Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Beginning of Blogs to Come

It was a bright, sunny morning on Saturday, April 30 when about 11 Ivy League Connection students and 3 chaperones convened at the Hercules Public Library for Don’s tutorial. The session covered a wide variety of topics ranging from proper justification of one’s blogposts to tips on public speaking and professional attire.

As he began the tutorial at 10:30 on the dot, Don commended us on our punctuality but admonished our untimely responses to the many ILC emails. Then, wasting no time at all, he dove right into the basic framework that was vital to creating a good blog. This included information on proper formatting and the types of information that are appropriate (and inappropriate) to share on the blog.

Photography was next, as Don provided us with some tips on taking good photographs (including keeping your arms still by leaning on something, which will produce a sharper image). The tutorial concluded with some overview of the responsibilities we have as ILC students preparing for our summer adventures which include blogging every day we spend on the East Coast.

Don made sure we knew that our blogs are not to be travelogues. We are expected to provide our own personal analysis of the events we witness, lectures we attend and activities we participate in – not dwell on unimportant facts. We were given a handout that provided us with examples of two good blogs with great grammar and punctuality, detail and insight. One also had some great pictures. Conversely, we were also given examples of subpar blogposts that featured enough grammatical and punctual errors to make your head spin.
Photos of the group beginning to pack up:
After the meeting had ended, I had a chance to touch bases with Mrs. Lilhanand, the Columbia chaperone, as she met with Masao and I to briefly discuss the trip. The Columbia cohort will also be meeting at El Cerrito High School on Monday to take care of some paperwork.

As the school year begins to come to an end, the tutorial was at the perfect time: right before all the big ILC events and close enough to our departure date for me to begin to get really excited for our upcoming adventures.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lessons For The Future

At the Hercules Library, members so the 2011 Ivy League Connection met for a mandatory blogging tutorial. I thought the tutorial was helpful because Don covered all the basics of blogging. I learned how to make our blog more interesting by posting videos and pictures. In addition, Don provide examples of bad blogs, one which was 958 words long and had 81 errors, and a great blog, "Bulldog Days" by Austin Long.

After Don demonstrated how to use BlogSpot and Photoshop, Don moved on to helping us prepare to attending prestigious institutions such as Columbia University. We were instructed on what to pack, and what not to pack. I was surprised to learn that some may need to bring their own desk lamps, and extension cords because the outlets were underneath the beds, where it was impossible to plug electronics in.

Overall, the tutorial was very useful. I left the Hercules Library knowing how to blog, and knew more about what I can expect this summer in New York City. However, the part of the tutorial I liked the most was when everyone introduced themselves. It was nice see my peers and to be able to put a face to a name

Thank you Don for organizing this tutorial!

Sorry, Public Transit.

Whenever anyone says, “Practice makes perfect!” the majority of folks reply with, “Well, duh,” and then promptly move on to doing something else. But, the cliché is good advice. So time to get practicing.

Today was the Ivy League Connection’s mandatory Blog Tutorial. I never thought you’d need a tutorial on blogging, but apparently we do. It was an interesting event, mostly because, well, it was out in Hercules. My parents’ first response was, “Just take the bus!” since they’d both be at work or on their way. Right. I take the bus pretty often for someone my age, but an hour and a half is not exactly what I had in mind for a commute. I had to be there at 10 AM (not am or a.m., Mr. Don Gosney, although I have to say that rule makes little sense to me), which would have meant I had to leave the house before 8:30, an unkind thing to do to a teenager on break. So, luckily, I convinced my mother to take me there and hitched a ride with Don and fellow Columbia-bound student Will to get home. No buses for me today!

The information presented to me in the session was largely nothing new. There were some very good reminders (proof-read, proof-read, and proof-read!) and some interesting advice followed by choice anecdotes (Don’t let your professors brain-wash you, kids!), but all in all very little new information. We all got chewed out a bit for our flagging email response times (which, in all fairness, we deserved). Mrs. L, the Columbia chaperone, sat down with, Will, Eric – yet another student in my Columbia cohort, and the only other ILCer studying Constitutional Law – and myself to go over some logistics for our travels to, from, and within New York City. Apparently we are going to have almost no time after reaching our hotel straight off the plane to change for our dinner reservation the same night. There are few things in which I am truly a stereotypical female, but I do take a fair amount of time to get changed and dressed for any event of importance. But, I’ll have to make do. At least Mrs. L is very well organized!

No, there are no photos for this blog post as I didn't take any, but that'll change when things a bit more exciting start happening.