Through WCCUSD’s Ivy League Connection program, Hercules High School Students Justine Betschart, Stacy Chan, Ramiah Davis-Shephard, Louisa Man, Julia Maniquiz, and Yueming Wang will be attending Cornell University to either study Freedom and Justice or Hotel Operations Management during the summer of 2009.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


For the most part, today was a pretty regular day. Julia, Justine, and I met for breakfast and then proceeded to class. Professor Kramnick lectured and we then met for discussion. St Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas were the philosophers of the day. It really was quite interesting to hear the professor break down the similarities and differences between them. After that was lunch which was followed by our twice weekly writing workshop. The in-class essay we wrote on Monday was returned with comments from the TA. Our assignment is to revise them by Friday. We will then be given an advisory grade by the TA. That is not to mention the 100 pages of Plato we have to read by tomorrow. I am really glad Mr. Ramsey provided us with the opportunity to read the texts before hand. This way the concepts are not new, and our reading is more like a review.
I am so excited to be in this class. To be honest, at the moment I am extremely stressed out, but I know that I will make it through this. I know that as long as I keep at it, I will eventually get the hang of it; and I can only imagine what doors that will open in my mind. I am so grateful for this opportunity. College is a big deal, a big freedom that comes with a lot of responsibility. My parents always tell me so, but there is nothing like actually experiencing it. It is just that we have a lot of people watching us. Do not worry – although I know I am – we will all make it through these courses; and do quite well. I know that I am personally struggling to think quickly and participate in the discussion sessions, but day by day I am acclimatizing to the college level. I am feeling more comfortable, and my mind is expanding. Like I said, I am very excited to be in this class. Thank you ILC!



  1. Ramiah,

    Surely that wasn't you writing about being stressed out? From the first moment I met you back in February I thought you were the most confident applicant of the bunch. I knew even back then that you were in charge and control so I can't accept that you might be stressing right now.

    You have the smarts, you have the self assurance and confidence and you've arrived prepared so any self doubts you might be feeling right now must be something else.

    My suggestion: go for a double helping of the mango sorbet and write another blog. That should do it, Ramiah, and it should put your head back where it belongs.

    What could possibly be going through your head that would make you have any doubts about your ability to hold your own? Never forget that you're there to learn and that no matter what, when you leave Ithaca in two an a half weeks your head is going to be filled with so much more than when you arrived. So what's there to be stressed about?

  2. You are doing well Ramiah, your posts are first class. You are a wonderful writer. Yes, I mentioned that all of our ILC students need to be prepared for this class and you are. No need to get stressed, now is the time to trust your ability and not question your talent.

    You have earned the right to participate in this class. You have the right stuff to succeed. This is not about a grade, this is about your educational journey and your growth as a person. The one thing that you strongly possess is leadership skills and you will be a better person when you return to Hercules High School.

    We want this experience to be about your growth and development. The grade will take care of itself. Just get in there and compete. This is all we expect from you. This weekend all of you ladies will visit the University of Rochester. This will give all of you a chance to talk and converse about what you have learned about yourself.

    Take the time to speak with Mr. Crossley and others about your feeling. One positive is that you have reached out and been open to support. Thanks again.

    Charles T. Ramsey, Esq.
    School Board Member
    West Contra Costa
    Unified School District

  3. Ramiah,

    We can hear your excitement in your posts. You are truly prepared for this class -- and better and better prepared for college because of it. Don't worry about anyone "watching" -- think of us as "caring and supporting" -- because that's how we think about it.

    I'm looking forward to seeing you all on Monday night and going to class with you on Tuesday to have the Kramnick experience myself.

    Keep that mind expanding.

    See you next week.