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

June 22: Welcome to GOVT 1615!

After 4 months of being accepted into the Ivy League Connections, our purpose in the program is now in action. After two days of getting used to Cornell University, along with dorm life and responsibilties, all six of us have begun our courses in Freedom & Justice or Hotel Operations.

At roughly 8:00am, Julia, Ramiah and I met at Appel Commons to catch some breakfast before our first official lecture at McGraw Hall with Professor Kramnick. We enjoyed some yummy French Toast and delectable fruit. We left around 8:35am, leaving us with plenty of time to reach our lecture hall. Upon our arrival, the 3 of us snagged first row seats so that we can take in every last word. During the hour and a half lecture (which ran past the time limit), our professor discussed subjects varying from the purpose of the course to his grading system. All of our burning questions were answered and we split into 4 discussion groups led by Professor Kramnick's TA's. Unlike Julia and Ramiah, I was selected to have lunch with my professor and 5 other students. Kramnick wants a chance to meet all of his students up close and personal, and the easiest way to do so is alphabetically. Before my lunch with him at Trillium (another great dining hall like Appel), I walked to Goldwin-Smith Hall with my classmates. Lucky enough, Julia and Ramiah are in Section 200 with me, making the experience much more comfortable. At our discussion, we introduced ourselves and looked to come up with definitions for words that we will come across quite frequently in our course, such as power, community, civil, freedom, equality, objections, etc.

When our discussion concluded, we made our way to Trillium where I grabbed a Garden Burger and made my way to Professor Kramnick's table. During our lunch, the 6 students discussed their backgrounds and intentions of being at Cornell. I learned a lot about these students whom I had never met, and I also grew more comfortable with my distinguished professor. I'm so happy this all happened on my first day!

After we finished our lunch, it was time for one more discussion with our TA, nicknamed Des, which included a 30-minute writing session. The prompt called for us to determine what freedom meant to us. Although there are never any wrong answers to elementary prompt like these, I expected a somewhat different prompt, considering the paper would used to determine our writing capabilities. I did try my hardest, and I hope that my work is appreciated and given constructive criticism. After the writing period, our class discussed themes that were common in our papers, such as freedom in mental and physical states, restrictions, and choice. This showed us the immense amount of intelligence that will circulate our room daily. I cannot wait to take on the challenge. As for now, us 3 Freedom & Justice students are going to study our notes from today's classes and read the New Testament, as it will be discussed in class tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Justine! It sounds like you had a lot of fun on your first day in class like the three of us in Hotel Operations. Glad it worked out so well for everyone!

    Your comment about the lunch arrangement with your professor is extremely encouraging to read and now I feel like my eventual lunch with my professors will also be a great experience.

    It seems like everything is going just the way we had all hoped it would go. Yay!