I was knocked out, drowsy and tired from a long school day, taking a nap in the car at Pinole Middle. Our orientation for all our trips to the East Coast started at 6:00 PM on Monday, June 6th. We were about 40 minutes early, so I thought it was a smart idea for me to catch up on the sleep that I didn’t get the night before.
The next thing I knew, my mom was vigorously shaking me to get up around 5:45 PM. Irritated and still exhausted, I took my time getting up. If I moved too fast, I would become light-headed and dizzy, like I usually am after waking up from my naps. I cautiously stepped out of the car and wobbled my way over to the Pinole Middle gym, trying to gain my balance along the way. By the time I reached the gym, I had broken out of my drowsiness from the freezing air slapping me in the face. Everyone was socializing outside in the windy weather. I was surprised no one wanted to go inside but soon realized that the door to the gym was locked. After an adventurous hunt for a custodian, John managed to find one, who opened the gym and saved us from getting blown away.
We all sat close together in one large group to make it easier for the presenters speaking. I sat next to Chris and my mom, with Diana Valle, Allonna, and Allonna's mom behind us. The night kicked off with the founders of the ILC giving brief speeches about the ILC and congratulating us for coming this far. Unfortunately Mrs. Kronenberg was absent due to her essential presence at a graduation ceremony that evening, leaving two out of three there to speak. As the pleasant speeches came to an end, more were presented right after by the chaperones of each cohort.
|(from left to right) Maricris Cruzat, Alana Scott, Alexis Thomson, Michael Myrga, John Hillyer|
Mike, who was recruited from De Anza by John, wanted to be a chaperone for the ILC because he loves college, back in the days he attended to the present; he still has his college wallet from the university he had attended. Because of his love for college, he feels that he can help the students attending get a better feel for what it’s about and help give them a boost of encouragement to find the college best suited for them.
The chaperone for Vanderbilt, Alexis Thomas, is the current counselor at De Anza, was also recruited by John. She is a college advisor there and felt it was appropriate for her to be chaperoning college-based trips such as those offered by the ILC. It’s her first year chaperoning for the ILC and she is already filled with excitement for it. She has family down south, so the area has a familiar feel and is excited taking the cohort out to explore the areas, including Tennessee. The speeches soon ended with Alana Scott who will be chaperoning Chicago, and Maricris Cruzat, assigned to Brown, who both delivered nice and grateful words to the ILC and the opportunity itself.
We broke out into our groups for each cohort, so mine discussed our roughly planned agenda made by our chaperone, John. It covers the date and time we will be departing as well as landing and returning, our specified travel dates where our day will be designated to touring the college campuses of Georgetown University and Colombia University, and the one day we will be able to sleep in before we check into the Penn campus. As we went over each date on our papers, John had stressed the importance of us waking up early around 5:00 AM to be able to catch the transportation we need and make our tour on time. I made sure I locked this into my mind because I hate waking up early and dragging myself out of bed in the morning; having something to constantly remind me of how significant it is for me to do my part will play a strong role of my motivation to be the first one up and out the door. He told us about the many surprises that will happen along the way such as trips to Ocean City, movie nights, etc., all done with the university, as well as the good food John will expose us to.
Don quickly wrapped things up and gathered us back to the original area we were sitting in. The rest of the orientation was a basic recap of what we had went over within our tutorial back in mid-May which was mainly for our parents or guardians to listen and understand in case some of us didn’t inform our parents about it. He introduced some of the loaner items that he had as well as remaining luggage he had to lend us for our trip.
Soon enough, the orientation came to a close and we were all allowed to leave. I was eager to go home because I was tired and hungry, but I ended up staying there much later than the majority of the families. My mom and I departed around 8:00-8:30 PM trying to get the expert advice of Don to decide which luggage would be best for me to borrow, since I have never traveled before and needed some input. I came out with this large, blue luggage similar to a duffel bag, except with wheels and a short, contractible, metal handle. I thanked Don for everything before leaving. Having this and many more available to me to borrow is a huge burden lifted off both my mom's and my own shoulders, and we heavily appreciate it.