The last Ivy League Connection event until we leave...
That is all I could think about when I left school this afternoon. This was the last event. The final step! I was so excited to see everyone and learn the final details of our trip, but before all of that, I was very happy to see that the dress code was summer casual. Don't get me wrong, I love dressing up, but it was nice to go to another one of these events in a more relaxed outfit.
Actually getting to Pinole Middle School was just slightly more difficult than I had anticipated. The directions given by Google Maps were incorrect, but fortunately we were close enough to the school that my mom and I could figure out where to go. A bit early we were, but I suppose that we were just on time as we all know that it is always extremely important to arrive before the event begins. We initially sat at the next free table available, but since it was near the back, Don encouraged us to move closer to the speakers up in the front of the room. My mom decided to hurry over to a table further up and I ran over there right before Mr. Ramsey began his speech.
During the first portion of the orientation, Ms. Kronenberg mentioned how we should not think of this trip as a big prize but rather as a job that is demanding and challenging. While those words have scared off some potential ILC members, I hear them and feel even more excited to go on my trip to the University of Pennsylvania. I have realized that what I really want in life is not to be given passes to relax and do whatever I feel like, but rather I have grown to appreciate hard work and dedication. I love the feeling of accomplishment that I get after completing a piece a work, whether it be school related or community related, and I am looking forward to accomplishing a great deal this summer. I thought it was really good that she put that out there, but I was even happier when I looked around the room and saw confident eyes. That really made me feel united with the group because I felt so strongly that we were all ready to go on this great adventure together.
When we broke up into our separate cohorts, I had a chance to see familiar faces of students and their parents whom I had already met, as well as a few new faces of my peers' parents. During this time, Ian mostly spoke and informed us on the specifics of the trip, handing out detailed itineraries and some permission slips. Many of us were curious about whether or not we had to bring our own blankets, but we all decided that they would be too heavy and that we could make a quick trip to Target once we arrived in Philadelphia. However, as a current Penn student and former ILC student informed us, Target is quite a ways away from the school and the nearest store has terrible parking. So I guess there are still a few kinks in the plan that we need to work out after all...but we'll get there.
Once we returned to the multi-purpose room, Mr. Ramsey made his last remarks and I could feel how excited he was for us all. At first he spoke in a calm tone, but suddenly he was congratulating us with this ecstatic, booming voice that made me really feel like we were about to take off! I loved the way he ended his speech and now I feel fully prepared to get out of here and fly to Philly!