June 25, 2009
Senior Alterraun Verner, UCLA's pre-season All-America cornerback, will be blogging for uclabruins.com on a periodic basis. Here is his first installment.
This week was the first week of summer school at UCLA. I am currently taking Romanian 103, which is an intensive introduction to the Romanian language. It is a six-week session that lasts from 9:00 am-1:40 pm every single day of the six weeks. This is excluding weekends, of course. So, the first few days of class been very interesting, with the language very similar to Spanish. We have learned how to greet people, ask how old they are, who they are, what they are, what day it is, what's their birthdays, where they are from, location directions of places, and how to say goodbye.
So we have completed four days, and we had our first quiz on Wednesday. It was what we learned from Monday to Wednesday of this week. The quiz consisted of us translating the English dialogue into Romanian dialogue. It was scored on a scale of one to 10, and I was fortunate to receive a 10 on the first assignment. What a way to start the class off.
In other events this week, we have started voluntary football workouts. Most of the team stayed around this summer to participate so we can be ready for the season. I am lifting and running early in the morning at 6 am, but other times are 8:30 am and 3:30 pm. We have been hitting it hard and pushing each other to new PRs and plateaus. Then we get together for some team activities at night to work on team chemistry, like receivers running routes and DBs working on technical things to enhance our games. This week, I was able to see the incoming recruiting class. They bring a lot of talent to our team. It's a young group that needs to learn, but the players have the physical and mental capacity to be successful. They have a nice swagger to them and are very gifted. I have been impressed! But I am mainly waiting to see what they do in camp.
Finally at the conclusion of a mostly busy week, I was fortunate enough to be selected to represent the great UCLA in a commercial to promote the student side of student-athletes. Along with other notable alumni, I was asked to talk about the UCLA experience. The commercial was filmed on Tuesday. These spotlights are very similar to the UCLA Moments commercials that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Gary Beban were part of last year. So to be mentioned with some of them, who have been extraordinary in their sports and in the community at UCLA and in their respective careers, is an honor. The filming went smoothly and I felt really comfortable. I think I shared some valuable knowledge that will hopefully inspire someone to reach for their DREAMS!