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Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Start of Something New

I began my the small yet necessary steps on my journey to the University of Pennsylvania today. I experienced my first tutorial and to be honest I was a little anxious because it was the proof that I have actually gotten this far. I'm actually still shocked that I am even receiving the chance to participate in something as big as the ILC.

When I entered the campus I was slightly awed at how beautiful the landscape was, because it was my first time at De Anza High. As I walked through the gate leading to the tutorial room I can remember the spine tingling breeze that flowed throughout the area.
A beautiful campus
I then reached the tutorial room which was nearly full, luckily there were still some seats. I chose a seat near the door which was probably the worst choice I made on account of the breeze outside.

The bad thing about sitting near the door was the chilling breeze that came through. The upside was that I got to meet two ILCers, Gwennie and Deborah. They were two very nice young ladies. I also got to talk to many of the other ILCers but if I named every person I spoke with, the list would be really long.

I had the courtesy of talking to two of the girls in my cohort also. I talked to Chiamaka and Joanne for some time before we started.

Right before we started I logged onto the computer using the log in information provided. This turned into a minor frustrating ordeal when many of us tried to go on the sites we were to use. At one point in the session I can recall logging onto three different computers before my original even began to work. Fortunately, the issue was corrected before the session was over.

At 9:10 AM, Don let us take a 10 minute break. During the break two young men (ILCers) who are apart of a computer academy at De Anza tried to figure out what was wrong and now to fix it. While on my break I mingled with a lot of nice new people.

 Don

At about 10:00 AM, Don asked us to take a couple of pictures to post on the practice blog. I may not be the best or most creative photographer but I do believe I can take some really good pictures. One thing I do know is that with more picture taking experience I will be able to take great ones.

Pictures and Mingling Time
We finished taking our pictures in about 30 minutes. After we finished that Don asked us to upload them onto MediaFire.com and of course we had Internet issues. The problems didn't last as long as before. When I completed my upload I could not believe all the fantastic pictures everyone took.

In the end, I actually had a lot of fun and  am very excited about the many more events to come. I know that this was just the beginning!!!!!!
Deborah's stick rendition of the Ivy League 

The Beginning of My ILC Journey

I woke up at exactly 7:10 AM today and I had my whole day planned ahead. I planned to leave my house at 7:50 AM yet I left at 8:00 AM, 10 minutes late from the time I was supposed to leave at. At De Anza High School, everyone arrived on time and we started the tutorial at 8:35 AM and then we ran into a problem. Very few people could actually use the internet and the computers. I could not go on any other site except for Google and Blogger; actually I could only access my email and the edit page on Blogger. 

When we were given the task to blog, I had no idea how to do it despite having the instructions in front of me. I am not a writer nor a blogger. I like to draw and that’s as close as anything will get to express my feelings. But blogging for the ILC is not about expressing my feelings. It’s about showing the world what I am experiencing and letting them feel the things they can’t feel. It’s all about giving back. 

Made by Deborah ('15 Columbia)
Sun peaking through
After two hours, Don let us go outside to practice taking pictures. I had no idea about what I should take a picture of and I am not a photographer. I am the type of person who likes to keep memories in my head instead of taking pictures. So there will probably be a lot of the pictures that will turn up bad and I am sorry if that happens. But practice makes perfect right? Hopefully, I will have a lot of time to practice when I am in UPENN. 

In the last 45 minutes of the session, Don showed us (on the projector) the things he could loan us and I thought "Man, I might need to borrow almost all the things on the projector)."I do feel bad about borrowing things from people because I am afraid that I might lose or damage the item(s). The item he pointed out the most was the laptop lock and he wants us to protect our laptops at all costs. He emphasized how important it was to have one of those locks and how hard it is for people to cut the lock. I have never used one but we will see how well it works. 

