Monday, May 27, 2013

Blog Tutorial with Don

Today, I finally had the blog tutorial with Don. I had not been able to meet at the previous tutorials, so Don gave me my own tutorial so that I could catch up with everyone else. Don and I met at Starbucks at 10 AM, and after ordering a couple of drinks (Blueberry Muffin and Caramel Frappuccino for me), we started on the tutorial.

My laptop was having problems connecting to the Starbucks wifi, so we used Don's laptop instead. During the tutorial we went over the rules and requirements for the blog. Don had previously emailed me the tutorial packet and I had read most of it, if not all of it, so the tutorial served as a way for me to ask questions and become better acquainted with the rules. Don went over the most used parts of the  Photoshop Elements and I practiced on the Photoshop and the Practice Tutorial page on this Blogger website. It was all fairly simple, and with a bit of practice, I should have everything down. 

After we went over the blog, Don went through the rules for our trip this summer and over the items we may need. In the tutorial packet, there was a list of the different things that we may want to pack for our trip. I would not have thought to pack a lot of the items listed on the list, so it is a good thing that the packet provides that. 

The tutorial ended after 3 hours, exactly the length Don said it would take. The tutorial was very informative, and I'm happy we did not continue to push this back. This has really helped me and now my posts will improve and become better for you, the readers! 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

An Appetizer to Our Fabulous Summer

My day was going as planned: stressful but normal. I have to say that this dinner was planned on what might be the busiest week of my life. I'm afraid I'll be pulling an all-nighter tonight! I was excited all day and could not wait until school was over so I could go through the various outfits I had brought with me to school. I did not have time to go home between school and the dinner. I chose a red blouse and a plain black pencil skirt and my friend Jasmine helped me do my hair. At 4:40, I went outside to be picked up by my father and we drove to the El Cerrito Plaza BART station.

We mingled at the BART station for about half an hour and then got on a train shortly after 5:30 PM. I sat by Audrey and we found that we had a lot in common! I also got to talk to most of the others in the group somewhere along the journey.

The walk to Scala’s was rather quick and we were squeezing into the elevator leading to our private room in no time. We all mingled some more and I learned that Alex Elms was majoring in Communication, which is what I am planning on studying in college. I learned a lot about everyone and was thankful for them sharing their knowledge with me.

When we were seated, I noticed my name was written to give speeches! As I was not given any advance notice, I asked John Hillyer, our chaperone, and he asked Don Gosney. It turned out to be a mistake and they explained later to the group that they did not want to give me any surprises and did not ask me to speak on such short notice.

Shortly after, we were served our salad. I learned from Mr. Hillyer that you start with the silverware on the left and work your way in! I was seated between him and a UPENN alumni named Helen. I spoke with her a lot throughout the night and enjoyed her company greatly. The main course was delicious and so was the dessert.
My Main Course: Filet Mignon
The Dessert: Creme Brulee
After the dinner, we took some photographs and had more time to mingle. I talked to Tom, another UPENN alumni, with Audrey for a while about how great the UPENN professors are. It appears that they are very personable and much more helpful compared to other prestigious universities. This is an amazing quality to me and I hope I get to meet some of these kinds of professors this summer. 

We started heading home after this and walked as a group to the BART station. The train was more crowded than the train we took into the city so I did not get to sit down, which was fine. After our transfer at 19th Street, I got a seat on the next train and sat next to Roger who will be attending UPENN next year. We talked about my chances of getting accepted to UPENN and concluded that it is definitely possible. This makes me very happy and hopeful. Audrey joined our conversation for a little bit too, at the end.

We arrived back at the Plaza BART station and said our goodbyes! I got home around 10:45 PM, which was earlier than I had expected. I have a big load of homework left, which I will be working on for the next couple hours. I want to thank the people who organized this dinner and this program and everyone who made such a great opportunity like this possible to me!

The UPenn Dinner

The University of Pennsylvania dinner was held at Scala’s Bistro in San Francisco, CA. All of the current Penn students, Penn alums, Ivy League Connection funders, Ms. Kronenberg, Mr. Ramsey, Don, and Hannah, Jun, Kai, Mike, and I all ate and socialized. Speeches were given with many words of support and encouragement.

