Thursday, July 28, 2011

Some Thoughts from Adrianne Ramsey's Mom

Whew, the essays, interviews, civic presentations, group photos, dress-up dinners, orientations, packing, shuttle rides, college campus tours, city strolls, souvenir hunting, dorm life, T.A. critiques, challenging reading and scripted assignments, mandatory blogging, cafeteria food, budgeted spending, chaperoned activities, academic and social bonding, long flights, tearful farewells, and questionnaires for those lucky ILC 2011 participants are just about finished.

In previous years, descriptive, rousing, and often humorous blogs, photo jpg's, and emails from ILC participants made it possible for me to enjoy their scholarly adventures, while my husband and his associates worked tirelessly to insure this complex, academic, multi-site program ran smoothly. Whenever, I would be fortunate to meet ILC'ers, I would be able to congratulate, commiserate with, or encourage them, as they sought to make sense of their extraordinary experiences.

What a special year for me! Our daughter, Adrianne merited a spot with the Brown II group. Her hard work and good fortune caused my ILC experience to become far more personal. Moreover, I found myself pushing her to be more analytical about her writing and reading material, more insistent that she manage her Facebook time better, more serious about needing to "keep her guard up" in unfamiliar places, and more willing to sew a couple of items that would take her mind off shopping for any "short" shorts.

That said, I really enjoyed the academic observations, shared experiences, self revelations, and restless social inquiries contained in the blogs of the Brown II group, while they participated in the pre-college Women In Leadership course. A few of the participants shared some of the academic discourse that took place in the "Estroden".

Adrianne, her cohort, and fellow classmates analyzed the political, social and interpersonal relevance of women in our society, while accessing preconceived notions they may had held of themselves. She took part in a "ropes" course, conducted an interview on African American women and feminism with her aunt, a retired legislative aide, presented a speech at the Brown brunch about a Providence, RI mover and shaker named Annie Smith Peck, an advocate for the Nineteenth Amendment, presented a monologue on Amy Chua, and created an action plan with a time line her junior/senior year, and for Angaza, as well.

Adrianne relaxed by taking an excursion to Newport Beach, celebrated Josephine's birthday at Johnny Rocket and Mariko's birthday at Shanghai Restautant. She marvelled at the contradictory atmosphere of the Water Fire event with her chaperone LaDonna Williams, and her cohort. She thanked her lucky stars for Kaylyn from Ohio, the nicest dormmate ever! Visits by Ms Williams to Harkness House were treasured events for her.

She wore her Brown sweatshirt when she met Jessica Tran, a former ILC Brown participant yesterday.

And yet, the hardest part of the covenant of the ILC participants and the Ivy League Connection has arrived! Although it is a fundamental courtesy to thank all the sponsors, organizers, interviewers, chaperones, counselors, school board members, teachers, cohorts, newly made friends, and parents and extended family, it is time to make sense of your profound academic and social experiences, accept the need for adjustment of personal expectations, and set forth a workable plan of positive action to share with your chosen community, and then, carry it to completion.

Madeline, Charles, and Don, Superintendent Harter, generous sponsors, caring educators, flexible chaperones, supportive parents, engaged ILC participants, college financial advisors, ILC organizers, and all elected officials and personnel involved with this wonderful program, I give you my deepest gratitude.

Take care.


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