Sunday, March 29, 2015

Blogging 101

Thao in the middle, and Chiamaka on the right
I arrive at De Anza High school early in the morning. It was easy to find where I needed to go since Don had sent a detail map with an arrow pointed to the classroom. I was excited to meet the 2015 ILC cohort. When I arrived went started to my seat in the center row of the computer lab. Sitting on my left side was Thao from Hercules and one my right side was Joanne from El Cerrito.
Elexis in the backround
For the first hour everything was going to plan until it was time to long in to our blog sights. For some reason the internet was not properly working.  Since the internet was not working we took the time to move around on the agenda and work on the proper way of taking and up loading our pictures to media fire and are blog.  Don had examples of what a good blog looked like and what a bad one looked like and right now I am hoping this is going to be one of the “good blogs”.
The morning session seemed to fly by and before I knew it, it was time to go.
Thao and Alyanna
 I enjoyed meeting Alyanna since where both going to be taking the Constructional Law course at Columbia. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

One Step Closer

As of 12:15 today, my dream of going to one of the most prestigious schools in the world and studying Constitutional Law just got one step closer.

My adventure started at around 7 AM on this lovely Saturday morning. I hastily got out of bed and opened my eyes thinking about the wonderful things that would eventually lead to my life changing journey at Columbia University. I arrived at De Anza High School at around 8:10 AM.Having arrived at De Anza my father and I wondered where the ILCers would meet since all the gates and doors were locked. Then suddenly at the corner of my eye, I spotted a very distinct white sign attached to the black fence that closed off the entrance to the main hallway that read, "The Ivy League Connection". It was at that moment that I felt that I was finally apart of something bigger than myself. I said goodbye to my father and walked out into the warm Saturday breeze. I took slow steps towards the black gate and the white sign taking in the moment and thinking about what things would lay ahead.

We began our tutorial at exactly 8:30AM. After going through the many interesting "relatives" of Don Gosney, we went through some of the tutorial notes and took a short ten minute break.Everyone took this time to eat and socialize but it was during this break that I found out that my computer had no internet access. I quickly went through each computer panicking, logging in and logging out again and again and still no internet access. Moments later, we all found out that we all had lost internet access! I thought "Well this isn't some good publicity for our school!". After getting in contact with De Anza's Tech Academy Lead Teacher, Mr. Gill, we fixed our technical difficulties and continued with our tutorial. Well didn't morning tutorial go off to an interesting start?

Eventually, we all had the chance to play around with our cameras and take some pictures of the campus and of each other. But the highlight of all of this for me was our first unofficial group photo:
After practicing and learning how to upload and download photos into our blogs, Don started to wrap things up by going over some administivia. In my opinion I found the administrivia part on behavior a tad bit boring since most of it came down to one thing: DON'T DO ANYTHING STUPID!

Our tutorial ended around 12:15, I came out tired and annoyed by the fact that I'd have to be back at De Anza again in an hour for an Aloha Dinner, but if there's one main thing that I really loved about my short few hours with the ILC is its professional setting and the amazing new people that I got to work with.

Let's Get Down to Business

On a warm and sunny Saturday morning, my alarm went off at 7:30 AM, and I knew I had to get up for the ILC Tutorial. Unfortunately though, I have a bad habit of ignoring my alarms when I hear them, so I disregarded it and went back to sleep. I woke up about 20 minutes later than I had intended, and rushed to get ready and leave the house as soon as I could.
Upon my arrival at DeAnza, I was a bit lost since I was unfamiliar with the layout of the school, and was dropped off at the opposite side of where I was actually supposed to be. However, after much walking and regret from not looking at the map, I saw the ILC banner and was pointed to the right direction.

My North Star

As I was walking towards the room, I didn't know what to expect, other than a Hawaiian shirt Don said he was going to wear. "Would I get along with the other students? What was going to be in this tutorial anyway, and why is it four hours long? Is there going to be food?" were all questions that came to mind as I approached the door. After walking in, I was flustered with emotions of sheepishness as I was two minutes late, and I felt that I had already made a bad impression for myself to the other ILCers. I quickly found an empty seat and settled myself in as quietly as possible.
The DeAnza Computer Lab

For the first hour, we listened to Don talk about his many relatives (Good Don, Evil Don, Frustrated Don, Guantanamo Don, and Flamethrower Don), and were given an overview on blogging and photography. During this time, we were supposed to practice making posts on the blog ourselves, however there was an issue with the Internet connection, halting our progress in the tutorial. After a couple tries to get ourselves online, we eventually just made the best of it and did what we could. We were also given the opportunity to take our own photographs for practice to post on the blog. 