Creme Brulee
I met a lot of people tonight who are either involved with the University of Pennsylvania or the Ivy League Connection. I held fascinating conversations with parents of my fellow cohorts, Ivy League Connection funders, UPenn alums Mahendra Prasad and Tom Eliaz, current UPenn students Cristina Pelayo and Alex Elms, soon-to-be Penn freshman Roger Pharn, and many others. Everyone was very friendly and open to my millions of questions. They answered every question from "What is college work like at UPenn" to " Where's a good place to eat near campus."

The food served was a salad with a side of bread, a choice of a chicken breast or filet mignon (I ordered chicken), and creme brulee. All of the food was very tasty. It was my first time eating creme brulee and I was very impressed.
(From Left) Kai, me, Hannah, Michael, and Jun

The food was great, the people were great, and I enjoyed this dinner immensely. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Walk Through Life

The sun rises and falls with glistening scenery - leaving those who listen amazed with echoes of the past. I couldn't describe the inspiration that I've received from the adults and alumni with words, so I decided to use this poetic line. Today, we had our official University of Pennsylvania dinner (at Scala's Bistro). 

The food itself was satisfactory, but the relationships and conversations I built were phenomenal. I sat next to Anastasiya Levin and she told me many of the adventures she's had. From the adventures of pre-college to her job in marketing, she thoroughly made it interesting. She majored in Communications in French, but landed a job in marketing for Clorox; it's always fun to hear the jobs people get after college - especially, if the major is completely different from their job. Kai, Anastasiya, and I have all done programming at one point - or are doing programming). What a coincidence! We had conversations over the differences of C++ and C# (programming languages) and that really put a smile on my face. In fact, Kai and I may make a game over the summer with our free-time. If we do, that'll be exhilarating for both of us.

I never thought that I would meet another person from Highland Elementary. Roger Pharn, who will be attending U. Penn, was a sixth grader - in the same school I was attending - when I was a fourth grader. The world is so small, yet so large. Speaking of a small world, Cristina, a rising senior at U. Penn, knows many of the same people I do - through Forensics Speech and Debate. This is strange, especially because she's five years older than me. Again, what a small world. However, the opportunities and experiences are limitless. I have a faint idea of what I'm going to be expecting in the East Coast, but I'll never fully know until I experience it. This summer, I will be facing the unknown and challenging it and as a result, I'll mature as a person. Not just in demeanor and experience, but also as a scientist. I am anxiously waiting for the experiments we are going to perform. 

Madeline Kronenberg requested that I do a couple of things for the community. I'll be visiting my elementary school and informing them of the Ivy League Connection. I'll also give my previous teachers the link to the U. Penn blog (and main site) and hopefully that'll exponentially increase the number of people reading the blogs.

I was also given another task, but based on a promise, I won't tell (for now). 

Everyone's probably fatigued. I'm exhausted, but the others must be more tired than I am because I'm still blogging. Well, good night. 

PENN Cohort Dinner at Scalas' Bistro

Tonight was the PENN cohort dinner at Scalas’ Bistro in San Francisco, California.  Our cohort met together with some of the alumni from PENN along with a few of the donors to the program.  I managed to spend some quality time talking to Mr. Hillyer, our chaperone, while on the BART train to San Francisco. As the trip to the east coast rapidly approaches, the apprehension and excitement continues to build.  Soon the dream will become a reality and we will be able to finally venture off into the unknown.

While at the dinner, not only were we provided with some of the best food I’ve ever eaten but also we had the opportunity to meet some of the alumni from PENN.  I talked to two alumni at my table who gave me new insight into the opportunities and programs that are available at PENN.  While at the same time I had the chance to meet some of the donors who help to contribute to the ILC.

Everyone at my table had plenty of valuable information and questions to discuss.  One woman in particular kept asking me the “big questions,” such as “how does physics help to solve the current world’s technical and economic problems."  I was a little taken back by this, and had to deliver a clever response that would impress everyone at my table.  I didn’t want to give an answer that would make everyone regret their support to the ILC.  Thankfully though, I was able to deliver a response that satisfied everyone and sparked new questions and ideas.  Overall, tonight was yet another opportunity to gain unprecedented access to valuable information from alumni and respected members of the community.  There is yet but one final step before takeoff; the orientation.

