Monday, June 25, 2012

Off to Penn ~ With Detours

You’d never know it from this photo but each member of our Penn cohort suffered from the same three afflictions: they were all anxious to start this adventure, nervous about the unknown nature of what lay in front of them and they all wish they could snuggle under their blankets for a few more hours before they had to leave.  I can’t speak for the first two afflictions but even I suffered from the last.  But, unlike our Penn cohort--who will board their plane in less than an hour--I will most definitely reacquaint myself with the comfort of my bed.

When our cohorts arrive for their departure from El Cerrito HS there are two informal games that are played.  The first being, which of our cohort will arrive first.  Alyssa and her father took first place in this one arriving nearly a full half hour before the required 2:45 AM gathering.  [On the other hand, there’s a much less enjoyable part of the game when we see which of our cohort wants to tempt Evil Don by showing up after the assembly deadline.  So far, with 25 of our ILCers having departed, no one has challenged Evil Don.]

The second of these games is “the weighing of the luggage”.  With the strict rules being imposed by the airlines with both the quantity and weight of check-in and carry-on luggage, we leave nothing to chance.  As we weigh each bag the air is thick with apprehension as each of our ILCers hopes that whatever scale they used at home was accurate enough so they don’t have to pay the overage at the airport. [Chloe and her mother took her bags to the local FedEx station to use their scales.]

Without naming names, several of the Penn cohort seriously tempted fate by packing their bags perilously close to the limit.  The Penn chaperone was the envy of all with a bag that weighed only 35 lbs--until Ivette arrived with her 30.5 lb bag.

Where we ran into a scare, though, was when one member of the group had two bags when the airline only allowed one.  It was a group effort that helped him repack and cram his belongings from the second bag into his primary check-on bag and his carry-on.  In the end, all was well with the world.

Just one week ago we shipped off two groups in one morning.  By itself there was nothing special about that except the weather: it was wet, it was windy and it was cold.  The temperature that day was only 54º but with the wet fog and the wind it cut right through us.  This morning, however, the mercury only rose to 48º but with the air being dry and with no wind it was a comfortable morning.

Rather than head straight to Philadelphia, our Penn cohort will head first to St. Louis to visit Washington University in St. Louis and then to Chicago to the University of Chicago before touring Northwestern with our old friend and ILC alum Stephanie Ny.

Stay tuned for the stream of blogs soon to come from our Penn Cohort.

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