Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How Can We Blog If You Don't Teach Us How?

On Saturday April 13th the ILC held the first two of four tutorial sessions where our new ILCers gathered to learn how their blog sites work, how to use the tools on Blogger and what we’re looking for in their blogs.

We’ve established some formatting protocols that we want our ILCers to follow so their blogs are pleasing to the eye and there’s some conformity to their blogs.

We also show them examples of “good” blogs and examples of “bad” blogs so they can learn from the examples set by previous ILCers on what makes a successful blog and what will put their readers to sleep.

We had seven ILCers and two chaperones in our morning session and then eight ILCers in our afternoon session.

While everyone was prepared to participate in the hands-on sessions where they could post some practice blogs and get some direct instruction on what they were doing right and what they’re doing wrong, it didn’t work out that way.  In fact, it was a big bust.

Unfortunately, since we were using a District computer lab and needed to access the District’s Internet service, we were flummoxed due to some firewalls put in place to ensure that District staff and students don’t accidently go to inappropriate sites.  How they might see our blog sites as inappropriate is beyond me but there were no District staffers available on this Saturday to provide us with access.

Oh well…

As frustrating as this was, it didn’t stop us from proceeding with the numerous other items to be discussed.

We discussed some of the things the ILC expects from our ILCers, we explained about how to behave, rules they need to follow while back east, what to pack, what kind of loaner items will be available for their use, a few laundry tips, instructions on how to take better photos, what to do with those photos and whether Evil Don should come to the homes of our ILCers.

It would have been very easy to allow these barriers to have shut us down but everyone worked very hard to find ways to proceed.  This is the kind of thinking we like to see.

And for the record, the next two tutorials will be at a venue where we will be able to do what the tutorial is set up to do.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Let the Blogging Begin!

As my first blog post, I’d first like to begin by introducing myself. My name is Kimberly de Dios, and I am currently a junior at Pinole Valley High School. I will be attending Vanderbilt University and will be participating in the Med School 101 program, along with Loan Chung.

This week has been a hectic week by far. Thanks to the Educational Guidance Center at my school, I was able to explore a wide array of colleges in Southern California for four days. I found it to be a great opportunity to compare my experience from this past trip with the upcoming trip my cohort and I will be partaking in this summer. Anyways, it wasn’t until last Thursday when we were returning back to the Bay Area that I could feel my body breaking down. I was in need of some rest, but I was fully aware that the week wasn’t over just yet. One day later, I reluctantly prepared for my junior class’ prom with less gusto than expected. Nonetheless, I had a wonderful time seeing my friends in a glamorously filled night. With that being said, you can imagine how excited I was to find myself at the blog tutorial this afternoon.

As part of the afternoon group for today’s tutorial, I managed to be 10 minutes early. During the car ride over to Hercules High School, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of unease. Having met Don and learning the importance of time management to the ILC, I made it a point to be punctual. However, I wasn’t able to leave my house as early as I wanted. So I began to feel like I was in a bind for time. Luckily, I made it to the tutorial with minutes to spare, and as the second person to arrive as well. One of the worst feelings in the world is being late to events and reaping in the consequences.

As one of our milestone events, the time has come for my blogging experience to commence. This means only one thing: my cohort and I are one event closer to heading for Nashville, Tennessee this summer for our respective courses. I only hope I can do my adventure justice and capture these moments into my blog. I fully intend on honing in on my skills by the time I get my month long trip this summer.

Ironically, neither I nor any of the ILCers, including Don was able to fully access our blogging site. Since our main goal was to get familiarized with what we’d be working with for the next couple months, I found it frustrating for the district to censor the site. It didn’t make any sense to everyone in the room, knowing fully well of its use for the Ivy League Connection.

Despite our blogging difficulties, we were able to try out what we learned into a practice blog and cover the rest of the bases on the agenda. With Don’s tips and dos and don’ts, I managed to get a lot out of this tutorial. Aside from tending to our blogging responsibilities, Don also stressed the importance of acting like an adult. Since we aren’t too far from the rest of our lives as adults, his demands were for our benefit. I can only do my best to simply communicate, be on time, and know where to go.

Although I wasn’t able to meet my chaperone Mr. Mannix, I have a feeling my cohort and I will be in store for a wonderful time. Since I’m good friends with Vanderbilt’s group from last year, I’ve only heard nothing but great things, even from Don. I can’t wait to meet him in person and see for myself.

I realized not too long ago that what the Ivy League Connection asks of us isn’t for their personal gain. All they ask of me is nothing extreme, but only things that build to my character. I can’t stress how thankful I am to be a part of the ILC for giving me this once in a lifetime opportunity.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Vanderbilt Sample Blog With Foto

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