Thursday, May 15, 2014

Nearly One Hundred

The entire body of the Ivy League Connection met at 6 PM at DeJean Middle School for the West Contra Unified School District Board of Education meeting. The board meets about once or twice every month, and a portion of this meeting was devoted to the Ivy League Connection.

When I came into the "multipurpose room," I found my cohort immediately. Every ILCer and chaperone gathered around, and we were given the procedures for the meeting. First, a few individuals were to speak about the Ivy League Connection. Mr. Ramsey, who co-founded the program, spoke about how far we've come. A few students that were accepted to Ivy League schools also spoke about how the ILC impacted their high school careers.

Next, each cohort was to come up and speak. My cohort came up towards the end, and Mr. Mannix threw in a joke in his speech about our summer plans with the ILC while he could. I enjoy a good sense of humor! Chiamaka spoke next about she will benefit from the ILC, just as every cohort had one ILCer speak right after their chaperone.

Shortly after each cohort presented, every cohort lined up for a group photo, as did the parents of the students. It took longer than expected to line everyone up, and I could easily tell that Don was becoming upset from the effort needed to compose the photo. It's going to be a bit difficult trying to arrange nearly one hundred people! Thankfully, we completed earlier than I expected, and everything went smoothly. We were essentially dismissed after the group photo, though everyone stayed around for at least a few minutes to chat.

Mr. Mannix discussed some short-term plans with us. We are to have a casual cohort meeting sometime in June, after the school year ends, though we're still going to plan that out. We also will have our orientation coming up (July 2!), where we will discuss specific details such as itineraries and places to visit.

The purpose of attending this meeting, as far as I can tell, is to present ourselves to the general public. Unlike the dinners, where we find ourselves listening intently to alumni talking about their experiences, we are the ones that speak about our (prospective) experiences. When I looked around in the middle of the meeting, I saw that the room was packed. A lot of people go to these school board meetings! I'm sure they were interested in seeing what the leaders of the future generation will become.

This year's meeting felt rather different from last year's meeting, even though I had a few moments of deja vu. A part of the difference is that I interact with my cohort this year a lot more than last year, so I could chat with them instead of sitting alone in a crowded room. Additionally, I was much more intently focused on the speakers this year, whereas last year, I was spacing out (even though I have more of a reason to be tired today. I took my last AP test!). I was much more analytic of what the speakers talked about. After having a year with the ILC already, I can decisively say that there is a huge gap between reality and idealistic dreams. 

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