's chaperons.
With so many people there, I had no idea who to look for, so I took my seat and waited for both my mom to get back for parking (I had to make sure someone was in here at 6 PM) and for Don to begin. The wait wasn't long, but after a short while we all settled to listen to a few words by Ms. Kronenberg, who had an adult school graduation to attend and speak at in less than an hour. After her thoughtful words, this year's chaperons reintroduced themselves from the school board meeting a couple weeks ago to "shake off any of our parent's worries or curiosities" as to who'll be in charge of heading out with each cohort in the summer. Adding on to that, we also had the pleasure of having ILC alums who had participated in programs from as early as 2012, which from where the ILC stands now and to me, seems like a while back. Anyhow, knowing we would have some people who have made it through the program and have matriculated into a new school was great to know; I don't recall if the three of them mentioned the school they're currently in, but I do know that a fellow, former ILC alum was one who attends Syracuse University. Of course, Don took it over as they all introduced themselves. He established what today's evening what comprised of and then released us into our cohorts to talk with our cohort members, cohort's parents, and chaperons as to some of the specifics of the trip.

Paying close attention.
Our returning ILC veterans (alumni).

'15 ILC Vanderbilt Cohort
Unlike last year, the cohort groups made it through the double doors and settled down in our own individual classrooms, marked by our respective school's flag next to the classroom'd doors. It was still sunny at that moment, in fact it was sunny 'til we finish up at around 8 PM, and the sunlight added the perfect lighting for ourselves as a smaller group. As our chaperon refers to all of her students, fabulous, I'd also like to say our chaperon, Jenny, introduced her fabulous self to us and handed out a basic, preliminary itinerary of what our summer endeavors out in the South would be like. That's where the excitement was. Ever since the School Board Meeting, I was ecstatic to find out that the '15 Vanderbilt cohort would be able to visit Rice University in Houston, Texas as well as Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, both phenomenal places. One of my friends who is a senior actually told me about Rice, which is how I found out about it, and have ever since felt hopelessness as far as visiting it first hand and about what the vibe there is like. Knowing that we're visiting there now, though, brings me excitement as I know it's truly an outstanding academic institution. Emory in Atlanta itself is also nothing less of exciting of Houston, as Jenny has mentioned great things about the places to visit there; it's also as new as New England, Brown, Providence had once been to me, so I look forward to what there is to visit. Just thinking about it makes the nostalgia kick it. This last summer was honestly a roller coaster that I am more than thankful for and that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world- and it makes me just as, if not substantially more, thankful having the true honor and privilege of being in this program.

Before things get to exciting, I know there is much more to the story than traveling and campus touring. Unfortunately, the ILC alum from Vanderbilt from a few years ago left, without having had the chance to ask her questions about her experience, but thankfully we had Shanti and Chiamaka, last year's veterans, to tell us more about the great food, which we've been forewarned to watch out for in terms of grubbing up too much of, the wholesome country accents, hearty country music, the buzz about Hunter Hayes, the weekly Arete classes we'd be having all three weeks right before dinner (I'm hoping for the yoga, bootcamp, henna, and probably some other of the many options on the Welcome Packet), and in general, the community and Southern vibe Nashville is imbued with.

I don't know, but for me, writing that up right now just gave me a more than charmed outlook towards this summer and the wonderful opportunities and adventures our cohort will be fortunate to embark on soon. It's surreal. I have no idea how I even got here. One minute I was a shy freshman, intimidated by Don in my school library during his presentation on the ILC, and now, here I am- I am a very fervent and enthusiastic ambassador of the ILC, ILC partner for my school, and emphatically excited member of a fantastic group that will head out to a completely new world this summer. I have no words anymore, because I can only imagine how nostalgic I'll be once I look back at my experience. But that's a worry for later, though. At the moment, I'll just have to take a huge leap back and think about which luggage I think will be best fitting and all the other items, like bed liners, pillows, shower caddies, desk lamps, I'll need to loan down the course of the summer. It's a handful, but I'll be sure to take everything one step at a time. Speaking of which, I've got a final art project from my Jazz Dance class and a Jefferson vs. Hamilton paper for my AP U.S. History class, so before I get my hopes and ambitions for the summer too high, which I think I might have already done, I'll tone it down with a dose of reality and begin on that. Some adventures are just worth the wait. I'm sure waiting halfway through his summer will be more than worthwhile.

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