Learning About Penn at Dinner

The cohort met at the BART station. A chill breeze blew, cutting through the thin suit I had bought in anticipation of hot days in Pennsylvania. While waiting for the train, I talked to several parents. After the ride and a short walk, we arrived at Scalas. I met an admissions person and several alumni. They told me about some of the amazing things at Penn: great teachers and fantastic people. I am looking forward to the summer.

During dinner, I talked with two alumni, Anastasia and Mahendra. They told me about the incredible teachers and classes at Penn. With each word, my anticipation for the summer grew. The conversations I had made me extremely grateful for such an amazing opportunity. It isn't everyone who can say they get to study at one of the top schools in the nation.

After dinner, I talked more with the admissions person and other alumni. I enjoyed learning about the kind of people who go to Penn (smart, interesting ones). The evening makes me wish summer and Penn would come sooner.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Pinole City Council Meeting

Today was the Ivy League Connection presentation at the Pinole City Council meeting in Pinole California, U.S.A.  The meeting was set to start at 6:30 PM however, the meeting began late leaving us time to discuss the topics of the day with other members in the ILC. The purpose of the meeting was to address concerns with the community and also to acknowledge the Ivy League Connection and the accomplishments of all of our members. This meeting was a good opportunity to show members of the Pinole City Council the accomplishments of their hard work to provide a decent education for its local students.

During the meeting each cohort was called to the podium for an introduction.  Also, a member of each cohort was chosen to give a brief speech about the ILC. Of course, I was the lucky one from the PENN cohort to speak.  I figured that my Varsity Impromptu speech background from Forensics would help me.  However, compared to my normal speeches, the speech I gave for the Council Members was short and dull.  Despite what I may think about my speech, after watching the video of myself talking I felt more assured.  The council meeting was another great opportunity to gain some professional exposure that can be used to aid my acceptance into a university.   So in conclusion, tonight was a good experience for myself and for my fellow members of the PENN cohort.

Representing the Community of Pinole

With each day inching closer-and-closer to take-off, I can't help but appreciate the great community of Pinole - our active student base, inspirational students, and extracurricular activities augment its reputation. 

I've been a student of Pinole Valley High School for two years, and I've seen much of the community through Pinole Valley's Marching Band, Interact (community service), Forensics (speech and debate), Junior Statesmen of America (politics club), and even through the ILC. When I march down the parade with my head up high, I see the respect in the audience's eyes; when I speak my mind in front of the public, I hear nothing because they're listening; and when I serve dinner to a family, they greet me with a smile and I smile back. It's through these small events that I've come to love the community of Pinole. If I was in their position, I would never do these tasks because I would have thought they were negligible. But as time progressed, I've realized the effect that they have on me; I became obligated to help the community because of these small exchanges. 

Although, we were only given twenty minutes to speak at the meeting today, those minutes meant so much for the ILC - and even to myself. Now, don't get me wrong, this is hardly "small" at all - twenty minutes to speak in front of an audience to present ourselves is far from that. If it weren't for this opportunity, our names  - the students - would not be out there. This was an opportunity to show the community of Pinole just how professional and educated we can be. And for that, I thank Pinole. 

Pinole City Council Meeting

Today was the Pinole City Council meeting. All of the Ivy League Connection scholarship winners who live or go to school in Pinole, CA USA were to attend the meeting and represent the Ivy League Connection to our community.
I arrived to the meeting 15 minutes early and I sat with the other students. At 6:00 PM Don gathered us around and briefed us on what would be happening tonight. He told us that we were to go up to the podium in each of our cohorts and introduce ourselves. Then the designated speaker would make a brief speech about the Ivy League Connection; similar to the format at the School Board meeting. Afterwards all of the students and Council Members were to take a picture together.

After Don finished talking to us, all of the students began to mingle and talk to pass the time away. The whole time we were waiting for the meeting to start, I talked to Kimberly de Dios, who is attending Vanderbilt University this summer for the Med School 101 program. She and I had attended the same schools up until high school, so we caught up on what had been going on with us since then. 
At 7 PM, the meeting started. Don went up to the podium to speak first, and after that, the night went on as planned. The Council members spoke and acknowledged our accomplishments, and then we took the group photo. Everyone did very well!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Breath of The Education Board

Today has made me even more thankful for the opportunity I've been given. The school board meeting has augmented my excitement for this summer and it has certainly made me realize how extremely fortunate I am to be a part of the Ivy League Connection. 

