Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Jam-Packed, Four-Hour Session on a Wonderfully Rainy Day

Today, I woke up at around 7:30 which wasn't too bad after going right to bed after socializing with a good friend of mine who is currently at Cal Poly SLO as a freshman. I arrived right at my target time of 8:15 which was relatively surprising as I was rushing to leave the door. The rain concerned me as there may be less of an opportunity to take pictures as Don planned but at the end, there are a considerable amount of photos that were taken complimentary of Don. The majority of the presentation was not as boring as I thought but a lethargic character would not suffice since there is so much detail in the presentation.

The practice blog was actually quite pleasant to write, as the content requirements were extremely laissez-faire. Since I was unable to bring my camera to the session today (shame on Kevin), I used the stock photos that Don put on his flash drive which were completely random to the actual content. There is also a special mention to one of the other ILC'ers as she repeatedly left comments with my name with the incorrect spelling. It is all cool though as we were just kidding around by testing while also learning how to post comments underneath blogs, so we were able to kill two birds with one stone (or if my calculus teacher saw this, I meant to say to pet two cats with one hand.)
It was truly really nice to meet some of the other ILC'ers that I have only seen the names of—they all seemed really interesting and engaging. I hope to see them more in the later months! Currently while writing this blog, I am listening to the Session Four tutorial so this gives me absolutely no excuse to be uncomprehending. Later, after the tutorial session, I couldn't help myself by walking around the school to admire the architecture. According to Don, the construction of my contemporary school cost more than that of De Anza, but I personally admire the interior architecture of the hallways, which had a very earthly but luminescent ambiance due to the abundance of glass panels. It almost felt like schools in Europe and Japan where long hallways and high use of glass tend to be ubiquitous for secondary schools.
De Anza High School's main gates with the iconic ILC banner to direct clueless souls like us.
The laundry spiel and the explanation of items or actions which are prohibited appeared to be humorous at a first glance but as Don said, they are there because there have been previous ILC'ers who have committed such atrocious decisions that simply can't be tolerated. Also, I previously did not used to be fond of taking pictures after having disdainful scenarios of taking photographs with my mom but after hearing Don's lecture, I do not only have a relatively competent grasp of taking and uploading photos but that in which my interest in pictures in magazines and other publications seem especially interesting. I am the person who probably prefers the physics and chemistry behind optimum photographic production but we'll see when I have to declare a major in college.

In retrospect, I found this session particularly detailed which is very useful, as many of my questions have been asked while listening. It was interesting to get pestered (in a friendly and playful way) by another friend but most importantly, I am glad that the ILC'ers could meet in one room and listen to Good Don (hope he is like this so far) delineate crucial information for what the Ivy League Connection even is. The amount of content excites me, as I am a person who dislikes being languid; I am quite certain that the ILC will lead to quite the opposite effect!

A Nice, Rainy Tutorial

After hearing about the first ILC tutorial session on the 15th of this month from my fellow ILCers, I wondered how today's session would go.  Thankfully, the entire tutorial session was nice, relaxed, and without many problems despite the rainy weather outside.

De Anza High School's gate with the ILC banner.
I woke up this morning thinking that I would end up being late to the tutorial at De Anza High School after sleeping past my alarm for 40 minutes and waking up at around 7:40 AM with a chauffeur (my mom) only just waking up as well. To my relief, my panic and rush allowed me to get to De Anza High School at around 8:10 AM, about 20 minutes before the session started.  Upon arriving, finding the room in which the tutorial was to be held was quite easy as I found Don outside the gate who then guided me inside.  To my surprise I found out that my French teacher, Ms. Scott, is actually my chaperone for my trip to Brown,. After a little bit of small talk with Don, more ILCers began to arrive, eventually starting our tutorial session.

The tutorial itself started with some warnings and protocols that we are expected to follow, including a warning about Evil Don and Guantanamo Don.  We then later moved onto the topic of blogging and photography.  Each of us wrote a practice blog and took a few pictures during this time. Unfortunately, I did not have a camera to bring to take photos, leaving this blog a bit more bland.  Once we were about 2 hours in, we held a small break where I talked to my fellow cohorts Jack and Kevin and my classmate, Katelyn, before resuming again.

The tutorial classroom.
The latter part of the tutorial was more about the trip itself and what is to be expected of us when we get to our respective colleges.  When Don told us about how lousy the dorms at Brown would be and how every other college had decent to great dorms, I began to cringe at the thought of sweating constantly, having to use a communal shower, and all the unsanitary objects to be found.  With that thought aside, I started to feel excited for the trip and before I knew it, the tutorial was already over. After loitering around for about 10 minutes, I finally left to rest up at home.

The tutorial session was relatively simple with clear instructions, even if I don't remember all of them right now.  It was nice seeing the other kinds of people that made it into the ILC and being able to meet part of my cohort again. I'm really looking forward to what's to come in the future from the ILC and even more from my experience at Brown.

Don't Know How to Blog? Ask Don!

