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.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The First Day

Class has officially begun. Today marked both Hotel Operations Management and Freedom and Justice's first day of class. I speak for Freedom and Justice and boy, was it exhilarating. With a desire and a necessity to be punctual,  Justine, Ramiah and I agreed to meet this morning at 7:50 in order to have breakfast at 8 AM. Our class does not begin until 9 AM, but we wanted to allot enough time to leave room for the unexpected (i.e. delay in breakfast, wrong turn on the way to class). We arrived at McGraw Hall with fifteen or so minutes to spare, so we waited in eager anticipation. - so eager, we sat front row, dead center! Our class is actually right next to Cornell's famous McGraw Tower, which is the historical building pictured during most Cornell University college presentations. I learned from Mr. Ramsey that McGraw Hall is one of the most historic buildings on campus. If I was able to, I would post pictures, but unfortunately, I do not have the necessary cables with me. That 50 lb limit for three weeks of materials was rather difficult to abide by. Back to what I was saying earlier. The building was GORGEOUS. The weather is finally brightening up over here. No more rain! The sunshine reflecting off the insanely beautiful architecture made the building come alive with fine detail and structure. Though the walk over there is not quick, we are blessed with a route which allows us to pass over the bridge which enables us to glance at the gorges. The greenery surrounding McGraw Hall and present throughout the walk over there is also such a treat on the eyes and something definitely not found in Hercules. I am so happy and thankful I get to witness these sites every time I go to class. 
Now onto lecture. Professor Kramnick arrived three minutes prior to the toll of the bells indicating it was nine o' clock in the morning. He informed us the first thing he will do each morning will be to write an outline on the board, so we all know what exactly we will be covering that day...
I. What is the course about?
II. How is the course organized? (i.e. requirements, etc.)
III. College vs. High School
IV. Who we all are
*Just to give the readers a general insight into what we're going to be going over during each class period, I'll post up the outlines for each day. 
Professor Kramnick is even more wonderful than I expected. He's humorous, witty, welcoming, and he most definitely knows what he's doing. We didn't even really get started on the material and I already know I'll walk away with such broadened horizons, just because the teacher and the course itself is so amazing. 
Discussion session was intriguing. I have never been surrounded by so many intellectuals at once. Right away, I got the impression that I would be working with great people. Everyone contributed such great points to the conversation (We jumped right into what freedom meant to us) that I am positive I will be able to engage in some very stimulating conversation during these three weeks.
Ramiah, Justine, and I are gathered in my room and are getting ready to begin tonight's assignment. We are going to read the New Testament. Good stuff! I will update you all tomorrow, because I need to jump into the work so I will be adequately prepared for tomorrow. Hope all is well!

- xoxo, Julia.

P.S. I wanted to separate this from the rest of my blog, because I felt it was diverging from the central idea. But! I know you are all curious to what my roommate is like. One word: amazing! Her name is Natasha. She is from Toronto, Canada and she is in the Psychology program. She's a rising senior (like me!), she can fluently speak Korean so she is bilingual (like me!), she's very enthusiastic and bubbly (like me!), she's a year advanced in math (like me!), she's very organized and she loves getting dressed up (like me!). We even have matching laptops. How crazy is that? To put things simply, we're pretty much the same person. Haha. I don't know who paired up the roommates, but I love mine. I honestly could not have asked for a better person to share the night with for the next three weeks. We're planning on ordering in food together, and sometimes we'll stay up a little later just talking and getting to know each other better. It makes the whole experience so much more enriching, knowing I have such a great person to share my room with. So far, Cornell has exceeded all my expectations. It's proving to be such an amazing experience, and I have the ILC to thank for all of this. The ILC has given me the opportunity to embrace a new location, a new school... a completely new lifestyle. And I know I will return home improved intellectually, mentally, and just overall personality-wise. Once again, I'd just like to thank Mr. Ramsey, Ms. Kronenberg, Mr. Crossley, Mr. Gosney, all the sponsors, and all the other people who have made this program possible. I know the ILC will play a crucial role in not only my academic success, but also my future and my own self. I'm loving Cornell, and it's only been four days. It can only get better.

Peace & love! J.

1 comment:

  1. Julia,

    It makes me proud to read how you all planned things out to cover any unforseen contingencies and arrived in class early enough to secure front row seats.

    I just returned from San Antonio where I watched a close friend graduate from Basic Training at Lackland Air Fore Base. This is a four day affair with lots of pomp, circumstance and ceremony.

    On the first morning there was an orientation for the family members starting promptly at 7:00 AM. Even though their were maybe 5,000 people there to see their loved ones graduate, the auditorium only seated 2,000. They made sure there were no unfilled seats and when the last seat was taken they shut the doors and the johnny-come-latelies had to wait until the next orientation at 11:00 (waiting in the 100 degree heat with 1000% humidity I might add).

    This was just their way of letting everyone know right up front of the value of planning ahead and being on time.

    By the way, we arrived at 5:45 AM and were still #3 in line. We also sat in the front row dead center.

    One more story for you: many years back I had a welder working for me who was late for work more often than he was on time. If he wasn't such a good welder I would have fired him long before but he had skills of value to me. When he would arrive late he had more excuses than you could shake a stick at and I finally had to tell him that it just didn't matter--all I cared about was him being on the job on time and ready to go to work. Whatever problems he might be having that would keep him from getting to work on time were his own problems and he had to allow for them. One day he showed up really late and by taxi. I had to hand it to him, though, for coming up with a great excuse: he said that someone machinegun strafed his car and the front of his house late the night before and his car was out of action. I repeated my line about not caring but because he was also a pal of mine I gave him a ride home that night. When I got to his house, though, there was his car in the driveway with a couple of dozen bullet holes in it and the whole front of his house pockmarked by bullet holes. It still didn't matter to me why he was late for work but at least this time I knew he wasn't trying to lie to me.

    Your description of your room mate, Julia, has this whole Single White Female thing going on. My advice is to watch your back.