Friday, July 3, 2009

Marvelous Morning

This morning, we got to sleep in for a bit. I woke up a bit later than I wanted to, and there was already someone in the bathroom. I got everything I needed for later ready, and then I quickly hopped in the shower. I took one of my fastest showers ever (10 minutes!) and I had about 20 minutes to get ready. Sophia called me and said that everyone was meeting at the gazebo. I quickly rushed and got everything ready, and I ran out of the door, but as soon as I was almost out of the suite, I remembered that I forgot to lock my room door. I went back and locked it, and waiting for the elevator to come. It came more quickly than usual (thank goodness time was one my side!). As the elevator was making its way down the seven floors, it was 9:29, and everyone was waiting for me at the gazebo, so I ran to them.

Then, we walked to our meeting place to have breakfast with Mrs. Lilhanand. We all ate a quick breakfast and broke down our day. Sophia, Julie, and Jessica would meet with Mrs. Kronenberg at the Columbia bookstore to meet up with the Brown students, while Jackie, Gabe, Mrs. Lilhanand, and I would go wait in line for the ferry to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. After breakfast, we broke up into our groups. My group went to the subway station to buy an all day unlimited pass. We rode until the end of the line, and we got off.

The area near the ferry was full of tables that consisted of posters and artwork (such as caricatures). Many of the tables seemed to be the same, and it was a very touristy area because everyone was selling umbrellas and ponchos. We also got to see some pillars that were erected in memory of those who served in the armed forces during World War II. There were so many names, telling where each person came from and what position they had. When we got there, Mrs. Lilhanand told us to walk really fast so we could get in line faster. She left us kids in line to board the boat, while she waited in a pretty long line herself just to get tickets. We waited in line for well over an hour with Mrs. Lilhanand coming back after she got the tickets. When she saw what place we had in line, she said that it went a lot faster than last year. In line, we heard a lot of great street music.

We ended up being so in front of the line, that we sat down until everyone (including the Brown kids) came from Columbia. We watched the pigeons walk around and the waves go up and down for awhile. After our hard task of waiting in line, we finally saw everyone. It was so nice to see some familiar faces and have a big group of people to hang out with, and I hope that we could do it again.


Don Gosney said...


Trust me when I tell you that traveling with Ms. Lilhanand is a blessing for you all. She knows her way around and she’s organized—no wasted motions.

Even though you all ended up at the same place, it sounds like your end of the deal was more fun.

I can’t wait to read about your adventures sailing around New York and seeing Ellis Island and that big French Lady with the torch.

And pictures—did anyone take any pictures?

Charles Tillman Ramsey said...

Yes, we need the pictures!!! No blog is good without lovely photos. I loved the ones that Jessica posted to the blog. They were worth a lot and I am glad that all of you had a great time.

Cristina, you are bright and thoughtful. I hope that you can, in the future, expand on your posts and take us inside your thoughts about how is this experience changing you as a person. How is this different than being at Pinole Valley High School? Does it give you hope that maybe you will be at a prestigious school like Columbia? You had a chance to see your best friend for life(bffl)Yohanna Pepa yesterday, how did that feel? How have you adjusted to being in a big city with a lot of programs and activities always taking place around you?

Tomorrow you get to go to Vassar. Unfortunately, no one will be around? How will you make the self-guided tour interesting? How will you make the time on campus worthwhile and productive? I regrettably did not do my due diligence and arrange for someone to meet with you. I regret not making a stronger effort. Fortunately, when you visit UPENN next week, you will have the campus tour, informational session and lunch with the Asian-American director who works with minority students on campus, June Chu. I do hope that you will research a little about Vassar before you jump on the train.

By the way, how is it living with your suite mates? What have you learned about them? What type of environment do they come from and do they like the program? Have you explained to your new found friends how you came to the Summer Studies Program at Columbia? I would hope that you would spread the word about the ILC and how it gave you this wonderful opportunity.

Our program is important to us and we want our students to value what it takes to make the program function. We put a lot of hard work and we toil all the time raising funds and finding the right mix of students to participate in the program. So, yes, we want to hear your OPINION. It is important to all of us and Iknow that Pinole Valley High School Principal Sue Kahn reads the blog frequently, so any insight would be appreciated by her.

How have you adjusted by being away from home? This is obviously a new experience that gives you a chance to find yourself and learn really who is Cristina Pelayo?

Enjoy the balance of your Fourth of July and thanks for sharing your thoughts and impressions from yesterday.

Charles T. Ramsey, Esq.
School Board Member
West Contra Costa
Unified School District

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