From Magaly Rodriguez Arreola
How can I possibly blog with so much food in my stomach? I can barely concentrate and I am nearly falling asleep. But, I did make a commitment to myself and to this program that I would blog every night and I will. Try at least.
So this journey began with all of the Brown cohort meeting up at the El Cerrito Plaza BART station. When we all finally arrived, we headed toward the staircase and got onto our train. During the way to the restaurant I had the pleasure to talk to Arnold who was just as excited as me about this program. He is another member who was selected to go to Brown over the summer but is taking the DNA course offered at that university. I had never talked to him before and I am so glad I met him because the first moment he spoke, I knew why they chose him. He was different, in a good way, and the panelists obviously acknowledged that.
We got off the train and headed toward One Market, the restaurant we were going to. We were escorted and led to a private area where everyone who was anyone gathered at. The people at the dinner consisted of fourteen ILC students, our chaperones, people who graduated from Brown, people who are currently attending Brown, the sponsors, the School Board members, special guests, the friends of the guests, our wonderful parents, Mr. Ramsey and the one and only, Don Gosney. Like you can imagine, there were lots of people to talk to and a lot to talk about. I had the chance to receive advice from Adrienne and Nancy (best friends and former roommates at Brown), got to know the other five people who were selected to go to Brown (Arnold, Jack, Kevin, Jing-Yi, and Brandon), met Mr. Ramsey, talked to some of the parents and all the while stuffing my face with delicious appetizers.
Now came the best part, the speeches of course...... but the food was a close second. YeonSoo definitely created a mood of perseverance and never giving up when she talked about her personal struggles that I related to because, like YeonSoo, I was not born in the US. We’ve had had to work our butts off in order to be in this position that we are in right now. We didn't wait for this opportunity to come—we had to go get it and learn how to keep it which is most important.
Arnold was also chosen to speak and was an excellent candidate because he lightened up the atmosphere of the room when he talked about his goals and aspirations. I felt like these people were in a need of some cheering up. Everything doesn't have to be formal ALL the time.
The food was exquisite and very elegantly presented. (Note to self: take etiquette classes). After we had dessert, we all took a group photo.
We were given ten minutes to clear out and we headed back to the BART station. We were all clearly tired but, as we all know, still had to blog later that night. So here I am finishing my blog post. Goodnight everybody!