Friday, May 2, 2014


Tonight's Vanderbilt alumni with us four! (I was trying not to sneeze when taking these photos.)
It is now the kickoff of the ILC dinner season, as Mrs. Kronenberg said tonight! The ILC had its first social event, and we the Vanderbilt cohort had a formal dinner at Scala's Bistro in San Francisco with ILC staff, Vanderbilt alumni, sponsors, and parents. This marks the start of a busy period for the ILC, and more dinners will be coming up for other cohorts, as will be other events!

We met at the El Cerrito Plaza BART Station at 4:55 PM, though we departed for San Francisco a little earlier than expected because everyone was extremely punctual. As we arrived, we introduced ourselves to each other, and we the students introduced ourselves mainly for the others that did not know us as well yet.

On the BART ride to San Francisco, I sat with Mrs. Kronenberg, and we had a rather deep conversation that started with involvement with the ILC at different schools. We spoke about the current status of schools in the district and how different students want different things from school, and we each shared our viewpoints as a student and as a school board member.

We disembarked at the Powell Street Station, and we began to walk to Union Square. We were rather early, so we had time to spend at Union Square. Most of us just stayed within the group and made conversation.

The circle we formed to chat around!
We left and walked about one block over to Scala's Bistro. I was a bit surprised to see how close it was to Union Square, since I expected it to be a few more blocks over. We met with Peter, who was the first student to participate in this program at its inception! He spoke with us as a group to get to know the cohort a bit more and to give out advice, before we were seated.

I found myself seated in the corner of the room with Jasmine, our parents, and an empty seat (it seemed like there was a slight issue with attendance). Thankfully, an alumnus from another table moved over to sit with us. His name was Adam Spector, and he is the COO of a small startup based in San Francisco! I was certainly very engaged with the conversation we had, and he provided insight into the process of deciding upon a college.

The menu!
We had a bit of a ceremony to start the dinner. Mrs. Kronenberg, a Vanderbilt alumna, Jasmine, and Mr. Ramsey each spoke about the ILC or about Vanderbilt. Considering the circumstances, I thought Jasmine did a good job at executing her speech.

Our meal began with a salad, followed by a choice of halibut, filet mignon, and pork chops. I opted for the filet mignon, which was cooked rare. It was extremely tender and juicy, and I enjoyed it. Garlic bread and peas were served with my filet mignon. I ate rather slowly compared to everyone else at my table, perhaps because I was too focused on the conversation. Thankfully, it was not a problem at all. We had a rich and creamy chocolate cake for dessert.

The dinner went by extremely smoothly. I had an enriching conversation with Adam, and I enjoyed his company greatly. I do feel that there was some unusual seating arrangements, though. We had four ILCers and four alumni, but two ILCers sat with one alumnus while two alumni sat with one ILCer. I would have liked for the distribution to be a little bit more even.

We took pictures before we left (one being the first picture in this blog!). We made our way straight to the BART station from the restaurant, and on the way back I had a conversation with Don. We spoke about the history of the ILC, and it gave me a little more insight on how things have progressed over the years.

Some of us disembarked at different BART stations, but the last of us arrived at El Cerrito Plaza BART Station and we parted ways from there. Tonight's dinner was definitely a success, and there were no major issues that hampered any part of the event.

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