Monday, July 12, 2010

A Moment of Reflection

On my first day in my dorm, I introduced myself to my roommate, Shane. He told me that he was from New Jersey, and attended an elite private boarding school. When he asked me where I attended school, I answered to him that I attended a school named Pinole Valley High School. He looked briefly baffled, and asked me about what my school was like. I briefly considered concocting a wild tale about how PVHS was the top school in California to impress him. But then I realized that I didn't want to cover up my origins in WCCUSD. I was proud to have come so far from my district, and I wanted him and everyone else to know that I was from WCCUSD, and that I was part of the Ivy League Connection program. I am proud to have had the chance to go to Brown to represent Pinole Valley High School and the WCCUSD, and there is no other district that I would rather be from.

I'm glad that I went to Brown with ILC, because it meant that once I got there, I already had friends. Andrew, William, Stephanie, Zijun, and Megan have all been great friends to have, and I will always cherish their friendship. Having my friends there made the experience much better, because it meant that I would always have someone to hang out with, and that I always knew that there were others who would help me when I needed help. I'm thankful for all of their help and I am honored to be able to call them my friends.

The college tours were one of the best parts of this trip to the East Coast. I had a wonderful time traveling with Ms. Bulls to the various colleges, even if we did get lost on the way there. I think that the college tours really opened me up to what I look for in a college, and how much harder I need to work in order to reach for one of those colleges. I also had a great time bonding with the other ILC Brownies on the trips, and we were able to collaborate on what we look for in colleges.

I really enjoyed my class, Techniques in DNA-Based Biotechnology. The class was very interesting yet challenging. I found that it was easy for me to understand the concepts and theories behind the experiments and projects, but I had an abysmal record for successfully completing the projects. The teacher, Ms. Hall, was also very nice and friendly. She had a unique teaching style, where she gives us everything we need for the labs, and then we do the labs on our own. She gave us a lot of freedom in class to complete the projects on our own timetable and in our own way, and she only intervened when we asked for help.

At Brown, I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I had the strength to be independent. Before Brown, I never would have know that I had the strength to survive away from home for such a long period of time. But now I know that I am capable of this, and I'm looking forward to doing so again for college. Being at Brown has taught me that it is necessary to make friends early, because they will always back you up when you need it the most. My experiences at Brown have shown me that above all, the most important thing is to believe in yourself and others, and that through hard work and perseverance, it is possible to succeed.

Thank you to the Ivy League Connections program for granting me this opportunity to visit the East Coast and to attend Brown University for three weeks. I appreciate all the time and dedication that has been bestowed upon us by Mr. Ramsey, Ms. Kronenberg, and Don. Thank you to all of the sponsors for sponsoring our trip to the East Coast. You have all made a mark on my life, and for that I truly thank all of you with all of my heart.

Long live Brown Session I of ILC 2010!

1 comment:

  1. Austin,

    Well put sentiments. You expressed yourself well and let us know that we did some things right. [We still need to work on not getting lost, though. :-) ]

    Reading your blogs every day as I have it's clear that you've all grown and have become more mature and worldwise. I'm betting that when you return o your respective high schools in the Fall, there will be a marked difference in how you perceive things, how you relate to others and the level of your success.

    You've all been given a gift but what you do with it is still up to you. What will you do with yours, Austin? What worlds will you conquer tomorrow?