Friday, May 3, 2013

Dinner with Alumni

I was rather nervous when I stood outside of the BART Station and waited for us to begin the trip to the Town Hall restaurant in San Francisco. Perhaps the people at the dinner were going to have exceedingly high expectations of us? I did not want to disappoint, and I began to worry. Regardless, I still tried my best to smile, greet people, and sustain conversations. 

The BART ride went by unexpectedly quickly, even if it seemed to be around, what, an hour? Everything breezed through rather quickly, and as we walked through downtown San Francisco, I listened to my father tell me a variety of things about the city, since he works here. (I don't come down here with him very often.) 

When we arrived at the Town Hall restaurant, I was pleased by the appearance and the nice warm color of the building. My anxiety may have reached a rather small peak at this point; nevertheless, we went in and up the stairs to the second floor of the restaurant, where we had our own dining room for our rather large group of about 50 people, I think? 

We stood right outside for a couple minutes while we waited for the room to be prepared. I chatted with a few people, like Terri Ishmael. Inside, there were 5 tables, and everyone had assigned seats to encourage meeting new people. I sat with Don, a couple of alumni from Brown University, my father, another student heading to the Women and Leadership program, and her mother. The alumni had some interesting stories to share, and I listened closely.

Later, Madeline Kronenberg began to speak to all who were at this dinner, and she went over the groups of people here, which included the students going to Brown this summer, the alumni, the staff members of the school district, the sponsors of the program, and the parents. I had to introduce myself (as did other people), and I believe it went by rather smoothly for me. We had two of the students speak about the Ivy League Connection and their courses at Brown, and we had an alum speak about his experiences decades ago when he was a student at Brown. Charles Ramsey followed up and finished with a short speech, too. 

The food was rather good. Our first course was some gumbo, though mine got cold since I was too busy listening to people speak. This was followed by a choice of either chicken or a fillet of steak. I chose the steak, and it was a bit rarer than I anticipated; regardless, I enjoyed it. I do, however, need to practice my ability to cut steak! Many of the pieces were tenderized by my fork and knife by the time I cut them off. Our desert was something rather rich and chocolaty. 

After we finished eating, we went outside to take some pictures. First, we had all the alumni and the students come together, and we had a banner for Brown University in a few of the pictures. After that, we had just the students in the pictures. (I think my smile was a bit of a grimace!) 

It was rather late when we started to head back. We went back to the BART station, and we had to transfer between BART trains. When we stepped out of the first train, it seemed like the group shrunk in size by half! Perhaps some people ended up getting home in a different train. The waits for the trains certainly felt much longer than the rides themselves, too. When we got on the second train, there were a ton of people with Warriors jerseys. I'm guessing there was a game, haha! 

Overall, this night was very enjoyable, and I'm happy to have met such a variety of interesting people. 
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