Monday, June 1, 2015

Operation Aloha is a GO!

The Hercules High School students have been looking forward to the orientation for a long time now. The first of June is the day we all marked our calendars to prepare for what lies ahead.

Since last year, the Hercules High School students has somewhat of a tradition of wearing "aloha" t-shirts in the honor of Don. Last year it was suppose to be small gesture to show Don our appreciation for the bold and bright patterns he wears, but Hercules officially decided to make it their own tradition to wear the t-shirts every orientation. We were all very excited to once again carry out the beginning of a new tradition that we hope the next generation will carry on. 

The Annual Orientation for the Ivy League Connection was held at Pinole Middle School at 6:00 PM. As soon as my sister, my guardian for the night, and I arrived to the school, we have had to check in before we could enter the cafeteria room, where everything was set up for the orientation. When I walked in I immediately saw my cohort as well as their parents. Since I've grown fond with my cohort through all the events we've participated in with each other, I saw it necessary to try my best to familiarize myself with the other cohorts. Although springing up a conversation is always somewhat awkward at first, I met other members of the program who were just as ecstatic as I.

After much debriefing from Don, we were left to group up with our cohort and go over the rough itinerary for the summer. Although everything on the paper wasn't quite "set in the stone" it gave our parents a better understanding of what our traveling plans were before we get to the Cornell Summer Program. After a few minutes into explaining the itinerary, Don comes in and asks if Mr. Chan-Law if he would allow me to talk to the Vanderbilt cohort and answer their answering if they had any. Since I went to the Vanderbilt Summer Program last summer I was quiet fond to the information and tips that the students needed. Of course being given a chance to talk about my experience from my amazing summer last year, I openly took the offer.  

When I was finally cleared by Mr. Chan-Law to go talk to the Vanderbilt Cohort, I quickly sprung out of my seat and swiftly walked toward the Vanderbilt room. When I walked in, I introduced myself and began to answer some of the cohort's questions. Soon enough Chiamaka Nwadike came into the room to do the same as well. As we sat there answering questions we began to reminisce all the great time we had being in the Ivy League Connection Program last summer. From that alone, I realized that my journey at the East Coast never really ended, it was just paused to be continued this summer. I couldn't wait to experience what the East Coast had to offer me. 

After our break-out sessions we met all together once again. Don spoke to us about certain items that would be important on the trip. He gave us tips and advice about packing as well as went over the basic guidelines of the parents' role  for this trip. During this portion of the orientation I was able to create somewhat of a mental list of what I might need for my trip to Cornell, but I realized before I could get anything I should talk to the previous year's students to get their opinions and prospects about what is necessary.

When Don finally called the orientation to be over, a herd of people began to exit the door. These people included parents who wanted to rest at home and students who needed to go home and blog. But regardless of the need of resting and blogging, the Hercules High School Students stayed after to take the "Annual Don and His Minimies" group photo. With all our nice and bright shirts on, the photos we took were photos to keep for an eternity. All the Hercules students were safe to say that Operation Aloha was a success! 

"Hanging Loose"

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