Saturday, March 31, 2012

Training Day

It started with a quick run across the Hercules High parking lot in search for room 106. I thought I was going to be the first one there due to the lack of cars, but I was wrong. As I opened the door, there were already 4 or 5 students getting their high school IDs scanned by Don Gosney. As I sat and waited, I had the opportunity to get meet some other ILCers. I learned that some have already gone through the process, and for others it was their first time.

The tutorial started with each of us giving a simple introduction of ourselves, which consisted of our name, school, and school we will be attending. 

Then business started. Don Gosney talked about the basics and gave us notes about the whole tutorial. Laundry and Blogging were the topics I paid the most attention to, mostly because I have done neither of the two. The hands-on blogging was very helpful, now what is left is the hands-on laundry work, which I will practice a couple times before I leave for Penn.

Throughout the meeting we had short breaks to stretch and to talk with each other. I found this time equally as valuable as the information Don Gosney was giving us. The people who had already done the process talked about their previous experiences, such as how good the ice cream at Columbia is. I felt that towards the end of our final break we were becoming one and not a bunch of shy young adults sitting away from each other.

At the end, Madeline Kronenberg, Charles Ramsey, and Don Gosney told us about how we will now have to act as ambassadors of our communities, the WCCUSD, and the Ivy League Connection.

Now that I have had the opportunity to meet half of the 2012 ILCers, I can’t wait to meet the other half.

First Timer

I arrived at Hercules Middle High School at about 10:50 AM to attend the SAT training class I had the opportunity to partake in due to the ILC. After running through the rain and up the stairs to the library, I was greeted by the normal group of students sitting in the dark. Either the school forgot to pay their electrical bill this month, or just like at my house, they were experiencing a power outage. After sitting through a lesson on critical reading and writing the ILCers were dismissed a few minutes early to go to the tutorial. I led the way to room 106 because I was most familiar with the campus, seeing as I attended grades 6-8 at that school.

When I opened the door to the computer lab I was relieved to see my parents sitting there. For about two and a half hours, Don went through a boatload of information that is still sinking in. There were jokes here and there and comedy spread throughout the presentation that made it a little more bearable. I found the hands-on part to be the most entertaining. I must say, I was a little intimidated when I learned that a lot of people there had already went through this process before so they were all pretty familiar with the information.

I found the tutorial to be very beneficial in terms of the technicalities involved with blogging. I think once things pick up speed and get a little more exciting it'll be really easy for me to share with you all what's going on.

I can't wait until I get to meet the rest of my cohort!

Happier Returns

I arrived at Hercules High this morning around 8:50, somewhat stressed that I was late by ILC standards (15 minutes early at least!).  I attributed my arrival time to the utter inability of California residents to drive in anything more than three drops of rain, let alone a full-on thunderstorm.  I suppose I should also shoulder some of the blame, as I managed to get lost no more than 14 hours after having left the same campus after coaching the Richmond High JV baseball team to an ignominious 11-1 defeat at the hands of the Titans.  Thankfully, there were no gaudy banners there upon my arrival to taunt me about the previous night's defeat. (On a side note, to justify my relative failings as a baseball coach, I also must add that the Hercules baseball field is populated with a family of gophers.  These creatures had a habit of popping their heads up directly in front of the coach's box, distracting a certain coach, a la "Caddyshack").

Having survived the shameful entrance, I was excited to see some familiar faces from various ILC functions.  Everyone seemed quite cheerful, convincingly acting as though they would not rather be sleeping on a Saturday morning.  The tutorial in general was very helpful for me in setting my expectations for students, as well as in aiding me with this blogging adventure.  I am completely new to blogging, but since I grew up before blogging existed, I can play the "old-timer's" card and not feel completely guilty for having never blogged.  So far, so good though.  At the end of the tutorial, we got the chance to see some blogs from previous years, which emphasized to me what a formative experience this has been for students.  It also reminded me how important photos are to the blogging experience.  With that in mind, I googled "Penn campus" with ambitions of impressing Don and was greeted with this picture:
 A new statue at Penn?
Here's hoping this does not reflect the actual Penn experience, or at worst that students will be getting some robotics training during their Physics course.  To finish this first post, I'll add what I think is a better representation of where we will be spending most of the summer:
I couldn't be more excited for what I anticipate will be a great summer!

Refresher Course

I pulled into the Hercules High parking lot amidst a deluge of rain. After running the gauntlet from the car to the computer lab, I was able to grab a seat and relax. Molly Radosevich and I arrived about 20 minutes early, expecting to be some of the first people there, but there were already several other students sitting patiently at their computers waiting for the tutorial to begin. As a second-year ILC student, I should have known better–in the ILC, people learn to arrive early to every event.

Don’s tutorial covered many topics, including but not limited to everything we might ever want or need to know about blogging. After demonstrating on his own computer skills such as uploading photos, manipulating text, and the proper way to format a post, he allowed to do some hands-on practice. Although I blogged for the ILC last summer, I still found this to be one of the most helpful parts of the tutorial, as it gave me a chance to recall how everything worked. I’ve never been the best with computers, and while last summer was an excellent learning experience, I can always use more practice.

After discussing in-depth the different aspects of blogging and photo manipulation, Don gave a summary of what was to be expected of us as representatives of the WCCUSD and the Ivy League Connection. He also covered some of what to expect during our trips back east. Although I am comfortable with the ILC process after last year’s trip to Brown, Don’s speech reminded me of how lucky I was to be able to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity not once, but twice. I’m eager to experience the East Coast again, this time in a different area at a different university with different people. I could not be headed off to Penn soon enough.