It's been a very long year but at 3:23 AM on this day the last ILC cohort departed for Brown University where they'll be studying Women & Leadership.
The morning started off feeling much colder than the 56º that my digital thermometer read. Perhaps it was the hefty breeze slicing through us all.
After weighing the luggage and affixing luggage tags I asked for a show of hands of our four young ladies and their chaperone asking who thought it was much too early and much too cold to be standing out in front of El Cerrito High School. At first it was difficult to get a response--the cold in their bones prevented them from raising their hands. When they broke through the cold, though, the response was unanimous:
|Who thinks it's too early and too cold to be here?|
Trying to keep the noise down to keep from offending the neighbors, I went through my normal spiel where I tried to impress upon these young ladies that this was the time when all of the hard work was going to pay off. It was five months back when they were selected to be the Brown cohort and since that time they've endured a structured Tutorial back in May, a dinner with sponsors and alums back in May, their presentation before the School Board in late May, an informal meet & greet event later in early June, the Orientation a few days later, and countless emails and texts from me trying to train and prepare them for this trip. What they get from this trip should be life changing but the price they paid to get here was difficult, arduous and tested their mettle.
We talked about blogging, mastering the art of critical thinking, taking lots of pretty pictures, making new friends and absorbing everything so when they return they can tell every living soul they meet about what they've experienced and learned.
Before arriving at Brown in Saturday night, they'll visit the University of Pennsylvania for an official site visit. They were also scheduled for a tour of the campus but there is an extreme heat warning (Accuweather says it's supposed to be 89º but feels like 99º) so Penn has canceled the tour. Instead, they'll put a very large group of people into a room where they'll talk to them about Penn. [Please let there be air conditioning.]
While in Philadelphia they're scheduled to visit the One Liberty Observation Deck, the Eastern State Penitentiary and, if the lines aren't too long, the Independence National Historic Park.
|Adios. Sayonara. Hasta la Vista, Baby.|
Along the way, we can expect daily blogs where the words coming from these young women will make us feel as if we are there with them. I can't wait.