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Friday, May 15, 2015

Let the Fun Begin!

Over the past two weeks, I have been constantly faced with tests such as the state test (SBAC) and the AP tests. The only thing I have been looking forward to these past two weeks was the dinner, everything else didn’t matter. Sure I was happy when I finished my last AP test but it cannot compare to the excitement I had looking forward to the dinner. Everyday I would remind myself and do a little countdown to the day of the dinner and the wait was worth it!

 I came home from school at 3:00 P.M. and did some homework knowing that I will not be able to do it when I get home. My mom came back at 5:00 P.M. it was hard to convince her that we needed to hurry up. It was a mistake on my part because I told her the time which BART would come at and I should have told her an earlier time; we left the house at 5:17 P.M. Luckily by the time we got to the El Cerrito Plaza station we weren’t late. Whoo Hoo! I met up with the other cohorts and we started talking. Our chaperone, John Hillyer, introduced himself and ensured us that we were all going to have a great time at Penn over the summer and that he was going to take us to some places that represented the beginning of America like the Benjamin Franklin Statue and Independence Hall. 

On the BART ride to San Francisco, I sat next to Justeen, who is in the Physics program, and we had a great time talking about some common interest. Everyone in the group got off at Powell St. and walked about three blocks to Kuleto’s. There we went down a special staircase and had our own little room where we waited for the alumni’s and sponsors. Don had assigned seats and everyone sat where their name tag was. I was fortunate enough to sit at the table with my mother, Jun, Jun’s mom, Linda Cohen, and Don. I sat next my mom and Luis Chia, a Penn alum who graduated in 2007. Jun and I started asking him questions about college life and he shared his experiences with us. He gave some really good advice about Penn and how everyone is really productive which caused him to be as productive as they were. 

Some lovely flowers that were present at each table
Ms. Kronenburg started off the night with a welcome speech and invited the students and alums to introduce each other and acknowledged the sponsors, thanking them for contributing to our education. Luis represented the alums and spoke on their behalf, speaking about how much we will learn and the experience that we will have when we are at Penn. Jun represented the students who are going to Penn and did a great job in speaking on our behalf, informing the audience how much we are looking forward to Penn. 

Angus Filet Mignon

Creme Brûlée with a Biscotto
At dinner, I ordered an Angus Filet Mignon with Horseradish mash potatoes and some string beans. I have never had a meal like this before and so amazing that words cannot describe it. I ate the meal slowly so that I could savor the meal. After the meal, the waiters served us dessert which was creme brûlée. I have had creme brûlée before but I would say that this was just as good as the other creme brûlée I have had in the past. The food was beyond my expectations and I would like to come here again but as Don said, “If I had the money I would come here everyday!” 

After dinner, Don gathered all the cohort and alums together to take a group photo. In the first photo we took, we did not have the Penn banner.  Don shot probably more than 20 pictures of us without the flag. We were all excited when Don pulled out the flag and had bigger smiles. After a long and fun day, we finally took BART home and everyone parted ways.
Back: Alums
Front: Cohort going to Penn
I was looking back at all the things I did in the past and realized that nobody has ever invested this much into my education, let alone the education of everyone in my cohort! I am extremely grateful for the sponsors contribution and without them I would not have been able to have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I am also grateful to all the alums that came tonight. Luis’ advice was extremely helpful and gave me a new perspective on college. Thank you sponsors and alums! 

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