As I am here in the Bay Area adjusting to debate as well as an internship that I am going to do while catching up on various elements that my community is doing to make many proud- from The ECHS Jazz Ensemble making its debut in Europe to an upcoming 24-hour drive for cancer as well as many global events which are going on, I am starting to understand to large gap that I took and overcame not only literally but on a larger level. Our world is so interconnected that what I have done may not seem to make as a lasting mark as it would have many decades ago but to continue to make that route and to improve and to work hard to make the bridge between this gap even sturdier and more beneficial is what I strive to accomplish and I then can hope that it would leave others to set better precedents than I and many others have done. What is this gap that I talk about? It can actually be interpreted in a plethora of ways and seen in a plethora of perspectives, which ultimately make this experience so special and so crucial to many in which this opportunity casts an impact on. Even if people don't seem to care about the ILC, or if people feel that because they didn't obtain a scholarship to go back East, or believe that the ILC is infested with 'elitists'; I am certain that what people pose an impact towards affect the world as a whole in a variety of ways which can be interpreted differently by different people. I acknowledge that what the marks of what people leave should be cherished in terms of how unique and special they are as what one person leaves has its own inherent qualities which can't be mimicked or reproduced by anyone else. This scholarship has taught me to see these elements as fragile and to cherish and embellish them to the best of my ability. Although this will be one of many accomplishments and life-changing activities that are experienced by human beings around the world and hopefully within my own life, I see this as substantial enough to see me change as a person in the long-run.
I have yet to see the full package which will unwind out of this month-long opportunity as I am still in the short-term stage. I was surprised to find that I adjusted pretty quickly to PST, although I almost missed the World Cup final match because of extra sleep that I took. It is however very, very hard to finally be at the place which I seem to call as the 'stomping grounds' as I essentially didn't take a tour or visit Brown and the rest of New England with the colleges that come with it. It seems like home away from home, even if I don't seem to fully encapsulate what this is doing for me at that particular moment. Perhaps it is because to deliberate think about a particular impact at a random point in time doesn't seem to formulate right at that second but it will come in terms of going about something or at a random point without effort. Sometimes I regret not being able to jot down these "a-ha!" moments in the latter circumstance. But when I occasionally do jot down substantial themes and epiphanies which strike me, I wonder if I the full essence is being captured by what I write.
Fortunately, I have experienced some of the symptoms which are caused by changing as a person. I remember the orientation when Don that my parents won't really recognize the old Kevin at SFO when I return to what Ms. Kronenburg murmured before I left (I hope New Zealand changed hers, might go there next year in the summer post-graduation). I can successfully say that going on a musical tour to doing a camp in the outdoors has its own set of ways to change my life but it has been refreshing and explicitly fascinating to witness the changes that have come forth for this experience. To be free and to be fully independent (except for alcohol and drugs as well as a late curfew) had shown insight to what will occur after I obtain or clench something that I have yearned for so long. The tenets of the ILC at times do not seem apparent when I am in the moment back East but at times of reflection and of thinking matters through which is compulsory to doing this successfully, they are. To experience New England and to think that my life has problems when I feel that I can't tie the loose ends in terms of going to this X place in Providence or doing a certain activity or learning a particular topic may be substantial and even center-stage due to my perseverance, but to see others back in West County as to places in the far corners of the planet not have running water to working in jobs in order to make a living shows how I had to take a step back so that I will have less regrets than if I didn't realize this- and I am glad that I did before heading back to the opposite coast. I realized and reflected on how fortunate I was to study economics among students from all over the globe- an international and innovative community that I was dreaming to collaborate and to be a part of. I realized that I was able to develop and to put my social skills and abilities on the line where I have progressed to a person who seems to find no boundaries as well as simultaneously meeting other people and developing deep and ever-lasting friendships with random people that I meet. I didn't fully realize this while I was there but at last, I finally realize the whole scope of why I was there (even though I regret not being able to absorb and to delineate the whole and real deal) and what this ultimately means in terms of giving back.
It entails that I use this for the benefit of others where I can finally speak and to apply these experiences into the world that I am going into. It should never be seen in regressing where I return home or where I talk about this as some ivory-tower, distant experience that I boast about. It is about interrelating this to how I view matters and how I take leadership as well as to transfer this for the utilitarian criterion for society. When talking about this, I see what seems like an infinite amount of flashbacks to my perseverance to being accepted, the countless amount of e-mails which I often found humorous, yet necessary, the dinners and all the people that I couldn't have imagined possible to meet to have rendezvoused with, to the times where I tried to coordinate the sending in of forms and of applications, to where I answered and told people about what I was doing this summer and what I home to take out of this, but oddly and definitely to the pre-essay. If that isn't more specific, the specific answer I gave to that prompt is understanding what is expected of me and how this will change who I am and lead to positive change for others by giving back. Reading this again finally made all the pieces to seem to reconnect into one picture that seems that it can't be mass produced using division of labour- rather it be that of the work of a craftsman.
After the final drafts which have been developed off of the drafts which I have sent for previous ILC programs to which I can boldly say that I have not been accepted to, this draft seems primitive and close-minded to what I see I can do after returning. It is mind-boggling and daunting to see but it is for sure based on what I have experienced. If it wasn't for this scholarship with the numerous sponsors and the support that it has from the community, as well as Don, Mr. Ramsey, and Ms. Kronenburg's assistance and collaboration in making sure that the ILC is upheld in a sturdy manner, this all wouldn't have happened. I do acknowledge that there are many incredible opportunities out there and the people who didn't do the ILC shouldn't regret not doing it as many other amazing things are being done by them, but this was just so special. So special that it is really hard to explain why it was so special or if it is because by pouring out all these intricacies which come from the numerous reasons which take time and paused interlude to develop and to formulate (sounds too mechanical of a word for some reason...) .
Seeing what I thought of what my experience would be when attending the alumni dinner and the Board meeting, the tutorial that I attended, to even when I was half-asleep at the Biltmore in Providence and when I was touring schools in four different states showed that expectations can really throw you off. I encountered a Brown Class of '14 graduate who was serving as an RA for the Brown Sports Camp that having expectations can alter what you can savor and enjoy out of doing something and that worrying versus being concerned can actually alter how well you can do the matter to which you are worrying about. Sounds very familiar to what my chemistry and physics teacher said. To hear almost 100% agreement on the same views on life 3,000 miles away put me at awe but also was believable at the same time. This prompted me to take a course of action, a course of change from my stubborn, old, and conservative self that I was accustomed to being. I fully learned to embrace and to venture into a new person and to find that risk as important to my self exploration and development as to the relations of the world around me and the feedback of the world back to me. Whether it be accidentally lapsing into a Rhody accent while shouting to someone across the street about finding a particular place to finding that certain nooks, crannies, and instances in time seem like second-nature and I place that seems so familiar to me shows that change that I have encountered. I am truly at a loss of words and I find it hard to state even more until I become so stunned and shocked that I stop writing this blog before going through a complex state of hallucinations and emotions.
Thank you for this opportunity, Ivy League Connection, and I promise I will fulfill the part about giving back and applying this into the world. From now on, the results may come in different sizes and shapes but I know they will come and the great majority will be for the better. Please check back on this blog site as it will never, ever be dead but ever transforming and alive forever with edits and updates to fully give you all a better sense of what this has done for us to what we have experienced in the time to come.