Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Meeting Alumni at Prospect

I just got back from the highly anticipated ILC dinner with the Chicago cohort, which was held at Prospect restaurant, in San Francisco.All five members of my cohort, as well as five parents, school board members, alumni, and honorary guests, met at BART at about 5:15 PM. Everyone got there in time and we managed to catch an earlier train which was convenient. On the BART ride there, I spoke to Simon Cohen, a senior who also goes to El Cerrito High School, and who will be attending University of Chicago in the fall. We talked a little about how he got interested in the University of Chicago, and which classes he was just now finishing up before graduating.

The Chicago cohort and alumni
Luckily, once we arrived, the walk to the restaurant was short, just a couple blocks. We entered the restaurant and were led to the back to a private room. Mr. Ramsey then set up the seating arrangements and set up the name cards while everyone else introduced themselves. I met many alumni, including two women who worked together in the west coast alumni offices for University of Chicago. Their names were Elsbeth and Tammy, and though they graduated some years apart from each other, they seemed to be very close and good friends. All of the alumni that I met seemed to have graduated at very different times. One alumnus named Norman I met graduated in 1957, and another, Andrew, graduated in 2012. 

I was seated at a table with Mr. Ramsey, my mom, Andrew, Peter (A Dartmouth alumnus and ILC veteran), Erica (an honorary guest), and Mr. Blackmon, a donor. I talked to Andrew a lot about his experience at the University of Chicago. I learned about the common core at the university that requires students to take a certain number of classes of each subject. He said the common core emphasized literary classics, reading and writing, which is why he felt it was a good fit for him. However, he said this structure worked very well for his personality and interests, and would not have worked for his brother, for example. He also told me about the living situations for students. The majority of the alums described the dorm houses like the different houses at Hogwarts. The houses all had different names and sat at the same table in the dining halls.

Alums, donors, students, Alie, and parents, were all introduced and some said a few words. Before long, it was my turn to speak. I was nervous, but when I went up to speak, it was not actually so bad and I think I did pretty well. Once the nerves were gone and my little speech was over, I could enjoy my gourmet meal. For starters, I had a beet salad with truffles and greens. For the main dish, I chose the Alaskan Halibut. Lastly for dessert, I had a delicious rocky road sundae. 

The dinner was delicious, and I felt so grateful to have been able to meet with so many alumni of University of Chicago, who could give us advice and valuable information.