Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Today was the Ivy League Connection Orientation. If only I knew it was today instead of thinking that it was on Friday. Everyone was calling, texting, Facebook messaging, and e-mailing me, but I was nowhere near my phone. My friend, who is not even affiliated with the Ivy League Connection, had to find me and scream that the Orientation was today. I immediately ran to my car and drove to Pinole Middle School. 

When I got there I was met with a lot of ILCers, including Don and Mr. Ramsey. I immediately apologized and sat at an empty table so that I would not bother anyone. In my rush and hysteria, I completely forgot to contact my dad. Mr. Ramsey pointed that out and I immediately ran out the door (the back one of course) and began calling home. I was met with complications. In the mean time, Mr. Rhea and Mr. Ramsey stepped outside and calmed me down. I was told that if I had no parent who could come, then I would not be allowed to attend. This, on top of my huge embarrassment, completely mortified me. This far into the program, and my mistake would cost me my place. The place that I earned, the place that so many people would die for, the place that my parents and many others were so proud of. To lose that place would be more than devastating.

After a phone call, I tried my dad's cell phone. This would be risky and I began to lose hope because my dad hates cell phones and would rather leave his at home. If my dad didn't come soon, Mr. Ramsey will kick me out of the program. Thoughts rushed in and out of my head. What if dad didn't bring his phone? I'm screwed aren't I? How can I ever make up for this mistake? After the fourth ring my dad picked up. I was relieved, but that didn't last long. I explained why he has to be at Pinole Middle School right away. But he had other things in mind. He still had to pick up my little brother. Mr. Rhea asked for my cell phone and explained the entire situation to my dad. Mr. Ramsey came out and said that if my father didn't show soon, then I can kiss Yale goodbye. I told him my dad is on his way right now. I went back into the multi-purpose room and sat there, praying and hoping my dad would be here soon. 

Meanwhile, Don was speaking of loaner items and where each group was to meet. The Yale cohort gathered and Miss Tracey Singh-Poole passed out the permission slip and itinerary. Where was my dad? Did he go pick up my brother? I was scared out of my mind. Finally, after the itinerary was explained, I saw my dad's car outside in the parking lot and breathed a sigh of relief. He's here! When he got to the table, he immediately began to chastise me. "What's wrong with you?" "You always think wrong." Even while I was paying attention to the outline of our plan he was telling my brother to be more organized and not to make a stupid mistake like this.

When it was time for everyone to meet back in the multi-purpose room, my friend's mother came up to me and explained what it was like before I got to the destination. This story had me feeling even worse. I wasted precious time and money. I wasted everyone's time. Words cannot describe how bad I feel. An apology will not suffice. They must have been sitting there waiting for an hour. This is time that is lost forever. While I was doing something of no importance, they could have been productive. I wasted precious time, and almost wasted a whole lot of money. I know it's futile, but I'm sorry.  I cannot show how sorry I really am.

When it was time for the meeting to reconvene, Mr. Ramsey and Don congratulated the entire Ivy League Connection. They said, "Congratulations, you are now officially part of the ILC." Does this mean I'm not getting kicked out? I'm officially in? I can't believe it. I was so relieved. Even after we were allowed to leave, I was dreading a talk with Don or Mr. Ramsey. I was so sure that they would chastise me. I know I deserved it, but no one ever wants to be chastised. To say that I was shocked when I received a personal congratulations is not enough. But I knew I couldn't rest so easily. I know my dad, and he is not the type to let this slide by so easily. I know that he will lecture and chastise me. He still is and he will for a long time. And I totally deserve it. I have no words to argue, I have no defense, I have no excuse, because no matter what my reason is, it will not suffice. I know I'm going to be mentioned in many blogs, be it in a neutral or negative light. And I know there's no use crying over spilled milk. What happened has happened. I can't be sad about it. But I must learn from this mistake, and I must excel at Yale. I will put in more than what I have into this program. I'd like to thank everyone for giving me this opportunity, for putting up with my tardiness, and for giving me this eye opening experience. I know that this is an area that I must work on. And I will.

To think that I almost missed a once in a lifetime opportunity because of my careless mistake is unfathomable. This will haunt me for my entire life. My dad will remind me of it, my friends will remind me of it, even applying to college might remind me of it. But I will constantly be reminding myself of this situation. I am now officially part of the Ivy League Connection and I can't be anymore grateful. After months and months of worrying I can finally go to Yale, study Grand Strategies, and meet people who I would have never been able to meet. This is why this program is called the Ivy League Connection. This program allows students to connect with people that would be impossible to meet under normal circumstances. This program not only allows students to connect with other people, but it also allows students to connect with themselves -- and I nearly threw this opportunity away. Thank goodness I didn't.

1 comment:

  1. What can we say, Damian? You screwed up and you know it. The important part of this is that you manned up and worked to correct this problem.

    As far as we’re concerned, being late for 18 minutes was a bad thing but that was then and this is now. What good does it do to dwell on the past? Can we change it? If not, then maybe we can dwell on the here and now and the future. We learn from our mistakes and move on.

    How much do you want to bet that when you’re given instructions in the future that you’ll read them--carefully--and realize that there are usually consequences when you fail to follow them?

    We had 96 people that were waiting on you and even though we had several ILCers and parents who complained to us because they had to wait and they had to be told over and over again about the importance of being on time, I’m betting that a few of them learned a lesson as well.

    Now we move on, Damian.