Wednesday, June 7, 2017


I met up with the ILC at Pinole Middle School on Monday. The last time I had been at Pinole Middle was my eighth grade year on the last day of school. It was extremely nostalgic to be back on such a once familiar campus. It brought back memories of stressing out about the Middle College High School application process that I had to complete that year. I have grown so much since then and am still learning new things everyday while finding myself. I believe that this program will be another one of these memories I have to look back on and be filled with gratitude as I remember the obstacles I overcame, and valuable lessons I learned.

The ILC banner in front of Pinole Middle.
After reminiscing about my middle school days for awhile, I walked into the multipurpose room and saw Don in his usual Hawaiian shirt. His shirt was especially vibrant today, and I found a color I particularly liked on his shirt. It was a pink sort of salmon color that looked so vibrant it was almost florescent. I also noticed an array of familiar items on the tops of the tables. Fans, desk lamps, laptop locks, and various other items that we were introduced to at the tutorial a couple months back. There were also suit cases assigned neatly along the base of the stage, just begging to be taken back East.

As other familiar ILCers and parents walked in, we began with a sweet introduction from Madeline Kronenberg. Then Don began to explain what our plan for evening was. After explaining what was to be accomplished the chaperones came up and introduced themselves and the history they have had with chaperoning previously. After the introduction of the chaperones, we were directed to the Brown University flag and proceeded to congregate near it at a table.
ILC chaperones.
In the breakout session, Kendra, my cohort, parents, and an alum all met up at a table. Kendra started our session out by going over the itineraries, where I was a little surprised to learn we were going to be meeting up at 3:30 AM to depart to the airport. Don also advised us to get plenty of sleep the week prior to departure so that we can easily adapt to the different time zone. The time zone difference between California and Rhode Island is three hours. Which sounds pretty manageable, compared to other places like Australia which is 17 hours ahead of us! After going over the itinerary we were given a list of places we could potentially visit during our time back East, and signed the field trip parent permission slips.

Signing documents.
Later, we had the pleasure of hearing from Krystal Pantoja, an ILC alum and senior at Richmond High School. Krystal Pantoja was very sweet and informal, she gave us various helpful tips that I know will be extremely helpful down the road. She also explained how the experience really impacted her, and how she feels that it has really made her mature more, and that the experience was so amazing. We were also told to soak up every single moment and enjoy it to the fullest because it will go by so fast and soon we will be wishing we were back at Brown.

Listening to Krystal talk so passionately about how much her experience had impacted her life, reminded me the reason I even became interested in this opportunity. I became so infatuated with this program because of the stories I had heard, and the life changing experiences that star-struck me, and inspired me to want to be just like previous ILCers. The opportunities that would arise from this, the memories, and the lessons I would learn. All of these elements completely caught my interest, and I am so grateful they did.
Krystal Pantoja sharing her ILC experience.
After chatting for awhile and asking questions, it was 7:00 PM and we were instructed to return to our seats. When seated, Don started to go over what was highly recommended to take and the different types of items he could lend us, so that we wouldn't have to spend so much money on this trip.

 I am so very excited to go. With just a few weeks left until we depart, I am counting down the days.

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