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.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Plato and Judge Judy

Before I say anything else, I want to thank all of you for your comments and your support. It is so nice to feel the love and the care. I truly appreciate you all taking the time to encourage me. (Mr. Gosney, chocolate chip cookies and submerging myself into Plato was not quite mango sorbet and blogging but it did the trick.)
I must say, I have officially fallen in love with Plato. Today was the infamous double lecture. Professor Kramnick is leaving town for his granddaughter’s bar mitzvah and will not be available to lecture us tomorrow. Instead, he did both lectures on Plato’s Republic today. Tomorrow we will be having to two discussion sessions to make up the difference. Our essay on what freedom means to us is also due tomorrow.
Since my last name stats with a D, it was my day to eat lunch with the professor. (Going in alphabetical order he assigns seven students to have lunch with him every day.) It was actually rather nice. We all went around the table telling about ourselves. Professor Kramnick said he does this because he wants to get to know his students better.
After lunch was our second guest speaker. It was Judge Judy! Actually it was Judge Judith Rossiter who is the city judge for Ithaca. She broke down a few different procedures that take place in court. She also explained jurisdictions and how they are determined. Her main story, however, was of a stabbing case that took place here not too long ago. She did not have to actually try the case; however she did have to determine if it was a felony case; meaning the defendant would be held on bail and the case would be tried in a higher court. In this particular case the defense attorney basically ruled out any reasonable doubt and practically made the case for the prosecution. She did determine that there was enough evidence to proceed with the case and it went on to a higher court.
I would like to close my blog today with a special thanks to Mr. Crossley. Every day when we check in with him, he makes sure we have everything we need. He even gave me a couple of really good pointers on my paper.


p.s. I could not find a picture of the judge online to put in my post, however I guess it is logical for pictures of judges not to be readily accessable.


  1. I am glad that you are feeling more confident and at ease. Sometimes having a difficult day can allow for you to do some introspection. Dealing with difficult moments allows one to understand the importance of good friends and colleagues. The time that you spent with others probably made a difference in your day.

    Continue to keep us posted on how the course progresses. As I have always stated, you have a lot of ability and I appreciate your concise and clear writing. Remember you are at Cornell University taking an Ivy League College Class for credit. It is expected that the class is rigorous and meant to be a challenge.

    Taking this class is not about a grade, but about an opportunity to grow and find yourself. Too often we see students fail to grasp that this is a learning experience. All you have to do is control your emotions, channel the knowledge that you are acquiring from the professors and integrate the knowledge into your own views.

    I am now off to the Oakland Airport to jump on a plane to meet the ILC students at Brown University. I will spend the next few days seeing how they are doing with their program. I hope all else is well.

    Keep up the good work. You, Justine and Julia have now tackled the most difficult part of the class. The readings that come forward support the main tenants that come out from Plato and the Old and New Testament. I am sure that the work that is ahead will be easier to digest.

    Take care.

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

  2. Ramiah,
    Glad that things are getting back into line with you. I’m glad that the cookies did the trick for you but I’m still hankering for some of that mango sorbet. It may not solve the problem but it can sure take your mind off of some things.

    You think that after maybe 2500 years people would start to proclaim that Plato was full of bull but we haven’t seen that yet. Maybe he had things figured out even for when the whole world changes around him.

    That “take a lunch with the prof” thing sounds pretty cool. Not only does it give him a chance to get to know you but vice versa. This can be a good thing—or a bad-depending on whether he learns enough to dislike you.

    After you mentioned about not being able to find a photo of Judge Judy online I tried myself without any luck. Even though judges are supposed to stay out of the limelight, most of them are elected officials and thus politicians. Politicians often get their photos taken at various events—especially when they’re seeking election. Also, newspapers like to keep file photos to tack onto articles after a controversial decision has been rendered.

    Just curious about what kind of previous contact you might have had with Mr. Crossley prior to heading east. I’ve only met him a few months back but I’m impressed. Had my high school had someone like him maybe I would have turned out better.