Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Bucket of Tears

I can’t believe that I arrived at my first ILC dinner event 10 minutes late! My father took too long getting ready and we didn’t get to leave the house until 5:15 PM. Every Brown ILCer was expected to be at the El Cerrito Plaza BART station by 5:30 PM. It took a while to get from my house to the BART station. It was probably the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me this year. Mr. Ramsey wasn’t very happy with me, but I couldn’t do anything about it. I ended up shedding a few tears because my dad wasn’t being very supportive. A mix of anger and embarrassment took over me. All I could think of was how to fix this and the solution was to just put it behind me and start over. Thanks to Don, Jackie, and Romina, I was able to compose myself before our train arrived at San Francisco.

The dinner was at Boulevard restaurant. We walked two blocks from the Embarcadero BART station. The ILC did a great job in selecting the restaurant. We had a private dining hall in the basement. For about 10-15 minutes, the Brown ILCers had a chance to mingle with Brown alums, incoming students, and other ILC supporters.

Me and my dad at dinner!
My dad and I were seated in a table with Molly, her dad, Emily Cain, her mom, and two Brown alums Anne and Peggy. I was seated right next to Peggy, and I really enjoyed her company. We talked so much that I was able to forget that I was crying on the way to the restaurant. She made college seem so fun! Well, she made Brown nothing less than amazing. I learned a whole lot about Brown. First, we talked about how much freedom college offers, especially in Brown, since it offers an open curriculum system. We also talked about the admissions process. It turns out that applying to Brown all depends on luck and where you fit in the institution. They aren’t too strict about an applicant’s academic achievements or SAT scores, since most that apply generally have really high grades or test scores. It all depends on the essays they read and who fits in the classes they offer. Of the 30,000 applicants each year, only about 1,400 students get a spot. I plan on taking this risk because Peggy really pumped me up for Brown University.

Madeline Kronenberg opened up the planned program for the evening. She had the ILCers and the alums introduce themselves to the guests and had them say an interesting fact. Just a few minutes before, though, Peggy and I were talking about my life back in the Philippines. I told her that I learned how to speak English by watching the Disney channel (True story!) so when it was my turn to introduce myself, I concluded that as my interesting fact. After everyone introduced themselves, Simon Hong talked about a wonderful mentorship program that we will have a chance to participate in. Next, Andrew Gonzales, an incoming freshman at Brown spoke about what the ILC meant to him. I was surprised by how eloquent and entertaining he was. Nick and Abigail then spoke about what they wish to give back to the community after their programs. Abigail touched my heart, she was very passionate about what she wants and I felt touched as she started off with a nervous tone and finished with a strong conclusion. Nick also inspired me as he made me realize that WCCUSD has a chance in the real world. We will make a huge impression to the rest of the world, and nothing can stop us.

Mr. Ramsey gave closing comments and we then focused on our food. I don’t think I mentioned how delicious everything I ate was. Everyone at my table chatted the whole time. I don’t remember a dull moment at all.

My very first ILC dinner was overall a bittersweet experience. I didn’t think I would be walking onto a BART train with tears in my eyes, but I knew that I was going to make the best of the night. Last night, I learned that I am responsible for my own success. I can’t blame anything on anybody because in the end, I will be making my own decisions. I’m more than happy that I was able to turn my emotions around because if I hadn’t, I would have missed such a huge opportunity that can potentially shape my future.

Now, I will be getting ready for the ILC’s orientation. I will not be tardy this time!


  1. We're glad to see you're on your way to where everybody in the family wanted to be but couldn't quite make it because of "things", if you know what I mean.

    Just stay focused and know what you want in and out of life, but above all, don't be afraid to fail.

    Happens to the best.

    In fact, did you know Albert Einstein failed all throughout his career to find a theory for a unified field ? (whatever that is. lol.)

    You're going out into a strange world pretty soon, apo, one that constantly challenges established norms in society and gets into loggerheads with the image of God in man, but in the Bible God says to Israel, representative of people He had chosen to be His before the foundation of the world, "ye shall seek me, and find me", and so IF you are one of God's own, you will know when "that" time comes.
    Meantime, enjoy life, go for it.


  2. Ynah,

    It broke my heart to see you going through such despair before the excursion to Boulevard even got started. It please me, though, to see that you put the bad part of the evening behind you and moved forward.

    We can question the value of putting our ILCers in touch with the alums but your words in this blog validate this practice. Just sitting with Peggy may have set you on a life changing path.

    I hope you take advantage of the Brown Mentoring Program that Simon helps put together. It's been a wonderful tool to help many of our ILCers see what Brown has to offer.

    Like you, I was so impressed with Nick and Abigail. It's not just what they said but the passion with which they said it that gave it more impact. And Andrew is a superstar of the highest caliber. I was shocked and disappointed, however, that he failed to put in a plug for his bid for the Presidency in 2032. He seems to have a plan in place and will not be deterred.

    Keep an open mind, Ynah, and great things can happen for you.