High School Leaders

PODCAST: Logan Ferrell, HSLP 2010 Graduation
Jul 27 2010 - 11:38pm

HSLP 2010's Logan Ferrell was selected by his classmates to speak at the graduation this past Saturday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PODCAST: Marc Johnson, HSLP 2010 Graduation
Jul 27 2010 - 11:17pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PODCAST: Bob Gibson, HSLP 2010 Graduation
Jul 27 2010 - 11:11pm

The High School Leaders Program Class of 2010 celebrated its graduation from the Sorensen Institute in the historic Dome Room of the University of Virginia Rotunda this past Saturday, July 24.

HSLP 2010: Day 15, Saturday, July 24
Jul 27 2010 - 9:20am

High School Leaders Program Class of 2010
Day 15-Saturday, July 24
Recorded by: Sarah Wooten, Woodbridge

Today as I rolled out of bed at 7:30, I realized that I was in a very confused mood. On the one hand, I was excited to see family and friends, to graduate and to know that I could carry on all the knowledge that I have gained in these precious two weeks with me in the future. I would be leaving with fond memories, wonderful friends, and a newfound appreciation for the University of Virginia. At the same time, I found it somewhat depressing. As I primped for the graduation ceremony and then proceeded to head out the front door with Allison, Maggie, Adam, Holly, and Nikki, we all reached a state of enlightenment, where we stopped and realized that this would our last time walking to The Corner together as students of the High School Leadership Program. If we were ever to come across one another again, the journey would be made as graduates, as alumni.

Once we had stopped by Bodos and Starbucks, we made our way over to the Rotunda where we met up with family and friends. After tripping and spilling my drink on the way into the building, I became aware that none of the friends I had made at Sorensen would be there to laugh at my clumsiness once I returned to Woodbridge. It was a melancholy moment, but there was no use crying over spilled raspberry seltzer; I had a graduation to attend.

The ceremony commenced with Mr. Bob “Bobbledore” Gibson and ended with Ms. April Auger. Each speaker did a phenomenal job; the ceremony was great. I was so glad that we had nominated Logan to speak for us and I was thrilled to see Dr. Palmer again; even though she had been tough on us when she was on the panel, her speech was awe inspiring, accompanied by an amazing slide show. I was a bit disappointed that I was the last person to get my diploma, I suppose I had secretly hoped that when Allison’s name was skipped, they were going to call her last. Still, I was thrilled to receive my diploma; it meant that I had made it, that I was officially an alumni of Sorensen.

My confused mood remained after the end of the ceremony. I was overjoyed to see my parents, but I was crushed that I would be leaving so many wonderful people behind. This experience really opened my eyes about my state, myself, and the world around me. At orientation, we had collected little, arbitrary, ice breaking facts about one another like “someone that has never had braces” or “someone that has lived outside of the United States”. After just fourteen days, I feel that I have gained a deeper understanding for every person that I have encountered at the high school leaders program. I want to thank everyone for contributing to this life changing experience and I hope that Sorensen had as much of an impact on everyone else as it had on me.

HSLP 2010: Day 14, Friday, July 23
Jul 27 2010 - 9:14am

High School Leaders Program Class of 2010
Day 14-Friday, July 23
Recorded by: Adam Cohn, Richmond

It’s 8 o’clock in the morning. Game time. Countdown until project presentations: 2 hours. I quickly get dressed for my group’s final meeting before the presentations. I get there exactly on time, to find out that I’m the second person there. As usual, the group is running behind. Shocker. By the time that the entire group is together, it is just about time to depart Bice for the Rotunda. As I step outside of Bice, I am unpleasantly greeted by a wave of sweltering heat that would stay with me for the entire walk. Finally, I enter the Lawn at the opposite end of the Rotunda. With each step, I feel increasingly intelligent and confident as I approach Mr. Jefferson’s “Temple of Knowledge”, the Rotunda. Finally, I am at the base of the stairs that lead up to the main door. By this time, I am entirely confident that I will do well on the presentation.

