Tuesday, June 4, 2013

ILC Orientation

Tonight we had the ILC Orientation at Pinole Middle School. We were supposed to start at 6:00 PM, but five people were missing. To prove the importance of punctuality, Don and Mr. Ramsey would not start until we were all there. While we were waiting, Mr. Ramsey talked about the importance of punctuality. I agree that punctuality is important, but those hearing the speech were on time, so why do we need to be lectured? Fortunately, all the Vanderbilt students and our chaperone (Mr. Mannix) were early, so the 15 minute delay was not our fault. Even after 15 minutes, one student was still missing, so the orientation started without him.

The Orientation started with the chaperones introducing themselves and explaining why they participate in the ILC. The next few items on the agenda have been stressed since we first wrote essays to apply for ILC interviews. These things include following directions, and communicating. I found this part to be boring, but apparently, some people need to be reminded frequently. Fortunately, most of the remaining agenda items were things that had not already be discussed numerous times. Don recommended getting plenty of sleep the week before we leave so we have energy to spend the long hours visiting colleges, sightseeing, and studying for our classes. He also went over the loaner items that are available. 

Next we broke into our cohorts to discuss trip specifics with our chaperones. Mr. Mannix handed out district permission slips, and gave us a tentative itinerary. He talked about the various sites we will visit, and answered student's and parent's questions about the trip. Just from looking at the itinerary, I can see we are going to have fun. We get to visit the University of Pennsylvania (and see Diana So, an alumni for Pinole Valley High that attends UPenn), Columbia University, Georgetown University, and various sites in Philadelphia, New York, and Washington D.C. One of the itinerary items for the day we spend in Philadelphia is "eat a Philly cheese steak". I am very glad we are doing this. How can you go to Philadelphia and not have a Philly cheese steak?

After the breakout sessions, we regrouped for closing remarks. Mr. Ramsey congratulated us on officially becoming part of the ILC, and gave some life lessons like "You get out of it what you put into it," and "Live life to the fullest." I know I am only 15 years old, but I know that both of these statements are correct. I have spent hundreds of hours practicing band performances, and prepping for Forensics, Speech and Debate, tournaments, and continue to get a lot out of it. In fact, if it weren't for these activities (Band and Forensics), I would not be a part of the ILC. I have met many previous ILCers through the band program at my school, and if I wasn't a part of the Forensics Team, I would not have the speaking ability to become part of the ILC.

Overall, I felt it was a productive orientation. I could tell that my parents felt better as they now know exactly where I am going, and they know my chaperone better. This is the last milestone event until we leave from El Cerrito High to get on a plane to Washington D.C. The Vanderbilt trip is getting so close I can almost reach out and touch it. It is hard to believe that in exactly one month, I will be in DC on the  Fourth of July!!!

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