Sunday, March 30, 2014

Learning Something New Everyday

Saturday morning was Session 3 and 4's tutorial for managing our blog sites. This is one of my very first blogs for Brown's Women and Leadership blog site. During the tutorial we went over the main points that I should know about blogging in general. We went over inserting pictures, correct formatting for the blog and proofreading our blogs, that everyone will be able to see around the world. That is the most nerve wrecking part, hoping that you do not make a mistake in your blog for the whole world to see and make fun of you, but Saturday's tutorial taught me and assured me that I will not do anything embarrassing in my blogs.

Don making sure I stayed focused.
The tutorial Saturday was very informing and helped me gain a lot more confidence when it comes to my blogging. When I first went into the tutorial I was very tired and anxious for the tutorial to begin. The first half went very quickly and the second half was a little slower but nonetheless it was very informing. I got to meet new people, I had to remember that this was an informational Ivy League Meeting and I was here not to socialize, I was here to learn to blog. This was not that hard to remember with me sitting directly in front of Don and having him stare at me the whole time. 

At the end of the tutorial I felt very comfortable with the idea of blogging and my next task was to go home and blog, and here I am sitting in my room going over all of the basics about blogging that Don taught me. My very first time blogging anything in my life, thanks to the Ivy League Connection and to Don, I am doing something new in my life and so far I am enjoying blogging. 

A Little of This and A Little of That

From Magaly Rodriguez

Hard at work but still sporting a smile
Anxiously waiting for the orientation to begin, I took a seat best where I could see the projection screen at the very front. When all the ILC'ers came, we began with introducing ourselves while Don was distributing two booklets—correction: a fifty pound packet and an almost same second-sized packet so we can follow along while he projected the slideshow on the board. I thought he was just kidding when he said that the presentation was going to last for approximately four hrs, but I guess not. Haha nevertheless, the first hour and a half we talked about our blog. We even had the chance to post practice blogs. We went over the basic things we needed to know like how to upload pictures onto media fire or blogger and what to post or what not to post on the site.

Don noticed this was about the best time to give us a twenty minute break so we could have a chance to process all the information he threw at us and after begin again where we left off. We took this time to get a snack that Don so nicely provided us with and some of us who, throughout the orientation, had a bit too much water, went to use the restroom. Finding the bathroom was a whole other expedition for me because I took more time trying to locate it than actually using it.

We started again with the packets, but the second half of this orientation seemed to go by faster. Perhaps it was because Don gave us more hands on activities to do—we took some sample pictures around the school and he introduced us to a magic cable that you put into the computer so no one will try to steal it whenever we use it in public. A laptop security cable is what he said it was called.......he sure convinced me that I needed to be very careful with my belongings and especially loaned items.

We uploaded a few pictures, downloaded a few more and then the rest was mostly about what to expect when we actually get there. The dorms, chaperones, luggage, expectations, responsibilities, and all that good stuff.

Today was just the beginning of what else is coming our way. I can't wait for the next event.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Countdown Begins

During this tutorial session, I gained a lot of information about what to expect in the following months. This includes city council meetings, family dinners, school board meetings, and preparations for the trip. Don also explained to us the differences between each of the schools which gave me an idea of what to expect in my dorm. Unfortunately, Brown University is well-known for having the worst dorms with the most unsanitary bathrooms. I am not complaining because I am grateful for having the chance to go to Brown for free thanks to ILC sponsors.

As we were going through the lists of things that we needed to bring, I realized that most of the things were going to be available for us to borrow from Don. In addition to this, those that meet certain qualifications could be paid fifteen dollars a day during their trip. I feel extremely fortunate and relieved to be provided with a lot of support and to not have to worry about paying for anything.

We also had a chance to post up our own pictures on Don's practice blog. Thanks to Don, I got to use his expensive camera to take pictures of De Anza High School.

Every time I go to an ILC meeting, I feel the same adrenaline that I felt when I got accepted to attend the Women and Leadership program at Brown University this summer. It is a bit too early for me to believe that this is truly what is happening.

Even though the path to my summer at Brown has just begun, I understand that my scholarship could be taken away at an instant if I am not a responsible ILCer. I have come too close to an opportunity of a lifetime to lose my scholarship. 

Here are more pictures from today:
Carson Lian in his natural habitat

And it Begins...

From the moment I woke up this morning, I had a feeling that it was just going to be one of those typical, gloomy, overcast days.  My alarm clock went off and as usual, I immediately hit snooze and went straight back to sleep. The second time around, I begrudgingly got out of bed and went through my morning routine. Unfortunately, it wasn't until after I had already changed, put on my makeup, and started eating breakfast did I notice the time: I had accidentally set my alarm for 5:30! Now with an extra hour of time on my hands (that I could have used sleeping!), I decided to get an early start on my homework. As it turns out, math is significantly more difficult when you're fighting hard to stay awake. So naturally, I left my work to be done another time and went to the kitchen to make myself a cup of coffee.  After that, my day became substantially easier.

