Thursday, May 31, 2012

"It's Worth It"

The classiest restaurant around. It
didn't get the James Beard for nothing!
When I woke up this morning, I knew it was going to be a big day. Yearbooks were being distributed, and then, of course, we had our fancy ILC dinner. 

After a hectic day of giving out yearbooks (and getting yelled at by people who couldn't get theirs) I got home around four o' clock. And because I had my outfit all laid out, I knew I had plenty of time. Of course, as soon as I put the clothes on, I absolutely hated how it looked. I ended up trying on every piece of 'fancy' clothing I own, so of course they are all lying in a heap on my floor. (I'll clean up later). By the time I finally decided, and gotten everything together, it was five o' clock and time to go. And after I really had everything together, it was five o' five and seriously time to go. 

As a debater, seeing people dressed in formal clothes isn't that unusual, but still feels rather out of place on people I see every day, who are always wearing khaki and an aloha shirt. Unfortunately, because the elevator was broken at Embarcadero, my dad couldn't go with the group, and instead went on a different train. We all made it there, and then walked the couple blocks to the restaurant. I'd never been before, but had only heard sterling reviews of both the food and the atmosphere. Walking in, I can honestly say I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to connect with the people at my table. 

Maddie and Elizabeth, bonding over mutual love of EC
math teachers. Go Huybrechts/O' Connor!
However, I sat next to Elizabeth Gonzales, who had only graduated three days ago! (Congrats, Elizabeth!) Sitting next to her was amazing, because both Maddie Pine, who was on Elizabeth's other side, and I, got to ask a whole lot of questions about campus life, and even the application process, and she was able to give us helpful, recent information. She also went to El Cerrito High, so we were also able to chat a lot about the teachers that we had in common, the ones we loved and the ones who were not so favorited. Across the table from me were the Champion's, who graduated a little bit earlier than Elizabeth. I wasn't able to talk to them as much, because we had to practically yell to be heard, but they did share a few anecdotes about their experience at Brown, and even about 'empty nest syndrome'. As well as the Champion's, Elizabeth, and Maddie, Maddie's mom, my dad, and Mrs. Kronenberg made up our table. 

Of course, I have to blog about the food. Every dish was incredible. Even though I'm not really big on vegetables, I have to admit that the salad was delicious. The pork chop was even more tasty, and so artfully displayed! And as someone who loves to bake, I have a huge spot in my heart for dessert. My lemon curd was amazing, and so was the thyme ice cream. How Boulevard managed to get so many plates out in such a short amount of time was amazing to me. 

As soon as Mrs. Kronenberg announced that we were all going to go around and give an interesting fact about ourselves, I immediately thought piano; Molly stole my thunder. So on the spot, I thought of what I've been doing (besides studying, of course) these last couple weeks, and my mind went directly to Grey's Anatomy. Though I'm not completely caught up, during winter break, I did watch two seasons in one week. In hindsight, that's a more embarrassing than interesting fact, but hey, I love that show. I was really pleased that they introduced all of the sponsors as well, because we're all so indebted to them. Hearing how much faith they have in us and what we can do was both motivational and humbling. 
One of the triplets, you can decide. 
Andrew Gonzales, who is attending Brown this next year also spoke about the ILC. Even though he wanted to go to Stanford (or is that a misquote?) going to the East Coast completely changed his perspective. I'm already pretty sure that I'm going to the East Coast, even if I don't know where, but I'm so grateful for the opportunity to see all of the options I have (to apply to, getting accepted is a whole other story).

Both Nick and Abigail did an awesome job at speaking. Nick's speech, which he may or may not have been practicing on BART, was fluent and fun. Abigail had a more personalized, passionate speech that really reenforced the purpose of the ILC. Though we may come from an under-recognized district, WCCUSD students can, and will, make a difference.

After Mr. Ramsey made the closing remarks, the alums and ILCers moseyed over to the back and obeyed Don's instructions. Magically, all thirty people fit, all in a very small space. The only problem I had with the photo is that it was taken after I stuffed myself with dessert... Thank goodness for Photoshop, right? 
Simon Hong speaking on
the Brown Mentor program.

I was so happy to be able to meet Simon Hong. After the dinner, and introduced myself to him, wanting to know more about the Brown Mentor program. He told me that after graduation, he worked for Morgan Stanley, and is now a hedge fund manager. Those are essentially my dream jobs, so I was really happy to know that we were going to continue to be in touch. 

This dinner gave me a chance to talk to people that I, in no way, would have ever been able to meet otherwise. People who go, are going, or have went to the school that I'm dreaming about, I got to sit down and have dinner with.  As Abigail said in her speech, "It's worth it." Any amount of work would be worth this chance to get to new places and meet new people.

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