The event exceeded my expectations. It was a little rough at first with a large detour as we walked to the restaurant but that was our little workout for the evening. Besides, walking through San Francisco is always nice.
The venue is called Town Hall, a fabulous restaurant with fried chicken unlike anything I have ever tasted. The food was amazing all around but that fried chicken made my mouth water more than anything else. It was crunchy and flaky and juicy all at the same time. I could not get enough.
Beside that, the alumni. I had the pleasure of talking with Christopher Dewing from the class of 2014 and Koryn Kendall from the class of 2008. Also, Nelson from the class of 2014 was in attendance but sadly, I was seated too far away to talk with him. I am thankful for all these alumni coming because they made me so much more excited for this summer. Christopher was the first person I talked to when I arrived and he told me all about his experience as a student. He had all these amazing memories such as his involvement in the club broom ball team that he was on for all four years. Also his class where he got to look at all the aspects of sports from the law to the economics. His experiences were inviting to me because he is young and I felt like his opinions were very applicable to what might happen for me.
Koryn introduced herself with the phrase, "Where fun goes to die." This is the unofficial name for the University of Chicago and one of the houses on campus sells T-shirts with that phrase printed on it. And, ironically, this house makes thousands of dollars in profits so they can have more fun than anyone else on campus, as Christopher pointed out. Pretty smart thinking on their part. I felt that this was untrue just from all the descriptions I heard. Without even being there I saw Chicago in my mind and pictured all the things I could do. Koryn played volleyball for the university and I am interested in continuing my running in college so we talked about this. She was attracted to the student focus for student-athletes, and I am too. I think attending a school like UChicago will give me the opportunity to pursue my running passion but also explore other academic opportunities. My trip there will include a large amount of running this summer so I think I will have a good idea of what being a student-athlete at the university will be like. Koryn and Christopher were very nice and I was happy to be able to talk with them.
The sponsors and board members in attendance were also too far away from me but I just want to say thank you to all of them for making this possible. They are giving all of us ILCers a chance of a lifetime and I am extremely grateful. They have provided the financial means for our trip and one day it will be my turn to provide an opportunity for others to do something similar. I will look back to this time and pay it forward just like these generous sponsors have for me.
The ILC alumni in attendance, Brandon De la Cruz, was also a very big part of the night. He sat directly in front of me at dinner so he could tell me all about his experience at the summer session. His stories really made me excited for what will come this summer. He kept saying how badly he wanted to go back and now I just can't wait. With just about a month and a week remaining, this is starting to feel super real. Also, Brandon told us that we get more dinners like the one we had at Town Hall and that definitely excited me. I wonder if there is anymore fried chicken. Mmmmmm.