The ILC has completed its final major event prior to our departures from California. This event was the orientation; essentially, the coordinators of the ILC held an informational meeting primarily targeted at parents.
I arrived at Pinole Middle School just before 6 PM, and I checked in (with some minor confusion because my given name is different from my preferred name). I sat down and waited for the orientation to begin. I arrived at a perfect time, with just enough time to find a good parking spot without waiting too long for the event to begin. Time management and punctuality are good skills to have and mandatory skills for the ILC.
Don called the chaperones to a corner of the room we used. Judging by the lunch menus and tables, I am guessing that we were using the cafeteria. I suppose Don was giving the chaperones some information about what information to give out later.
Don began the orientation by holding a microphone and standing rather close to the tables that everyone sat in. I remember last year's orientation being a little different: Mr. Ramsey was present last year (not this year!), and I believe the speakers stood farther away from everyone and closer to the stage.
For a large portion of the orientation, Don spoke about procedures and protocols for the ILC, all of which I was more than familiar with as a returning member of the ILC. Don's presentation was punctuated by a portion in which Ms. Kronenberg spoke and in which the chaperones lined up and gave an overview of their duties.
I do remember Don being slightly disrupted when the door behind him opened up. A handful of people walked in trying to draw as little attention as possible, but when a speaker turns around or focuses their eyes on something, the entire audience notices. I believe there may have been a tardy student that walked in, but I am nearsighted and I did not have my glasses at this time. Don did not make any fuss about the latecomers, even though he explicitly warned each of us not to be tardy and warned us that the doors would lock at 6 PM.
Last year was different: I was a few minutes late (for reasons that I will not divulge lest they merely be considered excuses), but I was not the last to arrive. Rather, one other person took twenty minutes or so to arrive, and Mr. Ramsey had the microphone then. He. Was. Not. Pleased. He warned us not to ever be late, and he angrily noted that if everyone was punctual, then we would have started promptly instead of wasting time. I was worried that my tardiness would be a major problem, but someone else out-shadowed me. Still, fear of castigation helped this event become a learning experience. My timeliness has improved, though it still has room for further improvement.
But I digress. After some time, Don released us into breakout groups, where each cohort met to discuss the tentative itineraries and any potential questions. It appears that we are departing June 30th and returning July 25th. Even though I am much more confident than I used to be, there was still some hesitation when I wanted to ask questions. I spoke up regardless, and it's almost never bad to ask questions, even if a part of you is reluctant to.
We regrouped for Don to give his closing remarks about more procedures and about loaner items. During one part in which we discussed fans and ventilation, I decided to speak up about my experiences at Brown to give a little advice to those that were going to Brown. It was a bit odd placing myself in the spotlight in front of so many people, but then again, u am a much more confident person now.
I paid attention all throughout Don's presentation, though very little rang within me or seemed new to me. I've heard the same words many times last year and many times this year in past events such as the tutorial, so I did not benefit much from the general parts of this orientation. It seemed that my mother shared the same lack of interest, partially since since she has some faith in me. We both paid close attention during the breakout session, however, when we were getting the specific juicy bits about the itinerary. That part was the most specific, where I learned the most. Regardless, one point of the presentation that stood out to me was the part where Don addressed a thought that ran through my head (and most likely those of several other ILCers'). He said the purpose of the orientation was to inform parents, since they've told us much of the information elsewhere already. Again, I also benefitted from reviewing the itinerary. I suppose the theory behind this event is admirable.
In the past few weeks, I've been having some worries about the experiences I would face at Vanderbilt. I've gone traveling quite a bit lately, and I have gained quite a few experiences to compare to each other. I was worried that my expectations of Vanderbilt would not hold up, or perhaps my expectations of Vanderbilt were lowering (I tend to do that). However, this informational meeting renewed my hope for this trip, and I am excited to travel once again, with a fantastic cohort this time! To those that intend to travel, I highly recommend you try your best to maintain a positive outlook and to remain outgoing, because it helps tremendously when meeting folks and building connections.
(Unfortunately, I the pictures I planned to use were lost.)