Then I see the sign on the door that says to use the Lower Level entrance. There goes any and all confidence. I sadly walk back down the stairs and use the Lower entrance, which everyone else seemed to know about. Eventually I make it up to the Dome Room of the Rotunda and eagerly await the 10 o’clock hour. As the Chapel bell starts to toll ten times, Bob Gibson stands up to get the presentations underway. The panelists reviewing our projects introduce themselves. The panel consisted of Kelli Palmer, Assistant to the President of the University; Connie Jorgensen, former Legislative Assistant in the General Assembly; Bob Gibson, Executive Director of Sorensen; Marc Johnson, our first Professor; and Dr. Steve Bragaw; our second Professor.

The first group, Budget stands up, and the games begin. They presented a legislation that would make Public Safety exempt from budget cuts in order to ensure Virginians’ safety. That group was followed by the Education group, which was by far the best (because I was in it). Our policy made foreign language a core class that is to be taught from kindergarten. The Environment group’s proposal revolved around a user fee for plastic bags in order to encourage the purchase of reusable plastic bags. The fourth group was Immigration, and they mandated that employers use the E-Verify program to ensure that workers have a legal status in the US. The presentations were rounded off by the Transportation group, which proposed a cigarette tax where the refunds would be used to help to maintain Virginia’s roadways.

Soon after the final presentation, my fellow classmates and I excitedly left the Rotunda knowing that we had finished the program’s final requirement. Upon our return, we were greeted with hot pizzas from the Mellow Mushroom. After lunch, we were free for the afternoon to walk around campus and hang out. Promptly at 4:30, we were required to meet for the final time in Bice’s lobby to go out for dinner at Baja Bean, located on the Corner. Our group had the entire top floor, and enjoyed a fajita buffet for dinner. After everyone finished eating, Lauren, Lacey-Grey, April, Scott, and Ben presented the class superlatives, which we voted on the previous night. Some of the highlights included: Most Likely to Cause a Constitutional Crisis, Most Confident When Wrong, Next Director of Sorensen, and Next Governor. I won the “Best Sense of Humor” award.

From then on, we had the rest of the night to essentially do as we pleased. Many of us went to the Lawn with our new friends and reflected on the past two weeks, some began to pack, and others went to Arch’s to enjoy one last cup of ice cream. People are just now beginning to trickle back in from our last night of fun and friends and will most likely finish off the night by watching some Harry Potter and West Wing. Well, I am supposed to have this blog post done in approximately 4 minutes, so I shall choose my concluding words wisely. I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to attend Sorensen this summer. I have met a wonderful group of people that I know I will keep in touch with for a very long time. The lessons that I have learned are invaluable and will shape many of my decisions as I enter college and the professional world.
 

HSLP 2010: Day 13, Thursday, July 22
Jul 24 2010 - 8:55am

High School Leaders Program Class of 2010
Day 13-Thursday, July 22
Recorded by: Chelsea Stokes, Glen Allen

We confirmed a new philosophy today: Time is just a relative thing and according to Nicole, my suitemate, 8:30 is relative… so we can be relatively late. Fortunately, all the girls were ready and on time, but some guys took this statement to heart and were “relatively” late. The morning class was filled with discussion on public reasoning and the Law of Unattended Consequences. The real fun came late in the morning when we discarded our titles of students and took on the role of the General Assembly as we played THE BUDGET GAME!

Temporary Senators and Delegates faces became red, as the blood began boiling, and the anger started flowing, all of this over a game! Being confronted with a billion dollar deficit our morals, values and ideologies were truly tested. If we took two things away from this experience it would be the art of compromising and not being emotionally attached to the budget because at the end of the day we all needed to come together. As members of the House of Representatives, we debated closing all blind and deaf schools, cutting majority welfare and Medicaid services, releasing nonviolent criminals ninety days early, and most importantly the age old issue of raising taxes. So passionate were some members in the House of Delegates that they even signed a pledge swearing not to further raise taxes. In the end no group was happy as the Senate proposed a budget in over a billion dollar of revenue while the House of Representative cut programs and a compromise was unable to formalize.

We end the day in anticipation of tomorrow’s presentation- writing talking points, practicing public speaking, anticipating and answering questions thrown at us by the YPC’s. Our two week journey is coming to an end as a nervous angst spreads among us in preparation for Friday.