The beginning of the session reminded me of a political convention (Winter Congress - Junior Statesmen of America) that I participated in in my freshmen year. Especially Charles Ramsey; he called for an amendment in the agenda and the Board seconded it and proceeded to ratify it. This is extremely similar to the system in Junior Statesmen of America; however, we only had two people that moderated the public forum. This is to be expected since Junior Statesmen of America was made to promote real-life public forum simulations. Later in the meeting, the Board allowed three people to speak in favor of suspending action until further information was found for their student enrichment program - not too sure of the exact name. From the speeches of the three people, it seems that their program is working; students are prevailing, and as such, I believe that the Board should have suspended further action. However, they voted against it and it was passed to the county offices. I have no statistics or evidence to support my claim that it has worked in the District, but I don't think they should have suspended it without further research. Although, I do not know what the effects would be from switching from the agent of action from the Board to the county offices; it may not make a difference.

The Board did a phenomenal job in congratulating and inaugurating the Ivy League Connection. The powerful speeches delivered by the professionals, alumni, and students changed the atmosphere of the room from boredom - I could tell people were bored, they seemed to be dozing during the Board's meeting - to sheer excitement. Some people, including myself, were anxious to hear his or her name be called by their respective chaperones. It was hilarious to see the people afterwards do the same thing we did when we were introducing ourselves - moving people around so the flag would stay straight while we went up there to introduce ourselves. UPenn represent! 

When the alumni went up to speak, I was jubilant to see that all four of the alumni speaking graduated from Pinole Valley High School. We may not have the most beautiful buildings - we probably have one of the most withered buildings - but to know that we have so many successful students makes me proud to be a part of such a great community. I've seen much of the student base because I'm in many of the clubs. We're very diverse and that plays a key factor in our ability to communicate with others, making it one of the most advantageous benefits to being a Spartan. Also, our alumni are one of the most COMMUNITY-OBLIGED students I've ever seen and heard of. I know three of the four alumni even though they are four or more years older than me! Austin Long, Yohanna Pepa, and Andrew Gonzales were all a part of the Forensics Speech and Debate team. And even though they've already graduated, they keep in touch with both the teachers and students! I've learned so much and been able to achieve so much because of their help. I want to talk about Austin Long because he's one of my greatest friends. Not because he's helped me so much, but because he's so easy to talk to and have fun with. Every time he's on vacation, I hang out with him. We've gone on adventures in San Francisco numerous times and every time we come back, I want to go another round! He (and also his other friends) plan out the trips so it's more organized, and they're very engaging; we went to the Exploratorium the other day. He's made my vacations so much more fun, and he's one of the most friendly and easy-to-communicate-with friends/role-models I've met. With regards to that, Austin, if you are reading this, I give you my biggest thanks! 

On a side note, I met my principal from middle-school. I feel so ashamed that I didn't recognize her at first. I knew she looked familiar, but I didn't realize it was Mrs. Van Husen. Great thanks for enforcing a strict policy in middle-school, it has helped me become accustomed to the high-school system. She's actually a lot nicer than I thought - this probably applies for many of the adults, they just want the best for us. 

Now to my final thoughts of today. It's strange to think that Austin and the others were in the same position I'm in right now. I'm feeling the same feelings they had four or more years ago. And now they're legacies at my school. Makes me wonder how I'll turn out when I graduate from Pinole Valley High School... In fact, I'll start my own legacy with my community! I'll take back the experiences from Pennsylvania and give it back to my peers just as Austin and them did for me! Let's complete this cycle and make the years to come prosperous! 

School Board Meeting

Attending the School Board meeting was really exciting! I was chosen to speak as the student representative for my University of Pennsylvania cohort, and I was excited to do it. I was ready at about 4:30 PM, and my dad and I left to the School Board meeting at 5:15 PM. We got there early, which means "on time," according to Mr. Hillyer my chaperone, and I waited with my dad for the meeting to start. Around 6 PM Mr. Hillyer took the University of Pennsylvania group outside to introduce himself, get to know us a little bit, and to brief us on what the night would be like. Mr. Hillyer spoke about his position as an AP History teacher at DeAnza High School and his involvement with the school's baseball team. Jun, Mike, Kai, Hannah, and I all introduced ourselves to Mr. Hillyer and exchanged cell phone numbers. After a brief "get to know you" chat, we all went inside to socialize and meet the other Ivy League Connection scholarship winners for the other schools.