A little later in the morning, Julia (ILC at Penn) came to pick me up so we could carpool to the tutorial session.  After we arrived at De Anza, we were immediately handed sizable packets filled with the do's and don'ts of The Ivy League Connection, a decent number of which are based off of past ILCers' misbehaviors. So it goes without saying, that I immediately read through the list to see if any of them might be  people I know (I have an extremely vague idea who a couple of them could possibly be based on, but who knows?) Anyways, from there we went on to cover the basics of blogging and it turns out that a lot more thought and planning has to go into the writing blogs than I had originally imagined. I had foolishly assumed that it would be similar to twitter because, after all, it is advertised as a micro-blogging site…
To have a clearer idea of the weather, here's a picture
Throughout the tutorial session, I could faintly hear my phone buzzing, but unwilling to face the wrath of "Guantanamo Don" I left my phone unchecked in my purse.  After the session was over, I checked my notifications, which were mostly just from my older brother. It turns out that as I was forced to face the miserable drizzly Bay Area weather, my brother was at Huntington Beach in Los Angeles experiencing beautiful, sunny, 85˚ weather. Typical. 

For now, I can only hope that the weather in Rhode Island would be a relative improvement to my rainy situation, and I can't wait until I finally get there!

Well...There Goes my Saturday Morning

Gusty winds and pouring rain didn't stop me from getting to DeAnza High School for the ILC tutorial early Saturday morning. In fact, the only thing that was worse than the forecast would be Evil Don and his cousin, Guantanamo Don. I'm pretty sure that nobody would want to meet those two, which is why I made sure I would make it on time.

I arrived at DeAnza with my my mom at around 8:15. As we drove past the school, I caught a quick glimpse of the Ivy League Connection banner attached to a gate. I quickly informed my mom, and we made
The Classic ILC banner
a quick U-turn to that building. Thank goodness for the banner as it saved us some time and prevented my mom and I from frantically searching the whole school to find the computer lab. 

After everyone arrived on time, we proceeded with the tutorial. Don handed us a thick packet with all the tips for blogging and strict rules for every ILCer known to man. According to Don, we have to pay for the sins of previous ILCers, whom were the incentives for these new rules. At first, I was pretty lonely since there weren't any of the Brown II individuals from Kennedy or anyone that I was close with to chat during this tutorial session. So I just sat on a computer by myself minding my own business. However, one of the ILCer's computer decided to malfunction, so she made her way to the next available computer, the one next to mine. From there a new friendship arose. I met two ILCers during today's tutorial, Lisa and Monica from the Columbia program. We chatted and exchanged laughs during the snack break and we even took photos together for our blogs. This was the highlight of my day, since I really love meeting new people. 

I've always wanted to blog but never found time or subjects to actually write about. With the ILC however, I finally have an opportunity to blog about important events and various subjects. My Saturday morning could have consisted of more sleep, video games, or maybe even chill with friends. Instead of doing all of that, I attended an event that was more important, and one that can assist me in the near future.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A New Seedling

Last Saturday was a gorgeous spring day; sunny with blue cloudless skies. I arrived at the newly renovated 300 building of De Anza High School, with about twenty-five minutes until the start of Don's tutorial presentation. I quickly spotted the grand, white Ivy League Connection banner attached to the front of about seven-feet, black-iron gates. Thanks very much to Don, I think most of us did not have much trouble finding the entrance. Overall, De Anza's High School campus is a well modernized-structure, superbly clean and equipped with good computers. I am grateful the school allowed us to use their computer labs. Soon, all IlCers arrived in class. We were more than ready to learn and work.

First, Don handed us all a thick ILC Tutorial Agenda packet discussing important topics we will need to follow and understand. Our agenda was mainly on how to create/write great blogs about each milestone event, such as attending School Board meetings and formal dinners leading up to our summer Ivy League Pre- college program. Also, I learned how to format blogs using justification, while learning how to take crisp photos by holding your elbows closer to your upper body or leaning against a solid structure for support. This information was very interesting and new to me. I tried to remember it all during the presentation, at the same time it all felt challenging and new to me. 

After writing our practice blogs, Don spoke to us of the major difference of a phone camera and a professional camera and how to share our great photos on MediaFire. He told us of enhancing our photos by cropping it or using brightness/contrast settings in PhotoShop. We practiced taking photos outside and inserting them in our blogs. Soon, we all took a snack break of Red Vines, chips, and water bottles that Don generously provided for us. It gave me some more energy during the tutorial.

