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Friday, May 15, 2015

An Exciting and Eventful Day

I woke up this Thursday morning feeling as excited as ever. Normally, I dreaded Thursdays because I had to get up earlier than other days, but today was different. Today marked the day of my very first dinner for the ILC. I could feel summer slowly approaching, and as I count down the days, it almost feels like a dream. I still find it unbelievable that I am actually able to participate in the ILC, and travel to UPENN over the summer. It truly is an amazing opportunity, and I couldn’t be more excited for what’s to come.

Mr. Hillyer during the dinner
As I arrived at school at 8:30 AM, I had realized how hectic my schedule was going to be. Today was the start of my finals week, where all of my classes become two hours long in order to accommodate the finals. This became a stressful time, as I tried to study and finish all of the projects that I would need by today. Not only that, but I was also worried about arriving at the BART station on time, since everyone had to meet by 5:10 PM. The problem was that I had a class from 4:50 PM, so it seemed almost impossible to arrive by that time. Fortunately, I was able to convince my teacher to let me out early, and surprisingly enough, I was the first to arrive.

Once I was finally at the BART station, I waited with my mother for the others to come. One by one, the people from my cohort began to arrive with their parents, and we all stood outside with the cold air hitting against our bodies. Since this was the first time I was meeting them, I became nervous because I didn't actually know what to say. However, before we actually went on the BART, we all had a little bit of time to chat among one another, which calmed me down significantly, and I was actually able to meet my chaperone, John Hillyer. To be honest, it was silly of me to be so nervous.

After we had gotten off at Powell St., we walked for a few blocks before finally arriving at Kuleto's. I was in awe at how fancy the outside of the restaurant had looked, since it's something that I don't see everyday, but the inside was even more stunning. I was fascinated by how we were led down a set of stairs into a room where some of the dinner guests were waiting.

Like mother like daughter
As we began to introduce ourselves, I met several wonderful people and learned so much from them. I was able to see that it was pointless of me to continue hiding in my shell, and that I eventually had to break out. With my mom sitting to my right, I was able to feel at ease while talking to the others sitting at my table. To my left, was Calvin Nguyen, who was an alumni from UPENN, and he was also able to teach me several things about attending UPENN, and also gave me helpful advice that I am very thankful for. The others sitting at my table were Norma Martinez-Rubin, Jeff Rubin, Madeline Kronenberg, and Andrea Powell. With the few hours that we had spent at dinner, I was able to get to know each one of them, as well as have interesting conversations with each other.

Flowers for our mothers
After the dinner had ended, we took several pictures, and made our way back to the BART station. While walking back, several of us were carrying a vase filled with flowers that Don had graciously given to the mothers that had come to dinner. I ended the night at around 10:30 PM with lots of laughter, and endless talking with my cohort. Although today was a long, and exhausting day, every part of the dinner was enjoyable to me.
PENN cohort and alums smiling for the camera

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