Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Our Night With the School Board

Today was a wonderful day, although it did not begin as such. It started with the AP United States History Exam which I felt, despite attending a review course over the past couple weeks, unprepared for. At the end, however, I took a deep breath and realized that  I actually felt pretty good about it. And so concluded my AP testing experience for junior year, a huge load off my plate.

When I turned my phone back on after school (it was still off from the AP test) I had a missed call and voice mail from Don Gosney. My first though was "Uh oh...What did I do wrong?" The initial tone of the message did nothing to help; Don's opening (with an ominous tone) was "We just heard from Yale. Sorry I could't give you this message person-to-person, but I thought you would want to hear it anyway." So of course I assume he is about to tell me that I did not get in. Luckily, this was not the case. All four of us were admitted to the program, which I am pleased about. I would hate to leave any of the other young men in my cohort behind and would hate even more to be left behind myself. I finally got the learn the colleges we are visiting and was pleased to see that they are all ones I have not visited before. We are visiting Harvard University, Brown University, and Wesleyan University. I am excited for the chance to see a whole new batch of schools. In my two years with the ILC I will have visited all the schools except for Dartmouth.

The sight of the WCCUSD School Board Meetings

The majority of my afternoon and evening was taken up by the school board meeting where the Ivy League Connection members are presented to the community. It began with standard school board proceedings which, gave me and my fellow ILCers a chance to see how the leadership of the district that is sending us to the East Coast operates. While admittedly not the most interesting event in the world, it was an educational experience that I was happy to be a part of. The Ivy League Connection was the last thing on the list and took up the greatest amount of time. Every cohort was introduced individually, with the chaperone and one member of the group giving a brief speech. Everyone had something a little different to say and I thought all the speakers did an excellent job of not only communicating an important message, but also doing it with confidence and authority. Representatives for many of the sponsoring organizations game forward and it was great to put a name and a face to the people who contributed so much to the students in our community. Finally the "Three Pillars of the ILC" (as I heard them called today) each gave speeches. It is clear that a lot has been given to us, but it does not come for free. We are expected to represent our district to the best of our ability and bring back what we learned and use it to help not only ourselves, but also our community members. After a massive group photo taken by Don it was time to go home. The countdown until summer and my trip to Yale is almost complete and I get more excited as time goes on. I cannot wait to finally start the program. We should receive our official reading lists soon, so we can get started on the real work.