High School Leaders Program Class of 2010
Day 13-Thursday, July 22
Recorded by: Catherine Emblidge, Richmond

Today was our last day of classes and I can’t believe that it is already over, our two weeks have flown by. I woke up this morning to Nicole’s alarm going off at 7 o’ clock. As we lay in bed trying to wake up, Nicole and I listened to our morning wake up song and watched our fish, Aquarius. As we got ready for our day we couldn’t help but get sad that we only had two more days together. Soon after we rushed down stairs to walk to class.

When we got to class we sat down and started our discussion on decisions and unintended consequences and then we started the budget game. The budget game was a challenge where we divided into two groups, the house and the senate. In these groups we had the task of balancing the state budget. The budget game ended up taking the rest of the day as we debated tax increases and cuts in public spending causing somewhat of a heated debate. As the day wrapped up we walked home to Bice to start our meetings with our policy groups.
We all met with our groups preparing for our mock presentation. My group was a little behind so we ended up having to work through dinner. After presentations we all worked a little longer and then it was time for bed. My roommate Nicole and I convened as usual in our room to talk about the day and read our nightly prayer.
 

HSLP 2010: Day 12, Wednesday, July 21
Jul 23 2010 - 1:44pm

High School Leaders Program Class of 2010
Day 12-Wednesday, July 21
Recorded by: Gabrielle Stiff, Newport

It all started at 6:45 this morning, as that’s the time we had to meet in the lobby. The bus arrived at Bice around 7:00 and we soon departed for Richmond. I fell asleep shortly after leaving Bice and when I awoke we were at the Capitol Building. We all got ready and got off the bus and made our way into the building. After entering the building we formed a line and slowly made our way through the security check. After everyone was done we made our way to the conference room to hear our first speaker.

Our first speaker of the day was Tucker Martin, the Director of Communications for Governor Bob McDonnell. Mr. Martin talked about his position with the Governor and how he got his start in politics. He also discussed how he deals with the press and his “Oh Dear” principle of admitting, denying, responding, or explaining. Also he talked about the McDonnell administrations’ response to the release of the Governor’s thesis. Mr. Martin said his main job as Director of Communications is “What is our message and how do we reticulate it to the people?”

We also heard from Janet Polarek along with Mr. Tucker. Ms. Polarek is the Secretary of the Commonwealth and her main message was “Find something you would really love to do, find a boss you would really love to work for, and find people you would really love to work with.” The third speaker we heard from today was Richard Krouse, the Political Director of the Republican party in Virginia. Mr. Krouse discussed the process of running for office and how important it is to have a good platform. He also asked a good question for people considering running: “Why should I vote for you?” Additionally, he talked about the Republicans views on taxes, the Tea Party movements, and the 2010 elections. He pointed out the targeted districts, who was running in those districts, and how relevant elections were in Virginia since we are a purple state and how the Nation’s eye is on us.

We then heard from John Hager, Chairman of the Board of Sorensen. Mr. Hager talked about his past positions including but not limited to: Lt. Governor with Governor Gilmore, Director of Homeland Security (2001-9/11), and Chairman of the Republican Party. He also discussed how Virginia is a purple state and how it’s a constant competition between the Democrats and Republicans, and how he got into politics after he got Polio. Our next speaker was Anne Gambardella, Head of Legislative Affairs for the Automotive Industry. Her job consists of lobbying politicians for automotive dealers. She said 30,000 people are employed by the automotive industry and she represents them. Our last speaker was Scott Francis, an employee of Dominion. He discussed Dominion’s energy developments. Also he spoke about the hypothesized energy gap in the next ten years of 56,000 megawatts by 2020. He also said Virginia was the second, behind California, in energy production. Additionally, he discussed the prospects of offshore wind energy.

After our speakers we walked to the front of the Capitol Building and took a group picture. After that we walked 4 blocks to the Capitol Ale House, where we enjoyed a delicious dinner and in some people’s cases dessert. After our bellies were full we got back on the bus and headed back to Bice.

High School Leaders Program Class of 2010
Day 12-Wednesday, July 21
Recorded by: Locher Grove, Roanoke

With a groan I opened my eyes and rolled over to look at the time on my clock-6:04am. Begrudgingly I pulled off my covers, rubbed the sleep out of the corner of my eyes,and began to get dressed in my business professional attire. The belt was buckled, the shoes slipped on, and the tie was tightened. I opened the door of my room and walked out into the main kitchen/living room of the suite to eat some breakfast before we were supposed to report downstairs in the main lobby of Bice. I finished my breakfast and headed downstairs with the rest of my suitemates: Logan, Adam, and Ben. We all met in the lobby and Lauren counted everyone before we boarded the bus to head to our State Capital, Richmond.

