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 27, 2009

June 27: Unveiling Rochester

Today marks our first "official" Saturday at Cornell. I call it official because, like most weekends during the school year, I have to balance both fun and homework. While I honestly don't find this weekend's assignments too difficult (an essay & reading), I am strategically dividing my weekend between work time & play time.

This weekend began with a trip to the University of Rochester with all 6 Herculean girls and Mr. Crossley. After a super quick breakfast at Appel Commons, we all piled into our van and took off for a two hour car ride to Rochester. Upon our arrival, we were greeted by our tour guide, Jon Junig, and his close friend. Before our the beginning of our tour, Jon graciously gave all 7 of us University of Rochester shirts, bags, and folders containing useful information. The gesture was extremely unexpected and appreciated. What a way to make us love Rochester from the beginning!

During our tour, we visited some of the momentous points of the beautiful campus, which included the school's library, a sample dorm, the residence halls, the fraternity row, and the very nice quad. Unfortunately, I cannot post any pictures due to my camera's decision to die on me the minute I arrived at Rochester. Although, I am sure that my fellow Cornellians will take the duty of posting their amazing pictures. After the hour long tour, all 7 of us felt hunger rumbles in our tummies and decided that it was due time for lunch. With Jon and his friend, we took a short drive to Pellegrino's Deli Cafe for sandwiches and smoothies. On the way home, most of the car riders fell asleep.

Right now, I'm waiting for my laundary to dry, so that I can head over to Appel for dinner. After dinner, there is going to be Casino Night in our dorm where we can win prizes! After Casino Night, I'm going to crack open my reader to get a head start on Locke.


  1. Thanks Justine,

    Your posts provide valuable insight. It is clear, you love your Freedom and Justice Course. I read it in your posts and although you enjoyed the time at The University of Rochester you are glad that you are back on campus so that you can get back to your first love and the reason that you came to Cornell, and that is for the teaching and learning.

    Professor Kramnick has proven to be a talented and wonderful distributor of information and through his lectures you have been rewarded. I am glad that you feel this way because I am also of that same mind. This is what I had hoped to provide through the Ivy League Connection. That learning from the best and brigtest is what it is all about.

    I do hope that you will have an open mind toward Cornell. I know that you are all about Stanford, but I know that being inspired is also something that matters to you. Many professors at Cornell have the right values and definitely the talent to open the doors to all that exists in terms of self exploration and providing the morsels of knowledge that fuels the soul.

    What I am hopeful to read in your posts is how you are coming to see this trip to the East Coast. Has it opened your mind to applying to a school such as Cornell or do you still continue to see that UC Berkeley, UCLA and if possible the impossible dream of Stanford. I want to know and now is your chance to share your thoughts. No rush, but I am curious.

    In the past, you have mentioned Northwestern and I am hopeful that Northwestern visits Hercules High School in the fall. However and before you leave, I do hope that all of you young ladies will visit the Cornell Admissions Office and speak with the San Francisco Bay Area Admissions Officer and see if he or she will make a personal visit to Hercules High School.

    Yes, girls like to SHOP and I will not begrudge anyone of this privilege, but I do hope that you and the others will SHOP our district to those in positions to expose our very best to all that exists out in the community. So please take time to do the Campus Tour that takes places from Monday to Friday. We need for you and others to bring back this experience and give us needed feedback to make the Ivy League Connection stronger for the next set of students.

    Thanks again and enjoy the reading on John Locke. He along with Plato and Karl Marx changed the history of this world.

    Good luck on your paper on Plato.

    Take care.

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

  2. Justine,

    I had such a great respect for you until I read that your camera died as soon as you arrived at Rochester. How can I possibly appreciate Rochester with only words to describe things?

    Was it just a dead battery or did the camera actually give up the ghost. Giving up the ghost is a fact of life for everything but a dead battery tells me that you failed to give these photos their due weight and consideration as you prepared for the trip. That concerns me, Justine. Forget the bottled water, forget the reading material but never forget to charge your batteries--and always carry a spare! We need photos and the only way to get them is from our cohorts like you. I hope you'll see that this situation is not repeated. My heart can't take much more of this.

    I hope, Justine, that seeing some of these other schools up close and personal will at least provide you with options about where you'll end up. Being a Cal man it's hard for me say anything nice about Stanfurd but I have to admit it's a nice place to go to school.

    Any place that you apply to, though, needs to be chosen for all of the right reasons and, even more important, rejecting other schools has to be done for the right reasons, too. But you know this already because you're a bright gal. You don't need us whispering in your ear.