Also, Don informed us of what we should pack in our luggage for our summer college classes at an Ivy League Institution. As Don finished up the tutorial presentation, I felt excited and a little anxious with all our responsibilities in the Ivy League Connection.

Although, this journey in the ILC will be at times challenging, I want to learn and take on these tasks.

Monday, March 17, 2014

An Informative Morning

On March 15, 2014 Don Gosney gathered nearly half of the Ivy League scholars for an informative meeting. During the meeting, we learned what is expected from us from the trip and what is required from us.

While at our Ivy League School we must post every day stating
My view from the back of the computer lab waiting for my ride.
what we did. For example, If we were to do a trustful activity, we are to post what we did, how we did it, and how we felt about it. After taking in so much information we finally received a break. During our break we were offered red vines, chips, and a water. It was delicious.

Thanks to this informative meeting I learned what I need to take to my trip to Brown and what not to take. I shouldn't take more than necessary.  I also met some friendly peers of mine in which i found something in common. We all want to work hard and make our community proud.

After about four hours of information being given I had the chance to stand in the back and wait for my ride, it was a successful and very informative meeting.

Tutorial Sessions 1 & 2

On Saturday March 15th the ILC held the first two of their four tutorial sessions where 18 of our 36 ILCers learned something about how to blog, take photos, post their photos and numerous details about being a part of the ILC.  They also learned more about what to expect in coming months.

If you scroll down below this blog you can read some of their first blogs. 

But first, we thought we would post a few photos from the day.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Blog Catalog

On March 15, 2014 I woke up around 6:30 AM, but decided that I would have the potential to get up around 6:45 AM. Unfortunately that didn't happen and I woke up around 7:00 AM. Mornings and I don't usually get together in the same line very often, but today was special. I was going to eat breakfast, when I realized that I probably would not have time to finish my meal. I like to savor my food and enjoy every bite. I think of it as an artistic trait, but it gets quite annoying if there is a time limit. I then asked myself why there isn't a time stopper or something similar, but I didn't have time to think of blueprints. 

I woke up my dad and off we went to our adventure. Throughout the car ride, I was anxious if I was going to make it on time. I didn't want to be late at any cost, but luckily the car journey was around ten minutes with the additional annoying red lights. 

When my dad and I reached De Anza High School, I thought to myself how nice the place was. It was my first time coming and it was clean. Luckily there was a banner with "The Ivy League Connection" on a fence. Without the banner I would have roamed the campus; unlike many teenagers, I don't have access to the Internet on my flip phone. I decided to not get a smart phone because of it's addictiveness and price. Inside the classroom, I found it shocking to find so many whiteboards and was in awe to see so much technology in one classroom. There was a projector screen that descended from above the whiteboards up front and a projector named CHRISTIE. 

Around 10:20 AM, we had our break and I was off to the bathroom with Cynthia Ramirez, my fellow cohort member. It took us a while to find the bathroom, and that was where the majority of our break time went. It was quite funny because the directions given to us were so simple, yet we still got lost. I was quite hungry for some chips during the second half of the tutorial but I didn't want to be rude and eat them. I was delighted to have some water and I thank Don Gosney for the Red Vines. 

Today was definitely an informational day, but what lacked from this experience was the chaperon. I'm really anxious and curious to find out and meet the chaperon for the W&L at Brown University. Just a heads up about chaperoning all nine of us: it will be a memory that will never fade. I hope she or he will meet all of us soon so that we could bond and get to know each other. This was definitely a fun day but next time I won't be eating a lot of snacks. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Tutorial Oh My

Today I was a part of Session 2 of the tutorial, which meant I had to show up at one o’clock this afternoon at De Anza High School. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon but it was also very hot outside. However, inside we were fortunate to have air conditioning in the classroom. 

Finding the computer class was very easy. I like the fact that there was a huge “Ivy league Connection” poster. When I entered the class I was hugely impressed that by the school’s new computer lab. There were about 54 items on the agenda, which meant it was going to be a long afternoon.

Today was a very productive day. I learned how to use my blog, I made a funny practice blog with interesting pictures and I learned how to post pictures on my blog the right way. Also I learned about the little details for writing in my blog--for example, what format to use.

Don went over a lot of information; he also discussed upcoming events like the School Board meeting. Also he discussed details about our trips like what to bring and what not to bring, along with how to act and how not to act. My entire tutorial went smooth with no problems. I left with the confidence to feel free to write on my blog, make my blog look good and make it more personal.