Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How Dora the Explorer Just Might Get Me Into College

Tonight, this year's Ivy League Connection cohort was presented to the school board. The event went similarly to last year's presentation, with all of the cohorts being presented to the school board members, all of whom seemed genuinely proud of each and every one of us, followed by a couple of speeches from former ILCers, and ending with the group picture of the entire Ivy League Connection cohort and their parents.
The Brown cohort after we were presented to the board, me trying not to laugh at my mom struggling with the camera.
After each individual group was introduced, the school board members each spoke a bit about the program and what it means for the entire WCCUSD community. These wonderful speeches really helped drill in the fact that I am being an ambassador for my school district, and I hope to be the best possible representative of my school district. It quickly became clear that I would be hard-pressed to keep up with other great representatives of our school district when the two former ILCers spoke at the meeting.

I remembered Austin Long from last year's ILC meeting, where he gave a speech that left all of the adults in awe, not just the students. I also remember Austin from one of his previous blogs that Don has used as the gold standard in both this year's and last year's tutorial. Needless to say, Austin, a rising sophomore at Yale, gave yet another inspiring speech this year. His idea that the only barriers blocking my path to success are in my head really motivated me, and I just wish I could hop on that plane to Providence tonight.

My favorite part of the school board meeting was Terilyn Chen's speech however. I had the pleasure of going to Cornell with Terilyn last year, even though we were in different programs, and wasn't even the least bit surprised when I heard that she was going to Harvard next year. Her speech helped me relax somewhat about the college application process, as her story about her Harvard interview showed that a lot of these admissions officers and former alums really want you to go to their school, and aren't simply looking for reasons to reject you. I had absolutely no idea what a college interview would be like, but did somewhat expect it to be something like how hers started, with general questions about academics and extracurricular activities and so on. I did not expect the interviewer to ask about The Hunger Games or SpongeBob SquarePants, which apparently hers did. I found the whole event even better than last years, and look forward to next week's dinner for the Brown cohort, where I will have to make an attempt at public speaking with a three minute speech. Anyway, I'm off to watch a few hours of Dora the Explorer, to make sure I'm well prepared for my future college interviews.

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