Saturday, March 31, 2012

An Introduction

Pouring rain greeted me as I stepped out of the car for this morning's tutorial at Hercules High School. As I entered the campus, and hurriedly made my way to room 106, I was filled with a sense of excitement for the hours ahead. I was eager to meet new people and to gain a better understanding of what to expect on a day-to-day basis at Brown University.

When I arrived, the computer room was almost full. After checking in with Don, I sat down in one of the few empty seats and introduced myself to the girl next to me. After a quick conversation it was nearly 9:00 AM, and time for the tutorial to begin.

Over the course of the next few hours, I gained insight relating to specific details of the program. What to bring, how to take good photographs, and how to behave were all important topics discussed. The most formidable topic addressed, however, was how to blog. We discussed proper formatting and used classroom computers to practice posting pictures and text. At first I was a little confused, but with guidance from Don, and help from my neighbor, I was able to gain a basic understanding of how to use the website. Hopefully, with practice, blogging will become second nature to me. 

During a break, I had the opportunity to meet my chaperones and to talk to other students who are going to Brown University over the summer. I am really excited to get to know everyone better. I know that the summer will be fun. 

A Productive Saturday

Waking up this morning, I opened my windows to see nothing but a gloomy sky and a wet ground. I took my time double checking and triple checking for the items that I would need to bring to my ILC tutorial this afternoon. Once I had it all tucked into an envelope, I went straight to my closet and tossed on the most convenient and casual clothes that I could find. Then, my mom and I went on our way. Surprisingly, the sun was shining brightly later that afternoon. Once we exited the freeway, we were immediately tempted to crack open the windows. 

It really shocked me to notice that I was the first one in Room 106. Traffic wasn't a problem and neither was getting to Hercules Middle/High. The directions that Don gave us were very straight forward, and finding a parking spot wasn't exactly hard either. I quickly got my school ID and medical card scanned and found a seat next to one of the fancy HP computers. I couldn't wait to get started, but my watch informed me that I still had a half hour to wait. 

Don's tutorial speech was everything but bland. It was nice to get some information before we would be set out into new surroundings and fending for ourselves. I was very honored to hear that I would represent my school and my community, but at the same time, I felt very nervous. Don also mentioned that there would be a 99.99% chance of rain down at Brown during the summer. It's going to take some time adjusting to a cold summer during my three weeks down there. But at least now, I won't have to worry about packing shorts to Brown. 

After all the mini photography and blog formatting lectures, we finally got to do some real blogging. It was nothing like I expected. There are so many perks and tweaks to the whole blogging process. Not to mention the fact that my HP computer didn't seem to like cooperating with me. After practicing with all my silly pictures and my horribly punctuated text, I finally became proficient with the blogging system. Then, we became introduced to MediaFire. Once again, the HP computer I was using felt rebellious, and it took forever to get MediaFire to load. 

Sadly, our tutorial soon ended. We were half an hour early. I'm still pretty bummed out that I wasn't able to meet my chaperone, unlike the Yale cohorts. Nevertheless, I had an extremely productive afternoon learning how to master the art of photography and blogging as well as memorizing Don's "overly-complicated" MediaFire password.

I am ever more excited to spend this summer at Brown University. I am truly thankful for everyone who has brought me this far, to achieve a feat as rare as this. 


I woke up early this morning (well early for a Saturday) to set out in the treacherous rain to attend my first ever ILC Tutorial. After arriving at Hercules High School, My dad and I drove around for ten minutes trying to figure out exactly where the class room was before I had to make a run through the pouring rain that seemed to appear out of no where. 

The tutorial itself was very informative. Don gave us these giant packets (33 pages to be exact) full of information from laundry to photography. Meeting other participants was really exciting. Everyone seemed really friendly and open. The students who had already been with the ILC before gave words of encouragement to me, someone who is always a nervous wreck.

During the tutorial we focused a lot on how to make our blogs perfect. From adding pictures to checking our spelling and grammar. We learned how to properly format our blogs and what precisely is a good blog versus a ... not so good blog. The hands on portion was very helpful in showing us what exactly is expected of us. We were given tons of tips and tricks to help us create an exemplary blog.

I am really appreciative all of the information we received today. I am so excited for the trip this summer. I am very thankful for this opportunity and I can't wait to get to Brown U.

Reflection on the ILC Tutorial

Ms. Kat Williams
The ILC tutorial was very informative.  I benefited most from the hands-on practice with blogging.  I have never blogged before and, honestly, the idea of blogging makes me somewhat apprehensive.  Luckily, I got through my first experience generally unscathed.  I still have some questions, but I’m sure time and practice will remedy these.  One suggestion I would offer for future tutorials would be to pair expert bloggers with novices for some peer tutoring.  I learn best from one-on-one coaching and practical applications of knowledge and learning, and I’m sure many students are the same.  This is what’s known as kinesthetic, or hands-on, learning.  This suggestion would only work if there are expert bloggers in the tutorial.  I would venture to guess that in this type of scenario the students would be the ones to teach the teachers!  Their generation is generally quite adept at learning and using technology!  Although I am fairly young, I am still old enough to have not had the benefit of growing up with a computer.  I don't think I really started using a computer until high school or college.  For this reason, technology has always somewhat eluded me.  Despite my trepidation, I will do my best to learn and grow, and by the end of this experience, perhaps I will be an expert blogger!

Blogging Begins

This morning's blogging tutorial at Hercules High School took place in the pouring rain. Fortunately, we were situated inside a warm computer room. I arrived at Hercules, along with Mariko Whitenack, about twenty minutes early and ready to learn all about how to blog. 

At 9:00 AM, after everyone had arrived safely, Don's tutorial began. He covered an extensive range of topics related to the ILC, including the blog, the dinners that we will be attending later this spring, and the actual trips themselves. He discussed what he was expecting of us as participants in the program. We spent most of the time learning from Don about the best way to format our blogs, how to take good-quality photos, and how to manipulate our photos so that they turn out looking polished and attractive. 

The most helpful part of the tutorial, for me, was the hands-on experience in the last hour, where everyone got a chance to practice drafting blogs and uploading photos. I am not especially tech-savvy, so I was grateful to have help from people at neighboring computers. During this time, we also learned from Don about how our presentation of our blogs would affect people's perceptions of what we wrote. I have never kept a consistent written record of any of my life experiences before, so blogging will be quite interesting and educational for me. 

Another part of the tutorial that I enjoyed were the short breaks that we took, where everyone had a chance to mingle and meet each other. I met several other ILC students, and talked to two other girls who are going to be at Brown University with me. I also got to meet the chaperones for Brown II, and we all spent several minutes discussing the future trip. I am so grateful and excited that I have this opportunity, and I am looking forward to getting to know everyone in the program.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Only 2 1/2 months away

and both Charles and Madeline
checked in with us
even Uncle Festus the dog seems
to be enjoying himself
Wow! This is going to be a very exciting summer. It is always such a privilege to be able to be with students who are so capable and enthusiastic, and this time I will be able to get to know 14 of them! Brown cohort I has six fine students who are enrolled in a DNA class (not my subject), and Cohort II has eight young women who are taking a course called Women and Leadership. Wow again!

Today (Saturday) we are reviewing all of the rules and expectations for all of us in the ILC --- even for the chaperones! It is, once again, a good feeling to be here in a room with bright young people who are committed to an outstanding experience.