As soon as the tires hit 64 East half of the people on the bus were fast asleep as the others were nodding off with the methodic bounce of the Abbot on the bumpy road.When I opened my eyes for the second time today (I had fallen asleep too), I could see the high rising structures that make up the landscape of Richmond. We gently nudged our sleeping friends and notified them of our arrival. The bus pulled around the block and Capital Hill loomed ahead of us. After proceeding through security we had a short walk to our room for the day. I was shocked when I passed through the massive, 20-foot high solid wooden doors that blocked the entrance. We sat down in the conference style room that contained three different projectors on three different walls (I guess this is so no one ever has to strain their neck in any direction to see the screens). There was time to kill so we received ashort talk from Mr. Drew Teitelbaum (a member of our HSLP group) about the ever-important issue of the diminishing population of horse flies in Uzbekistan. April shooed Drew off the lectern and our first speakers, Mr. J. Martin Tucker and Ms. Janet Polarek, began. Mr. Tucker is the Director of Communications for Governor McDonnell and Ms. Polarek is the Secretary of the Commonwealth. They talked about how they rose through the ranks and are in the positions that they hold currently. Then they opened it up for questioning. The next speaker was Richard Krouse who is the Political Director of the Republican Party of Virginia. He told us of his first memory about politics and the desire of making a difference, and he encouraged us to open up our eyes and look for the issues in all levels of government.

The final speaker before lunch was Mr. John Hager who is the Chairman of the Board of Sorensen and has formerly served as Lt. Governor with Governor Gilmore, Director of Homeland Security after 9/11, and Chairman of the Republican Party. Mr. Hager told us about the importance of getting involved and becoming politically active. Lunch was from the Capital’s small café. It included some type of sandwich,fruit, a bag of Lays potato chips, and two cookies. I finished early and looked around themain floor of the original Capital building. I found old maps that still referred to my hometown city of Roanoke as Big Lick. I also found past pictures of Members of theHouse that dated back to early and mid 19th century. I hurried back to our conference room and joined everyone else on an exclusive tour of the building with our tour guide named Steve (I not quite sure what is name is sofor the purpose of this blog entry we will refer to him as Steve). Steve took us around the Capital onto the floors of the Senate and the House that are normally locked. Throughout the hour tour, we learned tons of information about the history of Mr. Jefferson’s Capital. At two o’clock we were back in the conference room and we heard from Ms.Anne Gambardella Head of Legislative Affairs for the Automotive Industry. She told us about the intricacies of lobbying here in Richmond.Next we heard from our final speaker of the day, Mr. Scott Francis of DominionPower. Mr. Francis put up a power point about the different green energy sourcesDominion has all over the Commonwealth.We were done at four and we proceeded up the Capital steps and took a nicegroup picture. Then we strutted down the streets of Richmond in our business professional attire to a restaurant called the Capital Ale House. We were ushered into a back room and placed our orders (many of us opting for the Ale Houses’ famous burgers). I on the other hand, believed I was getting a burger when I ordered the “Portobello Burger,” but alas, there was no meat on my sandwich. It turned out that the “burger” was actually just a giant Portobello mushroom. Surprised, I tasted the “burger” and was delighted to find that even though there was no meat, it was still a great tasting sandwich.The bus was parked outside so we boarded back up and said our goodbyes to the State Capital, Richmond. It was a great day. 

 

HSLP 2010: Day 11, Tuesday, July 20
Jul 22 2010 - 9:23am

High School Leaders Program Class of 2010
Day 11-Tuesday, July 20
Recorded by: Jeff Smith, Richmond

I started my day at 8AM to a sunny day, greeted with "business casual" attire on my schedule. I wore the pants with the button down shirt, but regretted it by 9AM. We had class as usual, taught by our second week professor. It's been nice getting to know everyone and I know that I will be in touch with my classmates soon after we depart. We're already 11 days into our program and it seems like we arrived yesterday. The program has been exciting and I can't wait to go back to Richmond tomorrow, for another day trip. We are already deep into our policies, writing drafts, having discussions, and learning how to work with each other. We had Chick-Fil-A today which happens to be my favorite fast-food restaurant. We eat outside during lunch most days and sit at a table and enjoy our meals together. I'm having a fun time with our instructors and everyone at the Institution. We have been studying a lot and working in groups most nights. Today we heard from three separate speakers today and learned more about the state vs. local government problems. It was a good day.

