Tuesday, May 3, 2011

So Fancy - Brown Dinner 2011

Fancy clothes, amazing alums, sponsors, and leaders, and an amazing restaurant and even more amazing menu - I cannot put into words how awesome the Brown dinner was. Sitting here in my pajamas at home, I cannot believe it went by so quickly! I wish I could go back and revisit at least 8 minutes of the dinner again (Ava, Erin M., and Mariko, think Source Code!). Just kidding, if I could, I would do the whole thing over again, a million times!

My dad (Mr. Ramsey) has an excellent taste when it comes to picking out restaurants, but, surprisingly, I had never been to One Market. My mother had and told me it was excellent, and she definitely was not lying. After meeting at the El Cerrito Plaza BART station, exchanging hugs and meeting people, we crowded onto the train and rode to San Francisco. We walked a little bit before arriving at One Market. What struck me was how BEAUTIFUL the building was. The architecture was absolutely breathtaking and simply incredible. I was honored to be eating in such a fine restaurant!

Everyone mingled for a while, getting drinks and delicious appetizers. We took pictures with one another, met amazing people such as Dick Barker and Simon Hong, and just waiting to have an amazing dinner!

My dad organized where everyone was going to sit, and he did an amazing job doing it. At first I was slightly disappointed sitting at a table with all adults and none of the other participants, but I soon realized that this was my time to shine and be personable; something that is definitely one of my qualities. I was delighted to find that the woman who I was sitting next to, Lauren Brodsky, not only graduated from Brown, but was the half-sister to Andrew Brodsky, who is in my sister's grade and a boy I'd known for a very long time! It is such a small world. I was also delighted to meet the other people at the table - I regretfully forget their last names, but I remember Sue, Kevin - the man who designed El Cerrito High School and is working on Pinole Valley High School, and Linda, who is a teacher.  They were all very nice and we had great conversations throughout the evening!

The speeches made were fantastic. Andrew's speech was lively and entertaining, and Ava's speech pointed out statistics about women that I didn't know of. I definitely learned from both of their speeches and was very proud of them for presenting in front of a huge group of people. Simon Hung's speech was definitely touching; I could tell he was definitely inspired by the Ivy League Connection and happy of the people who end up at Brown University for college.

And speaking of those who are going to Brown University for college, I must not leave out Guadalupe Morales (Richmond High School) and Irene Rojas-Carroll (El Cerrito High School) who will begin their journey at Brown University in the fall. Irene is an amazing and well-rounded individual who inspires me to be the best that I can be, and I appreciate all the advice she has given me to think about for my summer at Brown. I met Guadalupe for the first time tonight, and while I didn't get to speak to her much, she was very sweet and I'm so proud that she will be the first person from Richmond High School to attend Brown University. I know these two ladies will make our district very proud and inspire those around them with their intelligence and grace.

When my dad spoke, I was beaming. I like experts, and my dad is definitely an expert at anything he does. I love hearing my dad give speeches because he addresses challenges and proposes everyone in the ILC to face a challenge: going to the East Coast and not just learning in their class and about the campus they will be studying at, but about themselves. This is a life changing experience, and I'm so happy that not only am I being given this life-changing opportunity, but that every other Brownie is as well. I know this program couldn't have been made possible without my dad, and for helping to create this program, he has my upmost thanks and love. He has been there for me since I was born, drilling in me the importance of education and trying to give me advice about classes to take in high school and where to look at for colleges. One thing he and my mother have always told my sister and I is to "think big and think ahead," and if they had never told us that, I do not think I would be the person I am today.

My dad also had good taste in picking out the menu, which was amazing! I ordered the New York steak with mashed potatoes, and my dad also made sure everyone was served chocolate cake (with a ravenous topping of whipped cream on the top) for desert! It was amazing. By the end of the night, I was stuffed.

Seeing my Brownies all dressed up and looking fabulous was great. I love seeing all of them, and I know that we are becoming a family. I'm sad we're not all going to be at Brown at the same time, but reading their blogs while I'm waiting for my experience to start will definitely be exciting! I know that we all love each other, and I don't think that this experience would be the same without the people I'm sharing it with.

A Chaotic Tuesday and a Brown Dinner

Before the Brown dinner at 5:00 PM, I had three other engagements. Today was definitely one of the most chaotic days of my life.

First I had to get excused from school for an orthodontist appointment, then I had to rush over to my doctor to get some paper work signed for the Brown Pre-College forms, I had to play a badminton game and finally got ready for the meeting at the El Cerrito Plaza BART station. Right when I got to the BART station all the pent up exhaustion from waiting for the doctor and stressing whether I might be late to the badminton game and consequently the Brown dinner, vanished.

While waiting for students and parents to come, a man was playing his erhu. I also had an interesting time talking to Adrianne about school, classes and food, on the BART and off it.

One Market had a very large room where we dined, and while we were waiting to be seated for dinner servers walked around with appetizers.

After taking some photos in front of the prism, or what I assume is a prism, we were directed to our tables.
I really enjoyed that there was a name card for my seat and the placing, although I was confused by the multiple forks and knifes.
The food was amazing, and the decorations set a perfect ambiance for the restaurant. Unfortunately, the final state of the main course paled with the initial state because I couldn't cut the chicken elegantly.

Coming back on BART was very crowded, unfortunately I don't have a picture since it was crowded, and everyone was standing. By the time I got back to the Plaza, I was happy to take off my heels and prepare myself for the next day.

Overall I enjoyed the evening; the student speakers were excellent, despite a few awkward moments of introducing ourselves to the guests at the dinner, I enjoyed the night with people who sat at my table and I got to speak to new people.

The week has just begun, yet I feel like it is already Friday, but there is still Wednesday to get through.

In one last note, I want to thank Dick Barker who graciously paid for the One Market dinner, and say, editing pictures takes a long time.

The Monday of the Busiest Week of My Life

Monday, session 1 Brown cohorts met up with our chaperon Sarah Larson at El Cerrito High School.

Before coming to the meeting, I had badminton practice so the rush from practice, which I had to leave early from, to El Cerrito was not needed, but I needed to go to practice.

When we entered El Cerrito High, we were directed to a room and greeted by pizza and our chaperone. After a few minutes of mingling, each group (the Columbia cohorts were there as well) went to its respective conference room.

Once everyone was settled, we introduced ourselves to the group, which consisted of Erin Miller, Andrew Gonzales, Frank She and our parents. Then Ms. Larson passed out some paper work that we and our parents had to sign. Unfortunately, Ms. Larson wanted to collect our Pre-College forms, but Erin and I had forgotten our paperwork. Ms. Larson was very nice and was willing to compromise and collect our paperwork on Tuesday, when we would meet up for the Brown dinner.

Ms. Larson also wanted to incorporate our suggestions into her plans over in on the East coast, and allow us time to collect our requests. She assured our parents that we would be in capable hands, passed out her information on a card and then gave out her cell-phone number.

Ms. Larson gave us a brief explanation of the following nights, the Brown dinner on Tuesday and the Board Meeting on Wednesday, where to meet up and how to dress.

Part one of Brown activities is done, now on to two and three, and hopefully it doesn't get too busy.
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