At 6:30 PM everyone sat down as the Board meeting started. I have attended a School Board meeting before, so I was used to the process. After roll call, some speakers, and a couple of changes to the agenda, it was time for the Ivy League Connection to present themselves to the Board. Each school went up separately, with the students and chaperone, and introduced themselves. The chaperone would speak first, then the student representative would speak, and finally all of the students would introduce themselves by stating their names, their grade, and the school they attend. When my group went up, Mr. Hillyer said a quick introduction and then I was up to speak. I went up to the podium, with my heart beating fast, and I began my speech. I was a bit nervous, but everyone's encouraging words before I went up helped to ease my nerves, and I delivered my speech successfully. One minute and 40 seconds later, I finished my speech and my cohorts introduced themselves. We all went back to our seats and listened to two more schools introduce themselves.

After this the people involved in the Ivy League Connection, such as the people who fund our trips this summer, went up to the podium to be congratulated and two men spoke about their roles in the program. After Don took a group picture of them, Mr. Ramsey and Ms. Kronenberg spoke about their experiences with the Ivy League Connection and about its early beginnings. After they had finished speaking, all of the students, along with chaperones and parents, were placed into positions at the corner of the room for a picture. After the picture, my cohorts and I met with Mr. Hillyer again to introduce our families to him and to say a quick goodbye. Attending the School Board meeting and being recognized through certificates was thrilling!

2013 WCCUSD School Board Meeting

Tonight was the School District Board meeting in Richmond.  Today the PENN cohort was finally able to meet our chaperone for the summer. His name is Mr. Hillyer and he is a history teacher from De Anza High.  I was deeply relieved after we met him and I realized how energetic and enthusiastic he is.  He seems like the perfect combination between a good teacher and someone who knows how to enjoy life and have fun.

Besides meeting the chaperones for the trip, we also got to sit in on the School Board meeting.  It was interesting to see how the Board transitioned quickly in some areas and dreadfully slow in others.  I was a little concerned after a measure was brought up to release a certain program over from the district to the county offices.  A number of people spoke against the measure saying that the Board should postpone the ruling until more information was gathered and released to the community. However, the Board ruled against the speakers and voted on the measure anyway. It seemed that the Board hadn’t paid any attention to what was said at all.  

Despite this concern, the Board did a fantastic job of recognizing the Ivy League Connection and its supporters.  I felt that I was making the district proud as well as the members of the community.  I give my thanks on the behalf of the PENN cohort as well as all of the members of the ILC to the generous donors how give their time and money to helping the students in the WCCUSD.  I also give special thanks to Don Gosney, Madeline Kronenberg, and Charles Ramsey for making this program available.

My First School Board Meeting

I anxiously waited at the bottom of the stairs leading up to my parent's bedroom as I waited for my father to finish getting ready. By ILC standards, not being fifteen minutes early is considered late and 5:45 PM was approaching quickly. When he got in the car, I explained to him once more how the evening should play out on our way to LeVonya DeJean Middle School. Pulling into the parking lot, I saw many familiar faces of friends from other cohorts. As my father and I entered the auditorium, I saw members of my own cohort and said hello.

Our chaperone, Mr. Hillyer, called us over for some quick introductions and a discussion. He told us about how we will get to visit other colleges and about all the ideas he has for our trip! We will get to spend a day in Manhattan, possibly go to a Phillies baseball game, go out for weekly dinners and see tons of historical landmarks around Philadelphia. Being a history teacher, I'm sure he will have lots of fantastic things to talk about as we tour the East Coast. I feel truly blessed to have such an amazing chaperone!

This was my first School Board meeting to have attended, so I was not sure what the agenda would be like. I talked to Audrey about it because she has been to a couple meetings in the past and she told me a little bit about what to expect. The meeting started and we all listened patiently as we waited for our turn to present ourselves. My group got called up third to last and both Mr. Hillyer and Audrey gave beautiful and inspirational speeches. It felt amazing standing up there in front of the Board, the community and the other ILC students. I knew everyone was so proud of us all to have been accepted to this wonderful program. At the end of Audrey's speech, Mr. Hillyer had us introduce ourselves and then gave us our certificate. I must say, it was a beautiful certificate, although my first name was spelled incorrectly. It was missing the final "h." We were applauded and sat back down.

