Saturday, May 27, 2017

A Powerful Protest and Introspect from ILC

When I first arrived at Lavonya Dejean Middle, I heard loud drumming from protests outside the multipurpose room. I came fairly early, so I sat through the noise eating my pre-made dinner. After a couple of minutes, my mother and I decided it was time to go inside. 

Once I arrived at the courtyard I spent most of my time talking to my cohort members to catch up on everything we missed out. We introduced ourselves to our chaperone, Kendra Amerson, for the first time. We immediately set up a meet-and-greet dinner at a pottery and painting place. I liked the idea of spending time with my cohort members, and adding art to the meet up sounded ten times better.

Zunarah's speech was great at the
School Board meeting! 
When I entered the doors of the multipurpose room, I was surprised since I did not expected it to be so large. We soon found ourselves in the middle of a heated protest -- banners, speeches, angry adults, and all- making their way to fight for Serra. Serra is an adult school which the School Board planned on replacing with a Mandarin immersion school. Hearing all of the people's statements struck a sympathetic chord in my heart, and internally wished the best of luck for them.

After more than 30 speeches from Serra Adult School, it was our turn to present. Don first gave an introduction and summary of ILC's history, then the chaperones presented our names and courses we were taking. During this, we all proudly held up the representative banners for our colleges wide enough for the School Board to see. Lastly, each member of the four cohorts took turns saying their speeches and thanking the School Board for the support they've given over the years. I particularly liked Robson's speech, which emphasized his words by using "very" a plentiful amount of times.

When all the speeches were finished, we returned to the middle school's courtyard to take a couple of pictures. Most of us were shivering as Don took several shots of all the ILCers, their chaperones, and their parents. It took a good twenty minutes until all the pictures were taken, I was certain I blinked in almost all of them. Many of us stayed to take pictures with our friends and family. In the middle of it, I decided using the Brown University flag as a blanket would help keep me warm, and it certainly did. The ILC flags also served as awesome capes Jahnvi and I put to good use.
Jahnvi and I wearing our capes with pride.
As the day ended, I realized how grateful I was to meet the people coming with me in this journey. Amelia, Esmeralda, Kelsey, and Zunarah are all absolutely a blast to work with, and we get along perfectly. Ms. Amerson is cheerful and optimistic, two things we definitely need during this trip across the states. I can't wait to spend tons of time with them at Brown this summer!
Teamwork makes the dream work!

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