Thursday, May 22, 2014

Inspirational Alums, Inspired Me.

Being at Town Hall as an ILCer last night with the School Board members, sponsors, and alums was an involvement I'll never forget. As we took the BART towards Embarcadero I thought, "Wow, am I really going to get to talk with Cornell alums?" During the dinner, I opened up and let the alums know more about me as an individual, and more importantly, why I applied to Hotel Administration course out of all the others.

Yesterday was such a hectic day for me. Tuesday night I was studying for my finals, trying to cram all the last minute information into my brain. And right after I finished my Calculus 2 final on Wednesday, I hurried home to get ready for the amazing enchanting Cornell dinner. We arrived at the BART station a little bit after 5PM, just early enough to see Good Don smiling.

At first, it was awkward since I didn't know my cohort that well and furthermore, the alums. But right after we got onto BART going towards Embarcadero, I took the initiative to talk to a fabulous parent of our cohort. Sally was accompanying my cohort, Natalie to the dinner and our topics branched off from gymnastics to speech and debate. It was really interesting hearing what a normal high school has to offer as to my high school is purely academic based, providing no sports and little to no clubs. Sally was talking about how MCHS students are able to join neighboring high school's clubs and that made me want to go and check out the speech and debate team at El Cerrito High School. Time went by fast and soon we were heading out the Embarcadero Station going towards Town Hall. I thought to myself, "See, taking the proactive choice to spark a conversation with somebody isn't so hard." I then introduced myself to a Cornell alumni, Mr. Don Kuehne. Mr. Kuehne is Civil Engineer that studied his undergrad at Cornell and then moved to Caltech during graduate school. I wanted to see how a laboratory setting, Caltech, was like compared his four years at Cornell, a more country setting. He was taken aback when I suddenly approached him so abruptly, but soon we were talking about the massive BP oil spill a few years back to new ways to prevent future oil spills from happening.

After that five minute walk which seemed like an hour, we finally arrived at Town Hall, our main destination. My heart was pounding as I ascend the stairs. When we reached the third floor I saw that there weren't just a few Cornell alums inside, but around twenty alums in addition to sponsors as well. It was well long before everybody got situated inside the room, but when we did, I got the honor to sit next to a Cornell Hotel School graduate, Mr. Kenneth Kushman, Class of 1982. I must thank Mr. Ramsey for this seating arrangement since I will be attending a Hotel Administration course: Tactics for Profitability this summer. Nonetheless, my table also included my fabulous cohort Sue, ten year Cornell graduate Mr. Doug Mitarotonda, Ms. Rachel Reichenbach, and our parents.

Ms.Kronenberg halted our talks and thus started the introductions of ILCers, parents, alums, sponsers, and other amazing people. I am really thankful for Kevin Mendoza and Carla Martinez for speaking on behalf of the Cornell Cohort to express our gratitude to each and every one of the sitting individuals last night. If it weren't for all of them, we wouldn't be here today. As the student speakers came to an end, Ms. Samantha Berg, spoke about her experience at Cornell. She probably touched on all the available majors during her time at Cornell and that made me realize Cornell is "any person, any study". Mr. Ramsey's speech concluded with the final advice directed to us ILCers, "give back to the community". I believe all the knowledge I accumulate during my time at Cornell will definitely be put to use as I come back from the east.
Pork chops, yum yum~

While talking to Mr. Kushman about why I applied to the Hotel Administration course, I replied by saying, "It's astounding to see hotel chains expanding so fast!". He also added that when he was a child, Mr. Kushman loved being at hotels and just seeing how amazing it is, and that's what made him want to major in Hotel Administration. As our talk expanded throughout various subjects, our entrée came and we then talked about Mr. Kushman's residence at Hong Kong a little bit after he graduated from Cornell. I got to hear amazing stories while eating such luscious dinner.

By 10PM, alums started heading out for the door and Don immediately said, "Before we lose all the folks here tonight, why don't we take a picture first and then leave?" So as Don instructed, we left our half eaten banana dessert to go downstairs in the chilly evening and took some awesome photos of Cornell alums and ILCers. After saying farewells to the Cornell alums, we headed out for the next BART to Pittsburg/Baypoint. We would then transfer at Oakland and then reach El Cerrito Plaza. But who would've known, the BART we got on had a maintenance situation and twenty minutes of waiting followed. And that's how I knew everyone was tired.

This is, without doubt, one night to remember. Just meeting so many outstanding people gave me happy chills on this cold, yet wonderful evening.

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