Monday, August 27, 2012

Wait...There's More?

After the climactic way I ended my reflection blog, I genuinely believed that those would be the last words I would leave as an ILC student, at least for the foreseeable future. But here I am, one week later, blogging once again, ensuring that endings are never the end. Not truly.

But a few weeks beforehand, I was sent an invitation from Mr. Ramsey to take part in the Yale mentor program. The first event was a brunch at the famed Olympic Club (which hosted the US Open this past summer). I did not hesitate to join in.

Ever since I left Yale, I knew that the school was the fit for me. I had flirted with the idea of applying to Yale over the course of the program. As I went through my trip, my fascination and my admiration for the school grew and grew, until finally, I attended the Ivy Scholars Program.

After going through that, it was easy. True, it was only a taste, and an unrealistic one. Some of the best professors of the university had come to lecture us, some of the most talented students had mentored us. But that did not phase me at all, for if this was a taste, then I wanted more. So much more.

And so I found myself headed for the Olympic Club, with my mind both set on the school and very ready to learn more about it from alums.

I didn't really know what to expect as we drove up to the Club. Were we to just eat and talk, were we to meet up with the alumni separately, would I find a mentor off the bat, and so on and so forth. The questions swirled inside my mind and I juggled them in my brain, knowing full well that whatever happens, it would be an educational experience.

And by far, it was. I met with several familiar faces again at the Club, including Dave Olsen, Ken Yamaguchi, and Kao Mo Lau, all of whom I met earlier through the interview process and the Yale dinner in the spring. I spoke with them about my impressions of Yale and discussed several facets of the college life, including the Directed Studies program and the Residential College amenities.

I also had the pleasure to meet and speak with two alums, Melody Pak and Tyler He. Both had recently made their way back to the Bay Area and had been recruited by Mo for the brunch. Melody was a political science major with a background in education -- her dissection of the Directed Studies program to me was incredibly helpful and sold it even more to me, as it offers one of the few limited-student seminars for Freshmen on the campus. Yohanna had informed me of Directed Studies a few months ago during the Yale dinner, and as time grew, I wanted more and more to join it. It is my preferred program choice as a Freshman if I attend Yale.

The other alum I spoke with was Tyler He, a Bay Area native who was mentored by the Ivy Scholars Program Dean Nick Coburn-Palo. I spoke with him about the program, about Nick, about speech and debate and then Yale in general. He affirmed to me that for the personal statement, it should come naturally -- as it helped him with his application process. All of the alums stressed the personal statement, and it's importance. It was the chance to differentiate a candidate, as the basic grades, test scores, and figures usually qualified everyone for admission. It would be the statement that would make the deciding factor.

After the brunch, we exchanged contact information and all went our separate ways. But I must say, the event helped quite a bit in clearing my mind about what I have to do next.

But for now, au revoir. I will return on Sept. 30th, when we go to see the A's take on the Mariners.

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