High School Leaders Program Class of 2010
Day 11-Tuesday, July 20
Recorded by: John Janousek, Yorktown

We woke up at the usual time today- 8:00, giving us just enough time to battle over shower privileges before having to be downstairs at 8:30. Jeff forgot it was a business casual day and instead decided to just sport casual clothing until realizing his error. Like always, we were fashionably late downstairs to meet up with everyone and walk to class. It was a hot morning, and I could already feel my button up shirt embracing me in a hot, humid hug emblematic of the horrors of Virginian summers. Class was dominated by lecture, only interrupted by those lucky enough to be called on (who knows what our Professor's system of choosing who to call on is). Lunch was divine- a delicious array of Chick-Fil-A awaited to be consumed by us. Falling upon it like vultures, we made quick work of the 2 chicken nugget platters.

After our feast, we had 4 speakers. Unfortunately, all of their names elude me. However, I remember distinctly what they discussed. The first speaker was an intern for Interfaith, and interest group which expresses the views of various religions it represents in order to influence Virginian policy. The discussion with our speaker centered mostly around immigration though, and some became more passionate then others with the issue. The second speakers were legislative aids, and spoke together. They discussed what they did as legislative aids and explained some of the legislative process to us. They were interesting speakers and gave us business cards. Our fourth speaker was an energetic guy who was a Sorensen graduate. He worked for Senator Webb and was the first person involved with federal politics who has talked to us. He had many interesting points, and also offered to help us on our policy pieces. We got to leave around 4, after discussing with our groups about what changes we would do to our legislature. The majority of the rest of our evening was spent editing and preparing the policy, complimented with a couple trips to the Corner for food of course.

HSLP 2010: Day 10, Monday, July 19
Jul 20 2010 - 8:54am

High School Leaders Program Class of 2010
Day 10-Monday, July 19
Recorded by: Allison Reid, Herndon

"HEY!” I jumped as my alarm clock played the Talking Heads’ “And She Was.” Like any other Monday, the switch from weekend to weekdays was especially challenging. A long night of studying Dr. Bragaw’s assigned readings and writing policy papers did not add to the Monday morning excitement. After giving myself a motivational pep talk, I left the comfort of my bed, showered, dressed, and entered the kitchen for breakfast when…

Knock knock knock. It was Maggie. An emergency policy group meeting was to be held in her room. Today was our mock interviews! Grudgingly, I grabbed a bagel, cream cheese, and some juice, and listened as Logan explained our last minute funding change. After fifteen minutes of preparation, it was time to head down to Thorton Hall for our second class with Dr. Bragaw.

First, we discussed the definition of public goods, and how the varying interpretations of the term affect public policy. When discussing the success of various goals, a student brought up an interesting point: that the most popular ideas appeal to the fear of lack of benefits rather than appeals to helping the greater good.
After our captivating discussion, Mr. Gibson mock-interviewed the policy groups to give us new approaches to our ideas and to simulate media questioning. After our discussions with Mr. Gibson, I believe that many groups have discovered flaws or more effective approaches to their policies.

After a hardy lunch of scrumptious sandwiches, we listened to two distinguished speakers: Brendan Fitzgerald, a writer and editor of the local C-Ville weekly newspaper, and Dave Norris, the current mayor of Charlottesville. Brendan Fitzgerald provided us with an interesting viewpoint on the status of local papers, that they exist to inform locals of issues concerning them. A surprising claim he made was that small print newspapers like the C-Ville are in fact not losing readers to online media sources because they are invaluable to the community. Dave Norris surprised the students with his unique campaign tactics: rather than knock on doors as the traditional campaigner would, he had people open their houses for him to discuss his platform.

After the two speakers, Dr. Bragaw led us in a simulation of Debora Stone’s ideas of equity, modeled by how to accurately cut a pan of brownies equally between the student body. Now, this may seem like a simple idea- just cut the pieces by the number of students in the room, right? But consider who values the brownies more, which groups have higher rank and so on, and you have full-on philosophical discussion.

