The evening started with a near death experience. You see, my sister was the one to drive my father and I to BART and she is definitely one of the worst drivers I have ever been in a car with. Luckily, the ride was short, and I survived. I arrived at the BART station at 5:00 (15 minutes early) and was quickly engulfed in conversation with the various people there.
I began by talking with Hummd about her experience at Cornell. This was an easy starting point as Hummd and my sister are friends and so the conversation was easy to keep going. However, even that died down eventually, so I conversed with my cohort until a few more people arrived. Once enough people arrived, Don gave us directions on what was to happen that evening, handed out Clipper Cards, and told us to head up the escalator to the platform.
|Waiting to get on the BART train.|
Once on the platform, and later on the train, I had the privilege of talking to Adrienne Ramsey. (Mr. Ramsey’s daughter) She enlightened me not only about her experience at the Women and Leadership program, but also about her life after the program and through college. Through this discussion, I learned quite about her reasoning for transferring from Sarah Lawrence College after two years to go to USC. She advised me to go into college undecided, as college classes can be very different from high school and I might find a topic that I am very passionate about in college, that I didn’t even know existed in high school. She also talked about the value of internships, what her career goal was for the future, and how it was important to take a break.
This discussion continued once we left the noisy BART train and started the walk toward the restaurant we were going to, "Townhall Restaurant." However, I didn’t just talk to Adrienne during this walk, I also talked to Ms. Kronenburg with another ILCer about the weather that would await us at Brown and Cornell. I have to say, after discussing this with her, I was a little less enthused to be going to Brown. (It is supposed to be hot and humid) This however, diminished as soon as we got to the restaurant.
Once in the upstairs venture at the restaurant, my cohort and I decided to take a pit stop to the bathroom as we felt like we needed to wash our hands after the BART ride. After a little pep talk with each other about how to be profession and adult mannered, we made our way out back into the venue. We were met with Kendra (our chaperone) in the hallway who requested to take our picture. We happily obliged and after a couple quick photos, we made our way into the area near the bar.
In this time before dinner was served I talked with several of the ILCers who I did not know very well, as well as one of the Women and Leadership interviewers (Alice Pineiro.) She gave the Brown Cohort members an interesting look into her time at Brown and her experience after Brown. This especially fascinated Zunarah as she wants to go into the same line of work as Alice Pineiro is currently in. However, this conversation did not last long as soon it was time to eat.
I quickly found my table, and as I sat down, I began to make small talk with the others at my table. They were: Sally Swanson who is a long-time interviewer, sponsor, and supporter of the Ivy League Connection, my father, myself, Irene Rojas-Carroll who attended Women and Leadership when she was in high school and later went on to attend Brown, Adrienne Ramsey who took both the Women and Leadership course and another course with the Ivy League Connection, and Don Gosney.
|From left to right: Allen Meacham, myself, and Irene Rojas-Carroll|
However, the small talk didn’t last very long as the salads were soon served and the speeches started.
The speeches were led by Madeline Kronenberg who is a member of the School Board and one of the founders of the Ivy League Connection. Her introduction was followed by Bianche who did an excellent speech about how thankful she was. Bianche was then followed by Irene Rojas-Carroll who talked about how the Ivy League Connection shaped her life. Following Irene, Javaria talked, followed by Kevin, and finally, Don Gosney. All of the speeches were excellent and they all had elements that really connected to the audience. Once the speeches were over, it was time for the main course.
I ordered the Salmon dish, which although delicious, showed itself to not be the star of the show. The real star of the show was most definitely the conversation. We started by discussing Irene’s achievements throughout not only high school with her development of the Gay, Straight, Alliance, but also through her young adulthood and her plans for the future. This merged into several different topics which, to not bore the reader, I will shorten. We discussed Sally Swanson’s role and her support of activism throughout the years, we talked about my personal goals and outcomes for the Women and Leadership course, we discussed Adrienne's future and how she enjoyed college, and several other topics. This ended once dinner was over, dessert dishes were being served, and Don said that it was time to take to go outside and take a group photo.
So, freezing, my cohort and I, as well as interviewers and alums, made our way downstairs to take a picture. The picture taking process itself was quite uneventful, and the potato we found on the ground was much more interesting.
|We made Don take a picture of us with the potato.|
Once Don was done taking pictures, the evening really did come to an end. Thank you’s were said, last minute pictures were taken, and soon, everyone was either getting into their cars or walking to the BART station.
Although interesting, the BART ride back proved itself to be less lively and informative as the first trip, as people had already been talking all night and were generally tired. Luckily, the ride home was fairly quick and before long, all of the ILCers said their goodbye’s and we were on our way home after a delightful, informative, and enlightening experience.