Thursday, July 14, 2011


Our guest speaker today was amazing. Simply amazing. Chris Riano isn't your average lawyer. He even said so himself. He was so young that I felt he could relate to us. He was one of the success stories you hear about... when you take years off from school then you finally realize what you want in life. He's opening his own Higher Education Law Firm and works as a clerk currently.

What I loved the most was his interest in what we were working on and our futures. He asked each of us to explain our papers in detail and asked us questions about them that we hadn't thought of ourselves. At least once, I felt like I had to really think about my paper and ask... can this be applied today as he was suggesting? 

He also cared a lot about what we were doing in the future. He came prepared with details about each of us that the professor had told him. He knew I was from California and was interested into aeronautical engineering. Chris had also wanted to become an engineer but told us that after his robot he was building failed to work and math was no longer real, he decided it wasn't for him. 

What was unique about this speaker was how he talked about a lot of colleges to us and kind of drew out from us what we really wanted and made us second guess ourselves. Just because we were here for 3 weeks didn't mean we would enjoy living here for 4 years. And the same goes for staying close to home. We have lived there for most of our lives and have become comfortable so of course we might want to stay near home, but will we actually enjoy it? 

Ultimately, it doesn't come down to a big named college, or a super competitive college. It's finding the college that suits YOU. Not your mom or your dad or your teachers. It's up to YOU! Dr. Z. told us never to make the decision for the college, to apply, hope for the best, not to let money be a decision maker, and let the college itself decide. Don't let yourself decide whether you will get in or not.

I discussed with my teacher my disease I caught yesterday called "writer's block". I needed to get well soon and asked for her advice on how I should finish my paper. She told me that 20 pages was a goal, not a requirement. If I came a little short that was fine; as long as I felt comfortable putting my name on it and turning it in as my final draft. I can say I've never been so comfortable on this trip than I did then. My professor had a one on one discussion with me comforting me and even laughing about how worried I was! She told me ultimately, it's quality and not quantity.

I spent the rest of my evening buying final souvenirs and packing some of my things. If I were to wait til the last minute to pack, it would be a wreck. I decided to pack some of the stuff I wouldn't be using for the remainder of my trip. It's truly amazing how fast these three week have gone by. At the beginning there I was, little me homesick and nervous to be in such a different place. I can definitely see how I've grown these past three weeks, not physically but emotionally and mentally. I am more than positive that no matter where I go I will be fine. Sure, I'll be homesick and lonely. Most people go through that. But it's about getting through it and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel

1 comment:

  1. Milani,

    I'm glad that your instructor gave you the 411 about the guidelines for your paper.

    I'm sure you've seen it in some of your other classes and we certainly saw it in the ILC application essays that we set a minimum word limit and some of the authors were clearly padding their essays to get the minimum count. We used to tell them we wanted a XX-page essay and sometimes what we got were 2" margins and triple spaced. [This is one of the reasons why I reformat every essay so when the panelists see them they all have the same font, the same margins, the same font size--everything. This way the panelists can judge them on the content and not on the presentation.]

    Dr. Z is correct in that it's the quality of your content and not the number of words.

    And no matter how much you fall in love with a place, there's nothing like sleeping in your own bed and eating the food you've grown up with.