I woke up this morning to the sound of a faint, yet familiar voice coming from the stairs that I dread hearing every morning. My dad. I looked at my left wrist to look at my watch and I realized for the umpteenth time that instead of where my watch usually is I had a big bulky splint. I groan and roll over to reach for my phone resting on my nightstand. I checked the time, 7:15 AM. "Just a few more minutes..." I silently say in my mind, but I know that if I don't get up soon my dad will be back with a vengeance. I decide to risk it and close my eyes.
Need... more... sleep....
I wake up again, but this time the voice is much louder with a lot more force. I quickly hop out of bed and check my phone, 7:33 AM! "Oh man! I'm gonna be late!" I think to myself over and over again the different situations in which Don beats me to a pulp when I arrive late to the tutorial at 8:30 AM. Some of you may be thinking that this is more than enough time to take a shower, get dressed, eat, brush your teeth, and get to De Anza High School where the tutorial takes place but not for me. I am constantly reminded by my parents that I am the SLOWEST person in the mornings. I mean it takes me about 5 minutes to walk up a flight of 13 steps (I just counted), and get into the bathroom. Needless to say I was a little frightened for my health. It was the first major day and I had no wishes to meet either Evil Don or Guantanamo Don (Don's cruel brother and cousin).

By some miracle I was able to make it out of the house by 8:06 AM. If my parents are reading this, such speed shown by myself this morning was a miraculous feat and will not be seen for some time; a better sleep schedule, however, will definitely be on my mind from now on.
A rough sketch of Evil Don
I arrived at De Anza by 8:15 AM and realized that not only was I early but I wasn't even close to being the last one there. Good thing too because my nightmares about the Evil Don's were confirmed when he told us all the story about the previous tutorial session when an ILCer arrived at 8:38 AM. Needless to say, I definitely won't be late for any ILC events.

Once the remaining ILCers arrive we dive right into it. First, Don showed us how to use Blogger and taught us all what requirements were necessary for blog posts. Here's a short list of the requirements for a post:
  • Times Font
  • Normal Font Size
  • Justification of the Font
  • TITLE!
After we got these requirements thoroughly ingrained in our heads he gave us a test of sorts. Write a blog post about anything, no pictures at this time, just text. I didn't really know what to write about so I just started writing and ended up writing about how the Junior year of high school is stereotypically hard but how it doesn't have to be that way. After about 20 minutes I went to preview my blog as he told us to do and it didn't work... I then went to just publish it as it was on Don's Practice Blog and that didn't work either...

I approached Don about this after another classmate of mine had the same problem. When I asked him what the problem is and what we should do about it he calmly replied that "Blogspot is taking a break, which is why we are now as well." This subtle sense of humor kept sparking up all throughout the training, which is one of the reasons as to why it was so fun.

At break time I looked over the spread of food that was provided for us. Water, an assortment of different chips, cookies, and even Redvines. Yum! I settled on a water, a bag of Lays, and a quite delicious Chocolate Chip Cookie. At this time I was also able to meet my chaperone for the Brown-I group, Ms. Alana Scott; a very nice woman who teaches French at Hercules High School if I remember correctly. As I am currently taking AP French at El Cerrito High School I think that we should get along famously. I also met another one of my Brown-I cohorts, Brandon, who is very nice and put up with my never ending questions about high school academics and the ILC program itself.

With the end to the break came an introduction of computer locks. Many funny stories and examples from Don about the use and importance of these came with the presentation. I had never really thought about the importance of these before but I will definitely borrow one for the trip, if not get one for my own personal use.
Don explains the importance of computer locks to ILCers
After this presentation Don showed us the importance of pictures in our blogs. He showed us how to put them in and how to edit them once we put them in. We were told to enter some pictures into our previous blogs to make sure that we could do it, which turned out to be tons of fun. The pictures that Don gave us to use were absolutely hilarious! My favorite was by far a picture of Don holding a cat up covering part of his face so that all you could see was his stare of death peering straight into your soul. Of course this is an exaggeration but knowing Don this picture could have been meant to intimidate an insubordinate ILCer in one of the previous years. Either way, me and my fellow classmates were absolutely dying of laughter. 

Once we finished this we started wrapping things up. Don had given us two packets earlier, one about Mediafire and uploading photos, while the other was about general rules of ILC and other helpful knowledge. We looked over both of these fairly quickly and he answered any questions that we needed answering. There weren't many questions because frankly, all of us were very tired and ready to leave. About 3:45 had passed since we got there and we were all started to contract some form of Cabin Fever.

We were finally released around 12:37 PM and I couldn't be more thankful. The session itself was very informative and fun but it was incredibly long. I think that this post can somewhat represent that length accurately but all in all in was a good start to an amazing program.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Tutorial Sessions 1 & 2

On Saturday March 15th the ILC held the first two of their four tutorial sessions where 18 of our 36 ILCers learned something about how to blog, take photos, post their photos and numerous details about being a part of the ILC.  They also learned more about what to expect in coming months.

If you scroll down below this blog you can read some of their first blogs. 

But first, we thought we would post a few photos from the day.