On Thursday night, all the Ivy League participants and at least one of their parents attended a second orientation at the El Cerrito High School library. After opening comments, Mr. Ramsey introduced Don Ellis, his co-founder of the Ivy League Press. Mr. Ellis talked about how the students in the Ivy League Connection have the opportunity to write their own books and poems to get them published. The whole idea sounds exciting: a published high school student. It sounds like something that I would like to do. Later, Don collected parent contact information and soon our groups and chaperones were individually introduced by Mr. Ramsey and Ms. Kronenberg. When Brown Cohort #1 was announced first, I stood up with my group and I felt a pang of excitement. I realized that I could not wait to get to Brown.
After a recap of Don’s tutorial, we broke from the library into our travel groups. Brown Cohort #1 went to room 200, the Spanish/Radio Room which was “the coolest classroom at El Cerrito High” according to Ms. Larson. The modern hip-hop artwork and relaxed atmosphere validated her opinion. We signed paperwork about blogging and being ambassadors of our school district which we gave to Vince Rhea, the Executive Director of K-12 Schools. Ms. Larson then proceeded to pass out a packet that contained the following:
- Complete trip itinerary
- Flight information for Southwest Airlines
- Car rental receipt for a sleek, black Cadillac Escalade (Ms. Larson told us to bring our cool sunglasses)
- Arrival dates and times
A current Brown student came to our breakout session to talk about her experience as a former Ivy League Connection student. Cynthia Fong just finished her freshman year at Brown and she loved it. She expressed the major difference between high school and college and the challenges students will face in their academic futures. She wished us the best for our trip and urged us to get to know our professors to feel more comfortable in our classes.
I won’t give away our itinerary just yet, but I have to say that we have a nice plan set out for us. Thank you to Mr. Ramsey, Ms. Kronenberg, and Ms. Larson for arranging our schedules and allowing us some relaxation time while we study.
Packing will begin this week as the countdown to Brown is t-minus 10 days. I contacted Don about loaning some items that I will definitely need at Brown. I am so grateful that he is stocked with laptop security cables, surge protectors, and desk lamps.
Andrew and I excitedly talk about leaving for Brown University every day in Spanish class at school. I am looking forward to a month living with my Cohort #1 family. The second orientation was a success and we left with doubled eagerness to begin our journey. I’d like to extend my appreciation to everyone that has contributed to the Ivy League Connection. They have made us their top priority to have a great experience on the East Coast. Keep reading! My next blog will be from Rhode Island.