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.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rainy Tuesday

Good afternoon.

Today, I awoke to a gloomy sky and the inevitable forecast of late morning/ afternoon rain. Dark weather, however, should not and did not damper my mood and excitement for today's schedule. Tuesday means lecture, discussion section, and guest speaker number 3. Our lecture today with Professor Kramnick was a continuation from yesterday's on Locke and his perception of rights and freedom.

E. Property
F. Social Contract & Consent
G. Limited Government
H. Secular State
I. Revolution

IV. Locke's Influence

I think what I enjoy most about analyzing Lockean Liberalism is seeing the direct tie his ideas have to so many different political documents. He has been such a dominant influence on modern thought, it is hard not to be amazed when learning of him.

Ms. Kronenberg arrived today and sat in during our lecture. I am sure she can attest to Professor Kramnick's unmistakable gift in teaching, along with his amazing way in articulating his thoughts and the thoughts of the philosophers we are working with. On a separate note, it was great seeing Ms. Kronenberg. I hope she enjoys her stay in Ithaca! I wish the weather would clear up for her, so she could see how much more beautiful Ithaca becomes in the sunshine. We'll just have to wait and see.

Tomorrow will be our preliminary exam. It will consist of a forty minute essay portion and a twenty minute short answer section, for a total of one hour. It will cover the five philosophers we have worked with since the commencement of the course: St. Augustine, St. Aquinas, the New Testament, Plato, and Locke. Justine, Ramiah, and I have made plans to study separately and join together tonight to bounce off ideas and discuss the material. This will be our first test of the class. Hopefully our preparations will create positive results!

With our midterm less than a day away, I am starting to feel the pressure of college. And, honestly? I love it. I know that must sound crazy, but let me explain. The class has in no way been easy, but I haven't had much of a problem with the reading or the writing assignments. Our prelim tomorrow will be the first true test of our knowledge and understanding. With every passing day, the college experience becomes more and more alive for me here at Cornell, and the exam tomorrow will be the icing on the cake. I am excited to study tonight and I look forward to receiving the test tomorrow to see how well I prepared and what more I could have done. Cornell has been a challenging experience, but I have loved every minute of it. I have been exposed to college reading, college lectures, college discussion, college TAs, college essays, college grading. All that is left is to experience a college exam. I have to admit, it will be weird going back to high school after this experience. But I feel as though senior year will be a lot easier because of my stay at Cornell. Even more so, I cannot wait for college. I feel like the ILC has placed me in a situation where I can undergo all college has to offer, and through such I've become even better acquainted with my capabilities. At this point, I feel more ready for my future than ever before.

But looking to the more recent future. I do have a prelim tomorrow. Plato's Republic is calling me name! I must begin studying. I will let you all know how the exam goes. Wish me luck!

- xoxo, Julia.


  1. Julia,

    Your positive attitude suggests that you're on top of everything or just moments away from cracking up. In either case, I wish you well.

    As for the weather in Ithaca, EVERYTHING is relative, Julia. One of the main reasons I live here in Richmond is because of the cool weather and that it's going to be overcast more of than sunny. When I wake up with a cool overcast sky I feel ALIVE. When the sun goes down and it cools off, I feel ENVIGORATED. When I'm out in the sun for more than a few minutes, I feel as though the world is going to come to an end. EVERYTHING is relative.

    Many of you have been writing recently about confidence and your preparations through the ILC have helped in that regard. even if you don't know what you're talking about, walking into a room with confidence will give you an edge over the guy that knows his stuff but lacks that confidence.

    Get back to your Plato, now, and ace that prelim.

  2. Not only your positive attitude, but your thirst for more information and knowledge. I value your openness and willingness to handle challenges and adversity. Now I need to read about your OPINION on whether Hercules High School is providing the rigor that is vital to success at the College level.

    Share with me the insights into the discussion group? Do these students that are part of the program reflect the students you see every day in High School? Do these students come with more resources and more support? Have they shared any of their challenges and have any of you discussed the Ivy League Connection?

    Are you proud to be part of a scholarship program like the ILC? Do our students feel just as proud to be there as the non-scholarship students? Are you conscious of their stress level? Let us know. We want to learn more about the campus dynamics.

    Take the time to venture away from the Summer Studies Dorms and study on campus with the non-high school Cornell students. Get a feel for what is like to study with the students who are enrolled at Cornell. Also take the opportunity to meet other professors and ask them what the school is like. I gave Stacy and Yueming cards from the Director of Industrial Relations Kate Bronfenbrenner and hopefully they will share the card with you and maybe you will take a visit and see her.

    Finally, Cornell is in a rural area that does not have the City amenities. As a result will this mean that you and the other ladies are not too enamored with this as a campus choice? Now this is fine, but we want to tell future students why being in an isolated community is a deterrent to attending a prestigious school. I find this interesting when students are usually broke and have no money to enjoy the high life style of an urban city. Nonetheless, this experience has given you the chance to learn and that is all we ask from each of you.

    I look forward to your reply to this post and best of luck with your preliminary exam.

    Take care.

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