Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Week of Opportunities

This past week the ILC has given the other Yalies and I two amazing opportunities.

On Wednesday we were honored to attend the School Board meeting and I was fortunate enough to be chosen to speak. I was very grateful for the opportunity to thank all of the people involved in making my dream summer a reality. Without the board’s support there is no conceivable way I would be able to attend the Ivy Scholars Program.

Thursday night Mr. Ramsey invited the Yalies and I to another fabulous restaurant for the chance to meet Dr. Minh Luong. I was impressed by the approachability of Dr. Luong’s character. He spoke with great grace and told us many anecdotes about his life, as well as insights into the program we will be attending.

Both of these nights made me even more excited for the amazing opportunity that I was lucky enough to have dropped in my lap. How many people can say someone handed them an opportunity like this one?

It was really fun to officially meet and talk to the other Yalies. I’m looking forward to all of the adventures to come.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

WCCUSD Board Meeting and Café Rogue

On Wednesday night ILC members had the honor of being recognized by the school board. Our generous sponsors were present at the meeting such as Vice President of KNN Public Finance, Dave Olson. Mr. Olson is a Yale alumnus and also attended our La Folie dinner in San Francisco. Our principals were present and supportive. The audience was very welcoming and I was glad to hear from last year’s Yalies.

On Thursday night the Yalies and I attended a dinner with Dr. Minh Luong from Yale University. Dr. Luong is Associate Director of the Ivy Scholars Program. The night encompassed delicious food and intriguing information given by Dr. Luong. I was able to ask all my questions about Yale and specifically the Ivy Scholars Program and was extremely satisfied with all of Dr. Luong’s answers. My questions ranged from Yale University and its undergraduate students, campus and alumni to Dr. Luong’s incredible political expertise and insight.

Both nights were very beneficial, productive and have made me even more excited for the Yale Ivy Scholars Program this summer!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Great Night on Thursday

Yesterday the Yalies and others had a wonderful dinner with Dr. Minh Luong. The dinner was at Cafe Rouge in Berkeley. Meeting Dr. Luong was a great opportunity and I learned many things about the summer program and Yale from him. Dr. Luong also gave some advice to me, such as knowing my cheese and other insights, that will prove invaluable during the summer and college. Also during the dinner was Dr. Luong talking about the college process and how it all works. His speech gave me much more knowledge in what to expect and what to know when deciding and attending college. I am looking forward to this summer at Yale.

Reading List and Yale Dinner

I got an e-mail from the Yale program coordinator. It had all of the forms that we had to fill out along with the reading list. Everyone told me that is was going to be a long, tedious list, but it didn't look too bad. Here are just a few of the books we'll be reading:
  • Sun Tzu – The Art of War
  • Kennedy – The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers
  • Ferrazzi – Never Eat Alone and Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time
I look forward to starting these books. We're supposed to finish them before we leave for Yale, but I don't think that will be a problem. Yohanna told me that The Art of War is a "life-changing" book, so I'll probably start with that one. I'm drawn to life-changing literature.

Yesterday we went to Cafe Rouge in Berkeley to have dinner with Dr. Minh Luong, Associate Director of the Ivy Scholars program. From the time we met him outside the restaurant to the end of the evening, I did not hear Mr. Luong say "Um" once in any of his stories or speeches. He was an excellent speaker and seemed to know exactly what he wanted to say before it even left his mouth. He told us about campus life, what we could expect in the classroom, and more information about Yale than we knew what to do with.

I hope that through practice I can speak like Mr. Luong, naturally and structured, all the time. I imagine my experience at Yale will definitely help me out. It looks like there will be a lot of student participation and presentations in the classroom to exercise my speaking skills.

The dinner at the Cafe was excellent as well. They passed around appetizers and I tried the cheese and crackers. It was so good I ate the whole thing, but I didn't realize the cheese had a hard, waxy outer shell you were supposed to cut off. I learned that the hard way.

The rest of the dinner was excellent. Good food, good conversation, and lots of information about Yale. I'm getting more and more excited for the summer.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dr. Luong and the 2010 Yalies

This evening the 2010 Ivy League Connection Yalies (Marisol Clemens, Connor Miller, Brandon Amargo and Henry Hung) gathered with the ILC administrators, their chaperone Mario Miranda and several senior school administrators to dine with Dr. Luong at the Cafe Rougé in Berkeley. Also joining us was a 2009 graduate of Yale's Ivy Scholars Program: Yohanna Pepa and her mother Youra.

Dr. Luong spoke to the gathered crowd about the value of the Yale Ivy Scholar Program and how to make the best of the program and of the entire college experience. He spoke of how the contacts made at a top flight university can carry on throughout a person’s life and open doors to a future of prosperity and success.

Dr. Luong also advised each of this year’s Yalies about what they can expect while at Yale. He made sure that all of us knew that this wasn’t college camp and that the course was the equivalent of a full course crammed into two weeks of heavy study.

Each of our Yalies spoke of what brought them to this program and what hopes they have for the future.

Oh, and by the way, we ate pretty well, too.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Amazing News

Today I was wonderfully surprised to find an email telling me I had gotten in to the Yale Ivy Scholars Program. I am ecstatic to report that I will be joining the three other Ivy League Connection students to Yale this summer.

I am so grateful for all of the help and support I have gotten throughout this entire process. It has been chaotic and a little frightening at times but entirely worth it.

This is all just proof that perseverance pays off. I am so lucky that I will get to take part in this wonderful opportunity. I can’t wait to get started.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Father's Thoughts

So it begins. I believe Connor’s quest to go to an East Coast college started in 7th grade. Three thousand miles seemed like it was enough distance from home for him. He probably would’ve gone further if the United States didn’t end at the ocean. As a parent, I don’t understand his quest. Does Connor want a college far away from home because of our conservative parenting, or is it because he has grown into a confident, motivated young man? I’m leaning toward the latter. As Connor’s dad, I’m glad there’s an ocean to keep him closer to home.

-Christopher Miller