Monday, March 30, 2015

Tantalizing Tutorial

So its Sunday night, and I am here testing out my newest blogging. I can already imagine "Angry Don" with an angry phone call asking why I blogged so late. I can think of a million of excuses, but let's just say I was too busy accepting my Nobel Peace Prize.
Tickled Pink Don

Saturday afternoon was the Ivy League Connection 101 course. I specifically chose the afternoon course so I would have plenty of time to get ready. But of course, I was the one running through the door last minute because I forgot to set my alarm clock for 1 o'clock in the afternoon.

As I drove to De Anza High School I opened up Don's email regarding the ILC sessions and ,to be honest, was quite confused with the directions. I  knew where De Anza High School was but I searched up and down for a room number or building, but couldn't find one. I started to panic because I could not afford the time it spent running around the High School looking for the correct classroom. Once I got there I followed the arrow and found the big ILC sign, ran through the gates and found only one open classroom. I was safe, with only minutes to spare.

I walked in to a bunch of other students all staring at me. But the thing that really caught my eye, was the table full of snacks. There was everything you can possibly imagine. From chips and licorice to cookies and water! To me it was the breakfast of champions!

Im pretty sure I was the last one there, so after a few minutes of conversation and introduction, the class began. The class consisted of a 40 page ILC hand guide to blogging and traveling, a hands on blogging extraordinaire, meet n' greet of Don's various moody family members, and a paparazzi session.

The four hour session seemed to fly by really fast. Don managed to go through a majority of the topics in the packet with time to spare. We were able to learn how to write our own blog, take pictures, transfer our files, protect our laptops, and of course we had time for snack breaks. The Ivy League Connection has continued to amaze me, as I go through new experiences everyday.

The Afternoon Bunch

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Immensely Informative, Technology Troublesome Tutorial

Today was the ILC Tutorial Session. This was the first event to happen since I got accepted into the Ivy League Connection program, and I was looking forward to meeting other ILCers and learning more details and logistics about our trips this summer. 

In an effort to be on time for the tutorial and avoid Evil Don, I woke up earlier this morning than I normally do for school. Luckily, I arrived at DeAnza High School with plenty of time to spare before the 8:30 tutorial start time. One of my cohort members and fellow classmates, Jae-An, was also there early so we helped Don set up chairs in the DeAnza computer lab. After this, I went on a little adventure through DeAnza with Helen and Gwennie, two other El Cerrito ILCers, as we searched for the bathroom. We got slightly lost and wandered the halls more than necessary, but found the bathroom eventually. When we returned to the computer lab, more students had arrived so we got situated and began some casual conversations. Getting to know other students in our district and meeting new people is definitely one of the elements of the Ivy League Connection that I’m most looking forward to, and all the other ILCers today were very friendly and easy to talk to.

Everyone was relatively on time, so we were able to start the tutorial at 8:30.  After some brief introductions, we all got a 43-page packet full of information about blogging, taking photos, and other aspects of being an ILCer. We started the tutorial by going through the packet and getting familiar with how to use the blog sites and how to take better photos. I’ve never blogged before, so I tried to pay extra attention to the instructions about blogging and I think I now know enough to be a somewhat successful blogger!

In addition to going over the massive amount of information included in the packet, we also practiced blogging and taking better quality photos. Or should I say, we attempted to practice blogging? Unfortunately we encountered difficulties with the Wi-Fi on the computers, and it took us over half and hour and a few phone calls to sort out the situation. Thankfully, it all worked out and we were able to get introduced to BlogSpot, MediaFire, and the specifics of the technology we will be using as part of the ILC.
The DeAnza computer lab, feat. pesky Wi-Fi

Overall, the tutorial session was extremely informative and enjoyable, despite the Wi-Fi mishap. The four hours flew by much quicker than I was expecting, and I was interested in all the details we covered. Learning more about what to expect from our ILC experience always increases my excitement for the Ivy League program. The tutorial was a helpful first ILC event to attend, and I can’t wait for all the future events!

Exploding Muffins and Cursed Wi-Fi

De Anza High School on a sunny morning.
I woke up this morning to the sound of an acoustic guitar. Not that anyone in my family plays the guitar; it was just the sound of my phone’s alarm going off. After getting out of bed, I quickly got dressed and ready for school. But to my own surprise, I remembered that it was a Saturday! What was I doing out of bed so early? As I considered going back to sleep, my dad came into the room and reminded me about today’s blog tutorial at De Anza High School, effectively crushing any hopes I had of going back to bed.

Before today, I had no idea that muffins could explode when exposed to enough heat, so I guess you actually do learn something new every day. Anyways, after retrieving the burnt remains of an accidentally-microwaved muffin (someone hadn’t had enough sleep), my dad and I departed for the blog tutorial. Luckily, we didn’t get lost, which happens to me very often, and there was a large Ivy League Connection banner on one of the gates outside the school directing us where to go. At this point, my dad dropped me off, and I walked inside. 

An ILC banner adorns the gate outside the computer lab.
I was actually looking forward to today, since I would have the opportunity to meet most of the other ILCers, and I would get to learn more about what we would be doing on our experience over the summer.

Don without a Hawaiian shirt?!
Don was waiting for us inside the school’s computer lab, and I was rather surprised that he wasn’t wearing one of his signature Hawaiian shirts. It turns out I was actually thirty minutes early to the tutorial, so one of my fellow Chicago cohort members, Tamika, and I helped Don arrange the chairs for the other students. When we finished and most of the students hadn’t arrived yet, I decided to log onto a computer and finish up my Blogger profile (which we were supposed to already have finished over the week).

Soon, a girl who looked about my age sat down in the seat next to mine. We introduced ourselves (her name was Katherine), and she seemed friendly, so we talked for a while. After a few minutes of conversation, most of the other ILCers had showed up, so Don began the tutorial.

The first thing Don did was hand out a huge forty-page packet full of everything we would need to know. Throughout the tutorial, he managed to cover nearly every single item mentioned in this packet. Sometimes, I can’t help but wonder what sort of magical powers Don has that allow him to be so productive.

Most of the session was very interesting to me. We talked about Don’s multiple evil personalities, boring blogs that didn’t include any punctuation or capital letters, and we also took lots of photos for practice.
A photo of someone taking a photo...
However, the tutorial didn't go as smoothly as I thought it would. The main problem we had was with the Wi-Fi, which kept displaying error messages no matter what we did. This kept happening throughout the whole session, which was incredibly annoying.

Overall, despite the burnt muffin and continuous error messages, I had a really good time today, and I also made some new friends (hooray!). I’m looking forward to the next ILC event, and I’m also looking forward to the trip itself, which will no doubt be a truly life-changing experience for me.

Monday, March 23, 2015