Next, we ventured out to the scorching hot Rotunda to take our group and individual photographs. Believe me, it’s hard to look photogenic while wearing a stifling suit in the hot Charlottesville sun. After the pictures, we returned to Bice House to eat dinner, absorb the large volume of readings for Mr. Bragaw’s class tomorrow, and finish our Rough Drafts for our policy research papers. It is going to be another long night.

High School Leaders Program Class of 2010
Day 10-Monday, July 19
Recorded by: Holly Johnson, Danville

Today started with me turning over and seeing that the clock read 7:33. After pulling a late night so I could finish my reading for Dr. Bragaw's class and prepare for the mock interviews on our policy proposal that we were told about the night before, wake up time had arrived way too early. As I stretched and let my feet hit the cold floor, I realized that today was going to be one long day. I quickly recollected that our policy interview with Bob “Bobbledore” Gibson was this morning. To calm my ever growing nerves, I turned on my laptop and listened to Ray LaMontagne's, “Jolene.” I soon began getting dressed and running through the list of statistics in my head.

When we arrived to class, Dr. Bragaw quickly had us engrossed in conversation on the difference of political theory and political economy, stressing the importance of being well versed in both languages so that we can be good policy entrepreneurs. Eleven came too quickly and our policy interviews began. While I did not actually end up having an interview, the questions that Bob proposed to the members of my policy group were thought-provoking, challenging, and became a large conversation piece at lunch.

After lunch Brendan Fitzgerald, from the C-ville Weekly, came and talked with us about working with a local newspaper and how it transformed from an critical newspaper to a reporting newspaper. As I leafed through the latest issue of the paper, I was extremely excited to see an advertisement for my favorite band, The Avett Brothers, concert here in Charlottesville this fall. Next came Dave Norris, the mayor of Charlottesville, and once again the topic turned to the Dillon Rule and how it affects local government.

Dr. Bragaw soon came back to class, to reveal to us a pan of brownies that he made, to demonstrate and help us engage in discussion of what was equality. After much discussion and debate on what equality was and the different meanings to us, Dr. Bragaw left us with the task of cutting and consuming the brownies. After discussion on what would be the most equal way of doing so, I enjoyed a nice square of brownie. After wrapping up class, we headed off to the Rotunda for our class picture!

When we headed out to the Rotunda, I thought that I was going to melt. The heat was a little much, but there was plenty of laughs that made it much more bearable. After a hike back to Bice, which consisted of good political conversation as usual, I dove into the new reading for Dr. Bragaw's class tomorrow. Only to stop for dinner and a tour of the campus with some friends. I am now sitting in the basement of Bice, hanging out with friends, working on finishing my reading for class tomorrow, working on last minute policy things, and ingesting way more sugar than I should.

HSLP 2010: Day 9, Sunday, July 18
Jul 19 2010 - 10:53am

High School Leaders Program Class of 2010
Day 9-Sunday, July 18
Recorded by: Maxwell Potter, Charlottesville

As a bright and glorious Sunday Sun rose on Bice House, I was roused from my slumber. Ahhh I thought to my self, it is Sunday, it is omelet day. After a journey to the lavatory to freshen up after my magnificent sleep, I was almost ready to begin my day. To complete my morning ritual, I threw on my iPod and the customary morning track, "Things Done Changed" by Biggie Smalls, began to pump through my headphones. I was ready to face the day.

Fifteen minutes later, my roommate, Jacob, was also up and we were ready to cook some omelets. Some other pals were quick to join the eggy, cheesy fun and before we knew it, we had ourselves a bonified bomblette party. After a glorious breakfast, sans my badly badly burned bagels, it was off to policy group.
Policy group has been exceedingly stressful as of late. At the final hour, it was discovered that our proposed legislation, a bill that would subsidize farmers using environmentally friendly methods, is already in the Virginia Code. It has been an all out sprint to come up with new ideas and create a new proposal ever
since. We have settled on a tax on plastic bags, in the model of similar legislation in effect in Washington D.C. The law would protect countless animals in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and be a great boon to the commonwealth's environment.

