Thursday, May 31, 2012

An Amazing Dinner Experience

From the moment I woke up yesterday morning, I couldn’t stop thinking about the night ahead. I was both excited and nervous for the annual Brown dinner at Boulevard in San Francisco.  I couldn’t wait to meet Brown alumni and sponsors, and I hoped to make a good impression upon them.

Outside View of Boulevard
My mother and I left our house and headed to the El Cerrito Plaza BART station at 5:05 PM (I told her we had to arrive at the station at 5:15 PM, instead of 5:30 PM as Mr. Ramsey told us, in order to insure we would be on time). After successfully making it to the station, my mother and I walked over to the best-dressed group: the ILCers. Everyone bought tickets and, by 5:30, we boarded a direct train to San Francisco. 

We got off the train at Market Street and walked the remaining few blocks to San Francisco’s legendary Boulevard Restaurant. With a stunning view of the Bay Bridge and the building’s exterior complementing the landscape, Boulevard couldn’t have been set in a more beautiful location. Inside our own private room, the creative table arrangements and mural on the wall created a relaxed ambiance. We mingled with Brown alumni and sponsors before sitting down for dinner.

Inside Boulevard
Once I found my seat at a dinner table, I introduced myself to the people around me. I was very fortunate to sit at a table with two Brown alums, Anne and Peggy, and two girls attending the Women and Leadership program with me this summer, Molly and Ynah. After a quick conversation, the dinner presentations began. First Mrs. Kronenberg spoke, acknowledging everyone in the room and encouraging many to introduce themselves. Next, Simon Hung spoke about the Brown mentor program; a fantastic and fun way learn about anything related to college. The third speaker was Andrew Gonzales, an ILC student who attended a Brown summer program and, because of his amazing experience, decided to apply to Brown and is now planning to go there in the fall. Following Andrew, Nick and Abigail both gave articulate, impressive speeches about what they hope to gain from their experience this summer. Mr. Ramsey then gave closing statements and we all focused inward towards our delicious food and the people at our table.
My Scrumptious Dessert

Talking to both Anne and Peggy was really interesting. I learned a ton about their positive experiences at Brown. I had no idea what a supportive and truly innovative school Brown is. As Anne said, “they don’t say no to their students.” Professors listen to each and every one of their students and encourage independent thinking. By the end of the meal, I was even more excited to attend Brown this summer than before.

After everyone had finished dessert, Don positioned us, our sponsors, and Brown alumni for a group picture.  After saying our goodbyes, we headed outside and to the BART station. The first part of the ride was extremely crowded but after transferring trains most of us were able to sit down and reflect upon the evening.  The dinner yesterday night reminded me of what amazing privilege and honor it is to be part of The Ivy League Connection.  I can’t wait for summer! 

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