It was at this time that I got to mingle with the other ILCers also present in the meeting. I had met my Columbia Con-Law cohorts Mark and Izabel, as well as a few other students. I even met DeAnza counterpart, Cindy! Everyone I met was so great and so easy to get along with--I am super excited to see them all in the near future.
The ILC Tutorial Morning Session "Squad" 

After some fun with photo-taking, we went right back to business in the computer lab. Don discussed responsibilities we have as ILCers, dinners, and some miscellaneous travel information. We were able to practice putting on a computer lock, and had a talk on laundry and were given some suggestions on what to pack for the trip.

After a bit more lecture and discussion, it was 12:30, signifying that the meeting was over. To me, it really had not felt like I had been in there for four hours, though. Talking about the trip really got me so excited, and it finally hit me that wow, this is actually happening, I'm going to an Ivy League school over the summer.And to put the icing on the cake, I made some really cool new friends. This day, as I say with uttermost sincerity, has been the best Saturday morning I've had all year. 

A Virtual Toast

The quest for adventure is now underway! 

A clever rearrangement of nature. 

To be honest, when Don's emails dropped off into silence after I was selected for the Ivy League Connection (ILC), the program was automatically defaulted to my brain's back burner. But today, after attending the morning tutorial session at DeAnza High School for blogging and other critical things, I finally feel as though all the possibilities and hopes that come with being a part of the ILC are beginning to materialize. 

The only drawback for today, in particular, was that I had to wake up earlier than I've had to wake up on a Saturday in a long while. Not to mention, the WiFi connection at the high school was frustratingly unreliable. Luckily for us, none of Don's lesser-known relatives seemed to emerge and the food we were provided with was lovely.

Sadly, I was busy taking the picture below with Joanne and Gwennie and missed this one. 
After presenting everyone with lengthy, detailed packets, Don reviewed them and told us stories of ILC alumni and their past mistakes as well as how not to make them in the future. We all walked around taking pictures for our practice posts and desperately searched for original material in the small area we were allowed to take pictures in. 

Three thumbs up!
As a whole, the four hours it took to get a general sense of how to blog, take pictures, and behave was productive and informative. It was great to see my classmates and friends and get to meet my cohort, but it was also great to see people I didn't know (but will hopefully get to know in the future). Interestingly enough, the whole affair felt more like two hours, whether it was because I found the information fascinating or because the other two hours were most likely spent troubleshooting internet problems. Regardless, I now feel more comfortable with using Blogger and MediaFire than ever before. 

With that, I'd like to take the time to make a virtual toast of sorts. So please join me now as I raise my "glass" into the air. 

"To new beginnings."

Now We Begin

Today it finally hit me; I am headed to New York to Columbia University. Although I had been out-this-world thrilled the day of my interview when I got accepted to the Ivy League Connection I do not think that the realization dawned on me, until today.

We had our first Tutorial Day at De Anza High School where we learned about the essentials of being an ILCer, such as blogging, travel tips, and rules. Don passed out the thick booklets full of ILC information and gave us a presentation on everything we needed to know to have a successful trip.
Tutorial Day at De Anza High School

My first blog!
As the day went by many things went wrong. After we got the ball rolling we started to write our first blog. I had never written a blog and found the idea of writing about your day it a bit foreign but as I started to write I started to really like it. This is what I came up with:

Mission Impossible: Tutorial Day

Today during our first tutorial for the ILC it seems that all that could have gone wrong happened. Between the internet failing to work on multiple computers and blog invitation come from the wrong blogs it seemed as though all hope was lost. But Don did not let that stop him from getting the job done. It was as though he accessed his inner Tom Cruise and fought all that was holding us back from getting through the day. After calling tech support and resolving the problem with the blog, we cried in victory and yelled to the gods that we were triumphant. Or at least in my head we did.

Everyone trying to get nice photos.
Not bad for a first timer huh? After we finished writing our blogs Don gave us time to take pictures so we can post later as we write about the day. It was super fun taking pictures of the room and of the location. I think taking pictures is going to be one of the most fun things on our trip.

As the day came to and end I left De Anza feeling much more confident and excited for our trip this summer.