After even more great speeches, I was very impressed by the quality of each speech, we gathered to take the group photo. It was not as difficult to get a picture of this group of over one hundred people as I had expected. Afterwards, my cohort met up once again and our parents met our chaperone. By the end of the evening, I am happy to say that I feel as if my cohort, my chaperone, and the program and school I was selected for are the perfect match for me and I am unbelievably excited for this summer!

Presenting to the School Board!

Today our cohort was able to present to the School Board. It was great getting to meet and speak with our entire group of 5 heading to U Penn. This year we will be visiting Princeton, Swathmore, Columbia and of course U Penn!

What a great to night to meet all of you and I cant wait to see you again next week at our dinner in San Francisco at Scala.  See you then!

Inspiration In Front of The School Board

Tonight the Ivy League Connection went before the School Board. Before the official presentation, I met the chaperone for the U Penn cohort, Mr. John Hillyer, for the first time. Mr. Hillyer seems like a great person. He seems nice, with a sense of humor; in other words, a fantastic chaperone. I eagerly await going east with the fantastic people in my cohort.

We then sat before the School Board. The Ivy League Connection was praised, and each cohort went up and introduced themselves. Each chaperone and one member of each cohort gave a short speech. While the chairs were a bit uncomfortable, it was certainly worth it to be inspired by my fellow ILC members. I concurred with their sense of gratitude to be able to embark on such an amazing program. We will be taking classes at some of the top schools, we will talk with people from those schools, and we will be able to bring back this knowledge to the West Contra Costa School District. I am thankful and excited for such an amazing program.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Beginning the Journey

The blogging tutorial opened up with a struggle to get connected to the Internet. Despite what we had been told, there was no Wi-Fi at De Anza High, where the tutorial was held, and most of us were forced to use the school computers. While everybody was attempting to connect, Don scanned our health insurance cards and photo IDs. 40 minutes of hassle later, everybody was connected to the Internet and the tutorial could begin in earnest.

Don started out by talking to us about how blogger works. First, he told us how to set up our blogger profiles (have a headshot photo and tell about yourself). Next, he talked to us about the toolbar when writing a post. We learned to always use Times font in regular size, justified. He told us about inserting images.

Don also told us about blogging daily. Each person is supposed to write a blog every night back east, in addition to posting after major events, such as dinner or meetings. He told us to squeeze in time to blog when waiting for laundry to finish or when riding on a train.

In the next part of the blog tutorial, Don told us about content. He gave us some examples of old blogs with atrocious spelling and grammar. He told us interesting anecdotes about how awful previous blogs had been. Don continued by showing us examples of good blogs. These were well written, grammatically correct, and easy to read. Don then gave us the assignment of writing a practice post. I wrote mine about what had happened in the blogging tutorial so far.

Next on the list: photographs. First Don went over naming protocols and posting the images to Mediafire. He also taught us a little bit about photoshop. We then took some practice photographs. As soon as I finished, I moved the fan to help with the stifling heat.

We finished up by listening to Don talk about responsibilities. He also told us about packing. Overall, despite the stifling heat, the day really covered the basics.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

A New Chapter

When I first arrived at De Anza High School for the ILC tutorial, the only thing that I could think of was whether or not I was going to get a ticket for parking in a red zone. While on my way to the computer lab to meet Don, I was so deep in thought to the point that I was aimlessly wandering the campus. Once I regained my bearings I was off to the computer lab.  Little did I know what difficulties we would have.  

After spending forty-five minutes trying to get the Internet to work on our laptops, we finally gave up and used the school computers.  Then we had to deal with the school district’s security settings that blocked almost every website we tried to use. Then, to top it all off, it was a humid hot day.   But once we straightened out all the problems, the tutorial went along smoothly.  

During the tutorial we received an elaborate and detailed packet that contained everything we need to know about what to and bring on our trips.  Don explained to us the importance of communication and hard work in order to be successful in the Ivy League Connection.  Today was the beginning of a new chapter for me and everyone else in the ILC.  I cant wait to see what this book has to offer.