Monday, April 30, 2012

Our First Steps

The weather was absolutely beautiful on Saturday morning, April 21, and the warmth helped me get out of my bed despite my weekend habit of sleeping in later than seven o'clock AM. I was thankful for the warm weather as it helped me get ready for the tutorial and head over to Hercules Middle School.

I arrived with three students from my own school, El Cerrito High, so I felt quite comfortable and assured walking into the computer room.  While we waited for the other students to arrive, Don asked us to try and sit next to someone that we had not yet met.  My friend Nick had reserved a spot for himself in the back but he decided to sit next to me until more people had arrived.  By the time that the majority of the day's participants had shown up, his spot was taken and we both thought that it would be okay to stay seated next to one another and then mingle with students from other schools during the break.

At first, I stayed close to a couple of my fellow El Cerrito students when the break started. However, I really wanted to meet the rest of the students as well as my chaperone who I had only spoken to over email.  As I was getting up to introduce myself, my chaperone, Ian Lawrence, made introductions himself.  After speaking briefly with him I felt assured that he would be an excellent person to watch over us, which made me feel less nervous about traveling all the way to Philadelphia this summer.  Once we had said goodbye, I made my way over to a group of girls who were involved in the other summer programs and we had a chance to share our excitement and become familiar with one another before the break ended.

The information presented to us by Don was very straightforward and well-explained.  I felt pretty comfortable with the tasks we were asked to do from now until the summer is over.  I was a little nervous about having to blog everyday, but I figured that I just need to think of it as improving, what I would say is, my bad habit of sporadic journal writing.  Overall I understand what is going to be expected of me and I am prepared, and anxious, to get started on this journey!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Beautiful Day for Blogging

The sun was shining brightly when I pulled into the Hercules High School parking lot this morning.  I found my way to room 106, and was surprised to find many El Cerrito High School students already there.  Sitting next to someone I didn't know was going to be harder than I anticipated.  

I sat towards the back, and thankfully my chair was connected to my desk, for I was soon hit with an amazing amount of information, including blogging, photo editing, and laundry.  I am a novice at all these things,  though I have done my laundry before. However, I don't think my past strategy of throwing everything in the same load and hoping for the best will cut it at Penn.  

During our short break, I got the chance to mingle with a few of the students I hadn't met before.  Almost automatically, all the girls gathered together and we got to chat for a bit while the guys all sat on the other side of the room.  I was again reminded what an accomplishment it is to be an ILCer, and I was very impressed with all the new people I met.  I also got the chance to meet my chaperone again, this time in a much more casual setting.  Chatting in a computer lab is definitely more relaxing than being interviewed. 

All in all, the tutorial was incredibly informative and fun.  I learned a ton, and every second just brought me more excitement about my summer at Penn.  I really just can't wait any longer!

Twin Lakes

Today was my first time hiking to Twin Lakes and I was incredibly excited to see how the trail would stand up to praise it had received from my family and friends. As I trudged down the path, the birds chirped cheerfully and the flowers seemed to welcome us into their beautiful lair. I was amazed at the diversity of plants I saw and could not help but stop and take pictures of them.  Not only did I snap shots of the plant life, but of the incredible mountains, lakes, and meadows that I had a chance to see.

Wild Tiger Lily
My favorite part of the hike was capturing the scenery of the Sierra Mountains.  Although I do not have a camera of my own, my brother generously allowed me to borrow his digital camera for the day.  We traveled up and down hills, through meadows and valleys, and swam to the miniature island within the lake.  I must have stopped every five minutes or so to pull out the camera that was hanging around my neck and crouch down to try out my artistic skills on the nearest flower to catch my eye.  For long distance shots, I practiced changing around the lighting on the camera since the sunlight was bouncing off of everything it touched.

Twin Lakes

Besides the flowers, I was able to capture a great number of shots of the lakes.  Twin Lakes in itself explains that the hike leads to identical lakes that are overwhelmingly beautiful.  On this sunny day, the water sparkled in the light and the sun warmed my body after I swam to the island within the lake.  The space was gentle, and I appreciated the calamity and grace of the nature around me.  Most of all, I loved the moment when I felt myself completely relaxing.  

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Here We Go

It was 7 AM when my alarm woke me up on Saturday, March 31, 2012. YES!, you read right, it was Saturday! Now you must all think I'm absolute crazy for getting up at 7 AM on a Saturday, but I can see why. The weekend was meant for resting, so by getting up so early I was pretty much defying the laws of nature. Now don't think I'm a criminal who breaks the law every weekend. I assure you I wake up after 10 on Saturdays, but this Saturday was a special occasion.

With the help of Don's maps I arrived at Hercules High School at around 8:20 AM, a good 40 minutes early. The mandatory ILC tutorial didn't start until 9 AM, but it has been made quite clear that timing is very important. By 9 everybody was there, and we were ready to start.

Don covered many areas. He talked to us about blogging, laundry, photography, thieves, and numerous other things that we were required to know. He allowed us two breaks in between his lectures.

During our break we were actually supposed to get up, and try to make new friends. Um, yeah I did not do that. I sat in my chair talking to my very close friend, Tayler Ward, whom I already knew from school. MAYBE we'll actually get up and socialize at the following event, but I wouldn't count on it.

Besides having to get up ridiculously early on a Saturday, and there being no snacks, I did enjoy the tutorial. It answered any questions I had regarding my trip to Penn. I'm really excited, and I can't wait for my trip to the east side!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Training Camp

As I headed to Hercules High School on Saturday March 31st, I was not looking forward to going to the ILC tutorial. I had an obligation to go to my church anniversary that same day. As I received information about the valuable information being shared at these tutorials, my parents and I decided that it would be best for me to attend the tutorial and come to the anniversary when it was over.

While sitting in the approximately two hour and thirty minute long tutorial, a lot of information regarding  blogging was shared and  I actually felt that I would  have a lot of fun, and come out of my box blogging everyday. We also learned about how to do our own laundry! I was surprised that some of my fellow ILCers did not know how to do their own laundry. Nonetheless I was glad that I attended and I am looking forward to the trip.