Wednesday, May 21, 2014

La Folie is French for Madness and English for Perfection

On my way to dinner, I was extremely nervous for my speech. I've given speeches before and I know I've gained a lot of experience since then, but the thought of it was still nerve-racking. I tried to run through some key points to talk about on the car ride to BART. I got to the BART station at around 4:40 and met with Don, Kendall, Emily, and Emily’s mom shortly after. Peter Chau, the first student to ever participate in the ILC, also met with us and talked to us about him and college. He is a PVHS alumni and he went on to study at Dartmouth College. When the whole group arrived, we rushed up to the train.

For the majority of the BART ride, us ILCers clumped together and asked Peter all of the college questions we had. He told us that personal statements should be started as early as possible, focused on one main idea, and ready to be drafted several times. I also spoke to Lisa’s dad, Mr.Romero, about my past experience with the ILC. With constant conversation going on, the BART ride was over in no time.

Getting out of the BART station, I talked to Mr. Kronenberg who was also one the interviewers for Columbia. He attended both Dartmouth and Columbia. After a short walk, the first few taxi groups were able to wave down a taxi almost instantly. Actually, all of the taxi groups except the last one were able to make their way over to La Folie with ease. Don, Mr. Blackmon, and I were stranded for another five or ten minutes before a taxi driver stopped for us. Don and Mr. Blackmon were talking about politicians and the taxi driver was really knowledgeable about the politicians too! I felt a little ashamed that I was going to study America’s presidents without knowing much about the local politicians. I’ll have to pay attention to the news more often!

By the time we arrived at La Folie, everybody else had already arrived. I went to find my seat which was near my father, Emily, Mary and Ilana. I spoke to Mary, one of the ILC sponsors. She’s actually a UC Berkeley graduate, but she was able to tell me a lot about her college experiences. Once, she took an Italian class and she liked it so much that she went to Italy for study abroad! It’s amazing how far one class can take you. I also spoke to Ilana who is a Columbia alumnus. She majored in environmental sciences and she told me a bunch of places to visit on and off Columbia’s campus! Both Mary and Ilana were so nice and we found ourselves talking to each other for the whole night. 
Ms. Kronenberg giving a closing speech.
Time went on and the feeling of having to give a speech sank in again. Justin went first and he spoke about his experience in applying for the ILC.  I was relieved to be the second speaker, but at the same time, Justin’s speech was great and he set a high bar for me to reach. When I went up to speak, words started to come out a lot easier than I remembered, but by the end of the speech, I realized that I barely said anything that I planned to. I just hope that that wasn’t too noticeable! Two Columbia alumni, Ms. Kronenberg, and Mr. Ramsey also gave speeches. They all spoke so eloquently.

Our courses started to come out one after another. I had the asparagus soup, pan seared beef tenderloin, and a chocolate fondant. All of the food was delicious! Dessert was definitely my favorite because the fondant was so soft and there was chocolate oozing out of the center. I loved the food, but being able to eat it with all of the amazing people around me was no doubt the highlight of my night. Every aspect of the night was perfect. Every event always builds up excitement for the upcoming trip and this dinner was no exception. 
"The Sunset" Warm Bittersweet Chocolate Fondant

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