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Friday, May 15, 2015

Dinner With the Winners

Tonight was the night. I would give a speech in front of the most important people ever: alumni and sponsors. I was trying to rerun the main points of the speech throughout my head but eventually leading down to still saying something totally different than what I had in mind. It did not matter at the end though, because I believe I got my message across:  "We cannot wait to embark on this journey!"

Earlier today I was confident, happy, and excited about what's to come during the evening. It was the start of finals and I was ready to ace my first finals and make this ILC dinner at Kuleto's as a treat for myself to work harder for my upcoming finals. I had a whole plan ready: turn in my Spanish final early and leave at around 3:20PM to get ready to meet up with my cohort at El Cerrito Plaza BART station at 5PM. Everything was going smoothly-maybe a little too smooth- until our lovely, amazing, understanding Spanish teacher decided to throw a curve ball at us. She gave Justeen (an ILCer who's going to UPenn's Physics Program) and I two options: take a B for the semester and leave early or stay to work on a customized crossword puzzle worth two test grades. Both of us picked the latter. We finished at around 4:30PM and lucky for Justeen, Mrs. Hipolito had her clothes prepared for her while I had nothing ready. I was planning on going back home to change but things just did not go right. This was when my mother came to save the day. When she came to pick me up, she had my clothes ready in the trunk. I am so glad that I made it close to the meeting time at the BART station. Mothers are amazing and I just wanted to point that out right now, Thanks mom!

We arrived at Kuleto's on schedule and shortly afterwards everyone arrived: the sponsors, alumni, and supporters.
Nicely set table with beautiful flowers in the middle at Kuleto's
There were butterflies in my stomach as I glanced at the dinner schedule and saw that I was third to speak
 I eventually sat next to my mother and Luis Chia, a '07 UPenn graduate. Across from me was Don, Joanne's mother and Joanne. Sitting left to my mother was ILC's long term supporter Linda Cohen. It was a coincidence that I sat next to Luis who also spoke on behalf of the alumni and I too, was speaking on behalf of my cohort. After we listened to Luis' informative speech about the spectacular and amazing things at UPenn, I garnered my guts and hopped right in front everyone to display how excited we are to go UPenn. There was definitely room for improvement and I will better myself in future speeches and presentations. I learned so much just by speaking tonight because you wont get a chance to speak with such a crowd often.

Following the agenda, we moved onto our main course rather quickly as our salad was served-no idea when-to us way before. Maybe I was too focused on my speech before that I neglected the grand entrance of the appetizers. While enjoying the food, Luis gave both Joanne and I helpful insight about what to expect once you reach college. I completely agree with his saying of  "If you don't ask for it, don't expect to receive anything." I believe this applies to various occasions, whether it be asking for more financial aid assistance from the school of your choice to just opportunities in life. He also elaborated on dual majoring to study abroad opportunities offered at UPenn. What I really like about UPenn is that both Linda and Luis both said that UPenn is very liberal comparing to other Ivy League schools. That made me feel comfortable deep inside as I knew I love colleges that have a strong resemblance of the Bay Area. 

I ordered Filet Mignon with sidings of mash potatoes and green beans of some sort. It was too delicious and by the time I realized that I had forgotten to take a picture of my wonderful dinner, it was too late. It was truly scrumptious and I am a tad sad that I couldn't capture its alluring look on camera. That being said, I absolutely got my camera out first thing when the creme brulee was served. The dessert was perfect, whether it be the display or the taste. 
Delightful creamy creme brulee for dessert
Afterwards, the alumni and ILCers were called to take a group photo to commemorate tonight's wonderful experience. We were quick in terms of positioning for the camera and I just had to point that out because normally Don takes quite a while to position people in order to capture better quality photos. I could not believe that the night was about to be over. Time flies while you're having fun. Not to mention that its fun on an educational level.
I hope for everyone to believe that this is fruitful investment as we will not let WCCUSD down. This was a wonderful evening with amazing supportive alumni and sponsors. We would not been able to have this lifetime opportunity without everyone's support. Thank you.

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