After toiling for a few hours and enjoying a delicious ham bagel from the world famous Charlottesville eatery, Bodo’s Bagels, it was off to the lawn for an activity. As Sorenson quidditch kicked off on UVA’s lawn, it was clear that just as in the Harry Potter novels, the Gilbradore and the other Potter boy would reign supreme. We were outpaced by a slim margin in throwing-a-ball-through-a-hoop-while-blindfoldeding by the house of Van Der Claw but we came roaring back in the Virginia history competition. We could not answer a question wrong if our lives depended on it. It was an epic performance by many members of Gilbradore. As we entered into the third and final challenge, it was clear just how much we were going to dominate.

The third challenge was an all out sprint to find as many lemons as we could which had been hidden by the YPC’s around the lawn. Gilbradore, being the most intelligent of the houses as evidenced by our domination of the Virginia history challenge, employed a brilliant strategy. We employed the young family’s sitting around the lawn to help us search. After all, what child does not excel at egg hunts. This proved to be a brilliant decision as child after child approached us with lemons which they had found. We returned to Bice Hall victorious as the “Rocky” theme song played in our hearts. As the brutally hot day combined with sprinting for lemons had heated us so, Jacob, Catherine, Nicole and I decided to cool off with a refreshing journey to Fry’s Spring Beach Club. We luxuriated under the giant oak trees and in the cool water as we
enjoyed a game of pool shoot ( a.k.a. pool basketball, there are massive debates on what the appropriate title is.)

After returning to Bice we were attacked by a copious amount of reading courtesy of Dr. Bragaw. As I have been mired in the scholarly texts since, I am fully drained and ready for sleep. It shall be another glorious day tomorrow I’m sure, just so long as I have my boy Biggie with me to start things off.

High School Leaders Program Class of 2010
Day 9-Sunday, July 18
Recorded by: Ashleigh Lanza, Woodbridge

After getting use to waking up at 7am every morning, I was sweetly surprised when I woke up at 10am and realized that I did not have to be ready for activities until 1pm. After falling asleep for a couple of hours, I woke up and was ready for a new tradition of Sorensen’s, THE SORENSEN CUP! Our class assembled in the lobby of Bice at 1pm, and then headed to “the lawn” for secret activities that were planned for the day.

When we arrived, we were split up into our respective groups: Gilberdore, Heatherin, Van Der Claw, and Howardpuff. That is when we learned that we were playing not only for pride of our houses, but for Sorensen points! The first activity we played in was a simulated quidditch game. In this game, the objective was to shoot a quaffle through our respected goal posts. However, playing in Sorensen honor, we used large, bouncy balls and threw them through our hula hoops. However, games played at Sorensen are never that easy. In this
game, the person throwing the ball, as well as the person holding the hula hoop, were both blind-folded. The other “wizards” in the group were in charge of directing the two blind-folded players, as well as running to get the ball when it inevitably flew in all directions besides the hoop. The final outcome of the game was Van Der Claw: 20, Gilberdore: 15, Howardpuff:10, Heatherin:5

Next, we played in an academic showdown as the houses competed to answer the most amount of questions in the round correctly. In this game, I was surprised to learn how much I did not know about Virginia history and politics. However, I was very relieved at the fact that my other teammates were very informed of even the most detailed facts. All in all, the best question was, “What Virginia college had the most enrolled undergraduate students?” Of course, the answer was Virginia Tech, go hokies! After the game, the houses were ranked: Gilberdore:121, Van Der Claw:105, Heatherin:101, Howardpuff:80

The final stage of the Sorensen Cup was the chase to find the most golden snitches, or in our case, lemons! Lauren, aka Gilberdore herself, hid “lemon” snitches around “the lawn”, where at the sound of “GO!”, or maybe a little before, our teams ran around looking for the 24 lemons that were placed in fairly obvious places the morning before. In about five minutes, all 24 were found and we all headed back to Bice to find out who had won the cup. After counting, Gilberdore and Van Der Claw both found 8 snitches, Heatherin found 5, and Howardpuff found 3. In the end, Gilberdore might have won the cup, but we all still had fun!

Featured Alumni

  • Vivek Kundra.jpg

    Vivek Kundra

    Political Leaders Program

    Class of 2007

    Vivek has served as Virginia's Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Trade and as Chief Technology Officer for Washington, D.C. He served under President Obama as the first chief information officer of the United States. Vivek is currently a visiting fellow at Harvard University.