Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Preparing for Adventure: On the Eve of Exploration

I simply can’t wait for our departure to the South. There are so many different emotions running through my mind. I wonder if this is how the great explorers, adventurers, and conquerors of old felt the day before a trip. Did they have the same feeling of confidence that I have seeing that they would represent their communities? At the same time do they share with me the feeling of humility in taking on such a task? Were they too anxious to sleep that night? Were they as curious as I am to learn about their destination? Who they might meet, what wonders they may see, or even what dangers may await them? Were they thinking about practicalities and being comfortable, or going forth, headstrong, to complete their mission, gather information, and bring their findings back to their community?

Even though these men and women are long gone, I can learn from their accomplishments because in this moment I am like them. We share a connection in the fact we must venture into the unknown; yet no matter how mesmerizing the experience may be we have to focus on our mission. Going out to the world, in this case Vanderbilt University, and introducing them to our school, our district, and our community, while at the same I must absorb the Vanderbilt Environment and project the image back to my community so that we can all grow in knowledge. It is a large task, but far from impossible, especially because I have a great team to work with in my cohorts: Julia and Aiyana.

No matter how anxious I may be for the trip, no successful voyage can begin without a good amount of rest. With that said I shall begin my adventure now with a decent amount of sleep, and a wake up scheduled for 4:30 AM.

Ready, Get Set, Let's Go!

I do not know exactly how to describe my emotions at the moment—I believe it is a blurred medley of excitement, angst, and, particularly, hope.

I have just finished the last of my packing, after having gone through the arduous task of stuffing the last item, my pillow, into my brimming suitcase. Everything seems ready and set to go; all that is left is a few more hours of sleep to prime us for the long day ahead.

I will admit that I am nervous—this is the first time that I will be absent from home and my family for such a period of time. However, I truly hope that this experience, being away from the comforts of all that is familiar to me, will allow me to mature and develop into the independent, perceptive young woman that I long to be.

I want to learn about college—what I am looking for, which one I want to attend, what I want to get out of it, and who I want to become.

I have been struggling with determining whether I ought to study humanities or science when I attend to college in two years, and this trip, I suspect, will aid me in my decision. Analyzing and comparing the world's major religions at a prestigious university such as Vanderbilt will allow me to explore my interests and assist me in my search of the things I am most passionate about.

I have high hopes for our trip, and I hope we all take away something invaluable from it so we may bring it back to share with our schools and community. It is genuinely an honor to be the ambassadors of the West Contra Costa Unified School District, and to be the first ever from the ILC to travel to Vanderbilt University.

I have five more hours of sleep until I, along with my cohort, must beat the sun to Georgia.

Ready, get set, go!

Bon Voyage

I have been waiting for this trip for months now. Anticipation, nervousness, and excitement are just a few of the feelings I am experiencing right now. Anticipation for the adventures at the colleges; nervousness about the class and fellow students/roommate; and excitement for the entire summer excursion and the opportunity we are given.

Though I had finished packing a few days ago, I keep finding things in my room that I could shove into my already bulging suitcase. I'm not sure if it's a good thing that I keep remembering/finding items to bring along, or if it's bad that I am bringing so much stuff. I suppose that as long as I stick to the weight limit, who cares how much I bring.

Today was not just spent inside packing for the trip to Georgia and Tennessee though. I decided that for my last day here for the rest of the month, I would get out of the house and hang out with at least one friend before I leave. My close friend Jennefer and I hung out around town, and had a much needed summer treat on this hot day: Popsicles.

My mom on the other hand, worked her last day of summer school at Lincoln Elementary, before coming home to finish her own packing. My mom thinks that my leaving is the perfect opportunity to go on her own trip. So she is off to Thailand tomorrow to make some adventures of her own. I dared her to eat a fried cricket or some other strange food while over there.

Also today, after five years, I finally got a haircut. I figured that since we were going to be in muggy weather for three weeks, I might as well not be weighed down by my heavy and thick hair. To all my surprised friends reading this, yes, I finally chopped some of that curly mess off. And I love it.

As for this trip, I am so thankful and ready to take the World Religions course at Vanderbilt University. Though it's not your typical Ivy League College, Vanderbilt is considered to be the Ivy League of the South. This school brings southern flare and style, and I am glad to be part of the first group of students representing the school in the ILC program.

Our first stop is Atlanta, Georgia. We will be visiting Emory and Georgia Tech colleges first.

I hope you all enjoy reading my, Kye's and Julia's adventures this summer. We will be giving you all the information and our opinions on the schools and cities we visit. Hopefully it will inspire some of you to visit these places or maybe even attend one of these colleges or programs in the future.

Wish us luck!