Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Let Us Orientate You

We orient ourselves for orientation.
Throughout this blog, I've used really strange comparisons when describing the different events we get to go through as members of the Ivy League Connection. So, with that in mind, bear with me as I describe tonight's ILC Orientation as a City of Gold. The Orientation was originally scheduled for last Thursday, and then pushed back to tonight. At Orientation, we would finally learn all the answers to every question we desired, and then we'd soak in the Pinole Middle School River of Knowledge and go home. And as our expectations normally go, my metaphor was thrown completely out the window. Kapoosh.

After arriving and signing in right as Mr. Ramsey began to speak, I noticed that there were still a number of people missing. "Uh oh," I thought to myself, and sure enough, not two minutes later, the first important item on the orientation menu was to discuss tardiness and timeliness. As stragglers came in during the first couple minutes and got admonished, the tone of the room was definitely very awkward and unsure of themselves. I felt sympathetic towards both sides. While tardiness is often easy to overcome, there are some occasions where life takes us down more crowded and confusing roads on the way to our destinations; it's happened to us all. On the other hand, I also understood why Mr. Ramsey and Don (and much of the ILCers) were upset that they had to wait. But, as I've said, it happens to all of us at one time or another, and hopefully we'll be all prepared and set for the next time.

During Don and Mr. Ramsey's presentation, they discussed points that affected all of us - like behavior (once again, the Cornell and Co. in Canada story made a welcome reappearance), transportation, manners, communication, and timeliness. We were formally introduced to the list of chaperones - so everyone other than the Yale cohort got to meet our fantastic chaperone, Ms. Tracey Singh-Poole, for the first time. From what I heard, the other cohorts are going to some great places on weekend trips! We'll get to ours in a moment.

Ms. Tracey Singh-Poole
After the group introductions, we split up into our individual cohorts to talk about things relating specifically to Yale. That's when we learned that - guess what, no final itinerary was ready. Nonetheless, we were able to see a temporary schedule, and, if you haven't seen already in a previous blog post, officially found out that we'll be visiting Harvard, Brown, and Wesleyan Universities this summer on a college tour before our course! We also discovered that - guess what - there were no weekend trips. Our experience is definitely going to be completely different than most of the other cohorts, but we all share the similarity of going to great schools and learning and studying incredible concepts and ideas with other talented individuals and professors this summer! Since our chaperone won't be able to see us while we're at Yale, and we still had a limited schedule to look at, with no flight information as of yet, we simply sat and chatted. ILC Orientation definitely orientated me in areas other than the ILC through our chats and conversations while the other groups went on! Our cohort is also different in the fact that we leave at the tail-end of summer, when almost everyone has come back. Most are leaving within the first few weeks of summer, and so it is vital that they have access to all of the information they need. I don't mind; an orientation is meant to give you an introduction to the new places and ideas you'll explore - the actual exploration and information will come soon!

You'll hear a lot more from us come summer!
Eventually, we were all able to sit back down for the closing remarks. Mr. Ramsey went over a few more things before announcing that we "were now officially part of the Ivy League Connection!" And with that, I ended up leaving because I had another event at El Cerrito High to catch. But, as I walked out those doors and through the newly polished metal gates of Pinole Middle School's campus, I realized that I was simply one more step closer toward that "City of Gold." As members of the ILC, we've all made an effort to get ever closer to the knowledge that eludes us. That "City of Golden Knowledge" may always seem inattainable, but the golden nuggets we pick up along the way make it worthwhile.

1 comment:

  1. We’re so sorry that we did not have a final itinerary for most of the groups. There was a breakdown in communication between the people setting up the events and the person assembling all of the information (me) where the information was not passed on soon enough. All will be made good in time, though.

    And while you did not go into much detail about the source of the delay in the start of this critical meeting, lessons were learned so repeat performances would be unlikely.

    As you mentioned, some of what you had been told was a repeat performance (the Cornell students crossing into Canada on a beer run--NOT ILCers). While you all had heard much of this information already, for most of your parents this was fresh information--and some of them were listening.

    The countdown is running, Josh, and the clock is ticking.