Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A Delightful Dinner with Phenomenal People

This morning I woke up with a mixture of excitement and anxiety. The Chicago dinner at One Market was this evening, and I was looking forward to the event but also unsure of what to expect. Additionally, I was a little nervous for the speech I would be giving in front of all the sponsors, alumni, and the rest of the Chicago cohort and their parents.

The school day passed by in a blur, and before I knew it I was standing in my dress and high heels with my dad and Don at the El Cerrito Plaza BART station. Soon the other members of the Chicago cohort arrived, as well as Ms. Kronenberg and our chaperone, Alana Scott. It was awesome to finally meet Alana, and I can tell she's going to be an incredible chaperone for our trip. We were able to easily board our train and actually managed to make it to San Francisco with about half an hour to spare before our dinner reservation. The other members of my cohort and I used to the time to wander around and explore, and talk to each other more. While I'm sad that our cohort is small because it means I won't meet as many other students, the size of our group makes it easy for us to get to know one another, and I already feel comfortable talking with Jae-An, Brandon, and Aisha both individually and as a group.

At 6:30 we entered the restaurant and got to meet various alumni and sponsors. We mingled and talked to them, and I found everything they had to say highly enlightening. I spent most of the time conversing with Katie Waddle and Elspeth Micheals, two University of Chicago alums, as well as Alana and Aisha and her mother. Katie and Elspeth were eager to tell us about their experience at University of Chicago and to answer any questions we had. Both of them stressed that one of their favorite things about the school was the culture of the students, and how it was great to be in an environment where everyone is dedicated and enthusiastic about what they're studying and learning. I was also pleased to hear that most students at University of Chicago take multiple types of classes in their first two years, not just classes that could relate to their major. This appealed to me because I'm pretty undecided about what I want to do with my life after college, and I think getting exposure to a variety of classes would be an effective way to learn about what my options are and what I'm truly interested in. Katie and Elspeth also had lots of information to share about the city of Chicago and its many attractions, all of which heightened my excitement for our travels this summer.

The dinner itself began with introductions from Ms. Kronenberg and Don, followed by my speech. I felt that my speech went alright, and although I worry that I rambled a bit, everyone was a very supportive and encouraging audience. After my speech, alumnus Marc Friedman talked about why he's excited for the ILC program at University of Chicago. Following his important speech, we enjoyed our food and continued talking within our table groups. My table consisted of myself, my father, Katie, and Fred Powell, an architect who is one of the sponsors.  I enjoyed learning about what it's like to be an architect from Mr. Powell, as architecture is a career I've been curious about but have limited knowledge about. Katie was also a perfect person for me to talk to, as she works as a teacher in San Francisco and teaching is one of the professions I am seriously considering. The dinner conversation was highly informative and inspiring, and it was fun to hear the stories of these amazing, intelligent people.

Before I knew it, we were being served dessert and the dinner was drawing to a close. Don snapped some group pictures of the Chicago cohort with the wonderful alumni and then we said our good byes and headed home. For me, the dinner at One Market was a special experience and after talking to the alumni, I feel that I am starting to really get an idea of what it will be like to be a student at University of Chicago. Each new ILC event increases my anticipation for the our University of Chicago trip this summer, and I'm grateful to the Ivy League Connection, sponsors, and alumni for contributing to the dinner tonight and organizing this opportunity for us.
The Chicago Cohort and the Alumni

1 comment:

  1. Tamika,

    Your speech was well-prepared and sincere. Bravo!