As I recall back to the night of the interview, I was, then, studying for my Differential Equations midterm the next day while prepping for the interview. When my name was called by the panelists, I was grinning from ear-to-ear. The moment was priceless and I would do anything to relive it. The Ivy League Connection taught me infinite amount of things but the first (the one that I'll remember forever) was to always try. You NEVER know of the outcome unless you try. Many of my friends were skeptical about themselves on whether or not they'll get in so they ended up not trying. I was influenced at one point in time but later it clicked to me that I should just go ahead and give it a shot. Also, the all-n-mighty Don convinced me pretty well too! Because of my decision of applying to the ILC, I was able to meet these wonderful folks that had spent their summer with me.
The ILC gave me the opportunity to try new things, and to experiment with them. Never, ever, would I have spoke in front of massive sponsors of a non-profit organization if it wasn't for Don's persuading emails of encouragement. Don does not directly list out the benefits and words of wisdom out for you on a sheet of paper, but he makes sure we understand that great things come with great efforts. If I hadn't spoke at the University of Pennsylvania dinner at Kuleto's, I probably would not have spoke during my time at UPenn. Then, what's the use of taking Social Justice if you can't even probably collect your thoughts and convey them to a larger crowd?
Before heading to Pennsylvania, we visited Rice and Emory University. When we flew to Houston, the thunderstorm was following us close behind thus resulting in our four hour delay. Because of this, we missed the info session and campus tour of Rice. When we had finally arrived, though, we did a mini-tour of Rice ourselves. It wasn't exactly the nicest weather to be greeted upon but I did get to see some of Rices' interior and talked to a graduate scholar at Rice. We left Houston buoyantly for Atlanta, our next and last stop before Philly. Emory was wonderful; it is wonderful. The setting made me felt at ease and I loved the atmosphere there. Is is bound to be on my apply-to's for this fall.
Upon checking into UPenn, we arrived in Philly two days earlier to check out the city. The vibe of the streets were not as busy as a typical run down the streets of UC Berkeley, but it sure had the "walk with purpose" people pushing you around even if you didn't even bump into them. I guess people in the East coast has to walk three strides every second whereas I, whose from California would be walking one stride per second. The adjustment was hard to make at first, but Mr. Hillyer definitely did prep us for it. Now I have learned to properly get out of anyone's way, whether you're out getting a sandwich at Wawa's or lining up for the Septa. All the visits we did in Philly for social justice helped out as well.
The Social Justice class was taught by the amazing professors; Andy Lamas, Tony Monteiro and Michael Nairn. Their experiences of being social studies professors at UPenn makes it undeniably hard to not learn a lot from them. The questions they arise in class for us to think about is phenomenal because we can't answer it immediately (at least I can't). There's no definite solution to racism, there's not an exact way to stop discrimination, but there are ways in which everyone can work together as one and decrease the amount of racism and discrimination happening. When one decides to do something about it to create a better future, another will follow their lead and it will create a chain of positiveness. I am ready to embark onto the already massive chain and add onto it. The ILC has showed me a door in which I may have a chance to go into; this class has led me to the doorknob and now, it's time for me to open the door.
|A Happy Cohort :)|