Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Proper Suits In Shocking Weather

Today the students of Ivy League Connection attended the School Board meeting. My mother and I arrived a few minutes before six thanks to some traffic and were among the later arrivals, but I don’t think that any students were actually tardy. It’s nice to be part of a program for which punctuality is so important. Everyone was dressed quite nicely in some variation of a classy suit or dress, but I couldn’t help wondering whether they weren’t a little too warm, considering that the temperature has been in the nineties all day.

Shortly after six, Don called us around to receive instructions for our presentations to the Board. I was in the back of the group and couldn’t hear too well, but Mr. Chan-Law was able to repeat and clarify the instructions. I didn’t have too much to worry about: stand at the end of a line of six students, hold the edge of a Cornell banner, and don’t screw up because it’s televised. The parents of our cohort took pictures, and within a few minutes we sat and the meeting began.
I'm afraid I have yet to learn to crop photos or wear scarves well. 

During the ILC presentation, each chaperone spoke briefly. In an exasperating but humorous epidemic, several forgot to list the additional universities their cohorts would be visiting. While each of these speakers went to great lengths to express their gratitude to those who support the program with time or money, and to describe how ILC forms students into capable young adults, I was struck especially by the anecdote shared by the chaperone for the Women and Leadership program. She described a student in her Spanish Three class who returned from the program confident, articulate, and well versed in the issues that women face in periphery nations. I wish that I had an extra summer so that I could apply to the Women and Leadership course.

As the chaperone spoke, I was struck by the fact that all of the Women and Leadership students have hair of a similar length and color. It didn’t help that most of them were dressed in black suits.

When each cohort had been presented, the representatives of the organizations which support the ILC were asked to come before the Board, where they received a long standing ovation. The men and women at the front of the room seemed genuinely glad to be helping make the dream of ILC a reality year after year, and I know that we students felt a gratitude which cannot be sufficiently expressed through words. We often think of corporations and firms as businesses that exploit people for profit, but it’s easy to forget that they give regularly to help people like us achieve brighter futures.

After we applauded to financial enablers of the ILC, we applauded those who make it happen through influence, effort, and many man-hours: Don, Mr. Ramsey, and Mrs. Kronenberg. I know that their contributions are the result of many frustrations.

I would like to briefly acknowledge another member of the School Board: Mr. Groves, who whenever he interacts with me, whether in Math Club at Portola or as a writing coach freshman year, never hesitates to push me to be the best I can be. His dedication to a rigorous curriculum for all students is preparing us for college just as the ILC is.

After acknowledgements it was time for the group photo. We students were crowded efficiently into three rows, with chaperones and parents behind us. Don, as expected, had several adjustments to make, but we were done quickly and were immediately shooed outside so that the meeting could continue. 
This organizational feat of photography was achieved in only a few minutes. 
Today I took the last of my four AP exams. That means that the next big event for me is the Cornell dinner, exactly one week from today. I'm excited.

Unlike many posts about events, this post contained not one word about food. However, next week there will be plenty, plus photos. 

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