Saturday, March 29, 2014

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.


  1. Didn't I tell you, Jack, that you'd have to work for this scholarship? There's no such thing as a free lunch. Welcome to the real world.

  2. Jack, I am also glad that you, Brandon and I have French in common. I have heard there are significantly more French-speakers on the East Coast than here in California, so we may get to practice a bit during the trip.