Sunday, July 22, 2012

And The Last Shall Be First

It was a dark and stormy night...

Well, okay, it wasn’t so stormy but it was definitely dark when the 2012 Yale cohort arrived at El Cerrito High School at 2:25 AM to gather for their departure to Yale University where they’ll dive head first into their vaunted Grand Strategies course.

This is a full year’s course crammed into sixteen days where they pretty much learn how to take over the world.  For all intents and purposes, is there really any difference between taking over another country and taking over another business--except that the former may shed less blood?  It’s all about the strategy.  In any case, our Yalies will assuredly come back either basket cases or as future leaders of our community--there’s no in between.  No matter which, it will be the thrill of a lifetime for our four students.

Before they check into their dorm rooms at Yale, however, they’ll visit Georgetown University, UPenn, Columbia and Vassar to learn more about what these schools have to offer.  Even though they’ll be studying at Yale for 16 days, while attending their Grand Strategies course they won’t have much of a chance to check out Yale as far as a school to consider attending.  So, before they actually start their course there, they’ll take the tour, sit through an informational sessions and speak with admissions officers.

Site visits are fine but there’s so much more that can be learned by interacting with people who have an intimate knowledge of actually attending these schools.  While they’re back east our Yalies will also be dining with students, alums and admissions officers from these schools so they can ask the kinds of questions that may not come up during the typical site visit.  Not only will they be learning about the schools but they’ll also be able to pick the brains of their dinner partners about the admissions process where the secrets to getting into these fines schools can be passed on to our ILCers.  And, of course, when they return, these four ILCers will tell hundreds more of their classmates at their schools.

Although a warm 57.5º with the promise of much warmer temps once the sun rises, at least a couple of our Yalies and their parents seemed to be shivering.  They may have claimed it was because they were cold but the thrill of this trip had to play a part, too.  Or maybe it was just their fond recollections of the warm beds they just left and their desire to return before the bed grew cold.

Their bags were weighed, final instructions were given (blogging, photos, security, blogging, itineraries and blogging), the group photo taken and off they went at 2:55 in the AM.

As difficult as this course is, I’m betting that all four of our Yalies will think they’re in heaven compared to the never ending harassment they endured as they prepared for this trip: the daily Reading Status Reports where they had to keep me informed of how they were doing with the 2,630 pages of reading material required of them before getting on the plane (down from last year’s 3,812 pages) or the never ending pestering about their blogs.  Yes, Yale will be a cake walk by comparison but will we ever be thanked for preparing them for this ordeal?  Only time will tell.

Our Yale cohort may be the last of our ILCers to head east but right now they’re first in our minds.

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