Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Food, Fun, and Alumni

Tonight was a very exciting night for me. I attended a dinner at Prospect in San Francisco along with my Chicago cohorts. In attendance at this dinner was one of our parents, sponsors, alumni, School Board members, our chaperon, and special guests. At this dinner, we got to meet those who were able to make this trip a possibility for us and we also got the opportunity to meet University of Chicago alumni who were able to shed light on what our experience might be like.

A couple of the alumni shared with us what life in the University of Chicago is like. A really interesting thing that most of the alumni told me is that the dorm rooms looked like the dormitories in the Harry Potter movies. Being a Harry Potter fanatic, I am really excited to be able to say, "I slept in a Harry Potter style dorm room." I also learned that the weather is either really hot or freezing cold, there never seems to be an in between weather that we are so lucky to have here in the Bay Area. Apparently summer is a really nice time to go to Chicago because everybody is really happy that it isn't freezing. Along with sharing what the rooms are like, the alumni gave us advice about college in general. The biggest piece of advice that stuck to me was given to me by Andrew Stevens who graduated in 2012. Andrew told me that it was alright if I went into college not knowing what I wanted to do, and he also advised me to take an intro class in whatever it is that I am interested in so that I know weather I actually like that subject or not.

At a point during the evening, the dinner conversation turned into places that I must visit when I am in Chicago. On that list is the Art Institute of Chicago and the Oriental Institute Museum. Of course restaurants were suggested and Uno's pizza was suggested by Simon Cohen, soon to be a University of Chicago alumni. As a fun challenge, Tammy Spath told me that I have to choose my favorite gargoyle from the University of Chicago. Hopefully I'll be able to pick one that I really like.

During the dinner, we had Mr. Ramsey come up and speak to us about how this Chicago program arose. He shared with us that he was going through tough times but he decided that he wouldn't mope around and he would try to do something productive and that would benefit others. This led to him traveling to Chicago and forming a relationship with the school which in turn allowed them to offer the Ivy League Connection scholarships to the University of Chicago for their summer programs. This taught me that sometimes we need to not dwell too long on whatever hardships that we are facing and that it is also important to push through during tough times so that we can do something wonderful for those around you. Without Mr. Ramsey pushing through his tough time and traveling to Chicago, I wouldn't have this opportunity to attend the University of Chicago, and personally, I am extremely thankful that he made that decision.
Chicago Group Photo
I can honestly say that this evening made me realize even more how incredible it is that me and my Chicago cohorts are able to visit the University of Chicago this summer. Without the support of everyone who attended this dinner tonight, this trip would not be possible. Everyone there in one way or another made a sacrifice so that this could be possible. Everyone in that room wants to see us succeed and are willing to help us in any way to make it possible for us. I feel like the amount of times I say "thank you" isn't anywhere near enough to show my gratitude for the group of people who made all of this doable. One day, I hope that all of these people will see through my actions how truly grateful I am. 

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