Overall this was a very fun experience and very informative. Thanks Don! And now it's time for me to work on my essays. Almost there, we can do it! Ganbatte (がんばって)! Jia you (加油)! That's how we say "hang in there" or "you can do it" in Mandarin and Japanese. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Ivy League Part 2

This morning marked my first milestone for the Ivy League connections...again. I am so lucky to be able to participate in the Ivy League Connections this year. Last summer, I was a part of the Vanderbilt cohort and this summer I will be joining the University of Pennsylvania cohort.

I was a part of the morning session for the tutorial today. During the tutorial, we started out by introducing ourselves then went right into how to blog. Most of the tutorial served as a memory refresher on the do's and don'ts of blogging. This time around I will definitely remember the little details on how to make the blog as appealing as possible. I'll strive to make my photos interesting and my words even more interesting
Thao and Alyanna jumping for joy
never too early for window selfies
Unfortunately the tutorial didn't go altogether too smoothly. There was a period of time when the district WiFi was down and we were not able to access the blog sites. Nevertheless, everyone was comfortable enough to socialize and get to know each other. I was able to have a nice conversation with Gwennie, a previous Penn cohort member (she's going to Vanderbilt this summer) and it was great to be able to share stories with her about my summer at Vanderbilt, and she was able to share stories about her summer at Penn. 

All in all the tutorial was enlightening and it furthered my excitement for my upcoming summer. Thanks to Don for bringing us all together this morning and for all his hard work. 

This Is Only the Beginning

I woke up this morning, eager to see what awaited me. I did not know what to expect, as this is my first year participating in the Ivy League Connection. When I was given the opportunity to participate in this program, everything seemed so new to me, just like the tutorial session I attended this afternoon.

A lovely day at De Anza
I arrived at De Anza High School at around 12:45 PM, and when I saw the banner for the ILC, I instantly became nervous. I entered the room, expecting to see people just sitting by themselves, but I was instantly proved wrong. I was greeted with the smiling faces of many people, and I felt a positive vibe in the room.

Gabi, Hummd, and Aisha with their beautiful faces.
During the tutorial, I was sitting among other participants of the ILC, where we learned about various skills necessary for our trip in the East coast. Rules were established about what was expected of us, and we were also taught how to blog, and upload pictures. As Don continued to talk more about what was going to happen in the near future, excitement began to surge through my body. 

Once the session ended, I was able to continue talking with others about our anticipation for the summer. Meeting great new people today, I looked forward to what was to come even more. Then I realized, this was only the beginning of my journey to the wonderful experiences that awaits me. 

One Step At a Time

While eating breakfast this morning, I recalled that today would mark my first Ivy League Connection milestone event. Surely, I thought I would not be nervous. I was not, because excitement took over throughout my whole body, completely ignoring the existence of nervousness. This is the beginning of my journey to University of Pennsylvania this summer.

Before driving to De Anza High School, I was persuading my mother to let me take the wheel; I have my license and insurance. Her excuse was that my insurance will be activated on March 31, 2015, not March 28, 2015. To me, a few days does not seem that big of a deal, but to my parents, it was the exact opposite. I had no counter arguments to back myself up, so in the end I sat near the wheel.
Sunny day at De Anza
Shortly after 12:40PM, I arrived on De Anza grounds, ready to go into the designated classroom for a four-hour learning session. It started off with a dose of rules and expectations from ILC to ILCers with complimentary side dishes of blogging, photographing, and uploading skills.

The last half of the session contained useful and practical information on what to bring, what not to bring, and attendance at other amazing events before heading off to University of Pennsylvania in June. The tutorial concluded smoothly as we lined up to practice locking up laptops, making sure we can safely secure our electronics back East, especially the ones we borrow from Don.
The All-Time Amazing Jumpshot Pic (from left to right: Shanti, Julie, and Komal)
Today's tutorial session was informative and it was nice seeing other ILCers there too. Now that the first official ILC event has been completed, I await to participate in the next one.

Monday, March 23, 2015