Friday, June 1, 2012


The final landmark event, the coup de grace for us before heading back East, was today. Orientation was today, the annual gathering for everyone to get together in a rather casual (compared to our previous excursions, very casual) setting to finalize travel plans before heading out.

This year, we had the ILC orientation at Pinole Middle School. Mr. Ramsey, Ms. Kronenberg, and Don once again affirmed the importance of the impression we make to everyone we meet. Afterwards, we split off into each of our respective cohorts. The Yale cohort had one of the classrooms within the school to ourselves.

The classroom before.
Our chaperone, Igor Litvin immediately took the small classroom and decided to set up a seminar circle in order to help simulate the college feel. We all took our seats and while he distributed each packet, Ms. Kronenberg sat with us and began to speak about the logistics of the program -- what to bring, what to buy, and so on. Sitting there hearing all of that, my mind recalled hot days in Ithaca that would have been far worse without the fan that we had in our room, or the many roommates that became great friends along the way. To be able to spend another summer with an experience just as close to the real deal in terms of college makes me very excited for the program.

The classroom after. Yohanna Pepa ('14) tells us about what awaits us at the Yale Ivy Scholars program.
Afterwards, Yohanna Pepa (Yale '14) began to speak to us about the program. Yohanna had taken part in the program in 2009, as well as worked at the program over the summer last year. She covered the basics, what the program encompassed, what we would have to do for the famed (and feared) Marshall Brief, as well as the general attire during lectures and class time. Business casual was the name of the game here, and because of the high-profile lecturers, she made it clear that keeping our best foot forward is a must. Just as important, she stressed that we were going to be taking this course with an eclectic group of power children from all across the world. Nonetheless, she affirmed that there was no reason to be intimidated. "You all proved that you belong here by your ability and your own merits," she said.

Now with the Grand Strategies program changed drastically from what it used to be, this will definitely be a new experience ahead of us. Even with the reading thinned down, I think I may read some of the old material just to get some outside scope. In the meantime, I must finish The Prince; Mr. Litvin decided that instead of giving a conventional final for Tanya and I, he would give us a final based on our course reading. You can never have too much motivation to learn this material, right?

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