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.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The first hours

Finally after moving into our dorms, the sensation of actually starting the college experience kicked in. I knew from the opening of the dorm door that I will learn a lot from my 3-week stay here. The fact that my peers and I are going to develop various survival skills that will remain with us for the rest of our lives makes this summer college even more exciting. Aside from the life skills, we will also eagerly absorb fascinating information from our courses -- hotel operations management or freedom and justice. I have confidence everyone will love it here in Cornell! I just know it!

After spending my first day at Cornell, I have come to realize how beautiful the location is. The first impressions I had were not fantastic since we arrived late at night, but the walk across a portion of the campus that I shared with Stacy and Louisa helped me overcome my initial thoughts. The gorges. Although they are to be avoided as part of the student conduct code, they still show off their beauty when observed from the suspension bridge. Regardless of the rainy conditions, Cornell’s splendor glowed. I have pictures to prove my point, but it seems that other students have already provided plenty of evidence!

Going on only 3-hours of half-decent sleep, the students along with Mr. Crossley and Mr. Ramsey woke up early for a campus tour of Syracuse University. Despite our sleep-deprivation and exhaustion from our flights, the visit was definitely worth it.

Before visiting, I imagined Syracuse to be a big school in terms of physical size. I was surprised to find that the campus is not overwhelmingly large, yet large enough for students to enjoy some privacy and quiet time. The architecture of the various buildings also makes the school seem very inviting and comfortable.

I learned a lot about Syracuse at the informational session all of the students attended. Interesting facts like how Syracuse does not require SAT subject tests were helpful in setting Syracuse apart from some private colleges. For me, I especially liked the encouragement of study abroad for the entire student populations, which is even available to first semester freshmen in the communication school. Also, I found the 5-year architecture program attractive and reminded me of the 8-year medical program at Brown University.

The rest of the day was spent for orientation and ice-breaking which were both fun. I tried my best to be prepared for the Hotel Operations Management program and I feel confident that I will survive the course. It is true that it is one of the more rigorous courses (mandatory office hours 7-9pm on top of regular scheduling for school), I know I am ready. Let’s go!

~Yueming W.


  1. Yueming,

    I enjoyed reading of your first impressions of Cornell: dark and wet. That pretty much says it all. The Ithaca Travel Bureau needs to work something out so travelers never see that side of town and the campus. After writing that I got to thinking that Ithaca is a small rural town and it wouldn't be out of line for them to close the airports and roll up the sidewalks when the sun sets.

    Sounds like your trip to Syracuse provided information that only opens your mind to further review. This is a good thing, Yueming.

    I hope you reconsider posting some photos of the gorges. What would the world be like if they stopped taking photos of Half Dome after the first shot? I was completely unaware of this bridge and the gorges until you mentioned it and now I need/want to know more.

  2. Yueming,

    Thanks for a wonderful post.

    I join Mr. Gosney -- please post your pictures -- everyone has a different eye, that's why each person's pictures are different and tell a unique story -- and we want to hear/see them all.

    Have a wonderful day and we look forward to hearing more from you.