It is one thing to simply imagine you'll be going to one of the most prestigious universities in the country, and another to know that you will be there in a matter of just about two months. The very thought still blows my mind. Now, I can look at pictures of Cornell University, point to them, and say: "That's where I'll be this summer!"
Ever since October of 2009, when Ms. Kaplan and our principal, Ms. Kahn, first introduced us to the Ivy League Connection, it was a roller coaster ride from there on over. First, it started with an essay prompt - to show the ILC that we were interested in participating and capable writers. When I became one of the seven in my school to qualify for the next round - the interviews - I had no idea how nerve-wracking the ILC would become. It just may be the closest thing to knowing what applying for college would feel like when I become a senior. Yet, despite all that tension, it is definitely worth it. I cannot describe in simple words just how wonderful it is: when one gains approval by a panel of 5 judges you've never met, when the very college you're applying to over the summer accepts you, or when you've finally been confirmed by the "head honchos" of your county that your trip to Ithaca, New York, no longer stands behind an obstacles. The horrible steep hill in my roller coaster has finally passed; now, it is time to enjoy the ride.
I see this moment as a good time to reflect. Amidst the hectic environment of AP tests, CST tests, and school work, it's easy to lose track of where you are, who you are, and what lays ahead. The news of our approval struck me; it reminded me that in just two months, I won't be at home, but somewhere on the other side of the country, studying with other brilliant students from around the globe. I am proud of myself - proud that I've gotten so far in something so rare and wonderful as the Ivy League Connection. I'm not even at Ithaca yet and I can already tell it will be a life-changing experience.
I plan to make the best of this trip, really take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by surprising not just the people back home, but myself as well. I will carry with me the eager mind ready to absorb every moment of my experience, and the honor to represent the WCCUSD in the East Coast. When we will depart, I plan to leave behind the fresh and strong presence we will have introduced to Cornell by having it echo within its halls, but we will take back with us the wonderful memories and knowledge we've gained. With them, we will bring back home and indubitably share.
This already-pretty-long post represents a fraction of the gratitude and happiness I feel. I am flattered that both the school board and superintendent have approved our trip to Ithaca this summer. Thank you to: Mr. Harter, Ms. Kronenberg, Mr. Medrano, Ms. Miles, Mr. Thurmond, and of course, Mr. Ramsey, for giving us lucky scholars the opportunity of a lifetime. I'd also like to take this time to thank many of the important figures that have also helped me since last October, when things began: Ms. Kaplan, Ms. Kahn, Mr. Gosney, my two two teacher sponsors (Ms. Luerson and Mr. Botello), Ms. Elms, the past alums, and my fellow peers. Thank you!
So, what lies ahead for us on the other side of the country?
Only time will tell.
I couldn't have been more honored and excited.
Hooray for ILC 2010 --- We're Approved!