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

Running on Fumes and a Second Wind

On Behalf of Charles Ramsey (and without his permission) I'm posting two emails he sent this afternoon (at 3:11 and 3:41 PM):

I wanted to provide a short update. Tomorrow morning I will provide a more detailed summary of our first day in Ithaca. All I can say is that the Cornell Summer Studies Program is first class. Bailey Hall is a beautiful venue to open the ceremonies and listening to Professor Kramnick is always a delight. What I love even more about Professor Kramnick is he always acknowledges our students.

We all got in terribly late, around 1:30 AM, but we had a resident advisor greet us with open arms as I dropped all six of the young ladies off at Mary Donlon Hall. They were all excited albeit tired from continuous delays at the airports. What made the trip so miserable was that we had to wait for an hour on the tarmac in San Francisco but we did two hours on the tarmac in a small commuter plane in Detroit. Nonetheless, we arrived safely.

The day started early for all of us with a 7:30 AM breakfast. I was proud that all of the young ladies were ready even if they were half asleep. The funny thing is that they were in shorts and no coats and it has rained the entire day. After our breakfast at the Statler Hotel we had a nice scenic drive to Syracuse.

While the students went on the campus tour and heard the informational session I along with Mr. Crossley had a nice meeting with the President of the Syracuse School Board. She was kind enough to meet with us and tell us all the wonderful things going on with her district. The one thing that I did notice is that the District does not hurt for resources. They have 1/3rd the students but double our dollars. It just tells me how broke California is and how little we value public education. In tribute to Robert Studdiford I stopped and got a slice of Pizza at Cosmos. Robert, it is better than advertised. The place looked like a dive, but the pizza was heavenly. A true must on Marshall Street.

The reality is that Syracuse is nice, but Cornell just is a notch above. I see why they consider Cornell an Ivy League University. The kids liked Syracuse and they were polite, but I see and feel a different attitude when they are here on campus. Class is serious and the students, we have over 600 right on campus now, are focused and committed. We have a great group and I feel very good that they will do well. The one thing that I did find interesting is that Professor Kramnick is forcing the students to write an essay on Monday. He wants to see if they are strong writers. I was happy that Justine, Julia and Ramiah felt good about doing the assignment and I know that they are happy that they are well prepared.

I took them to the book store to purchase the course packet and to get them a sweatshirt. I then dropped them off at the dining hall for dinner. I told them to have some fun tonight and not to forget to blog and put up the pictures. They promised and off they went to meet their new friends.

Anyway, I have to now prepare for dinner. Professor Kramnick, his wife, Graig and I are having dinner at a restaurant called “The Heights”. I am looking forward to a relaxing dinner and finally a good night sleep.

Hope everyone else is doing well and I am glad that our group is up and running. It was also nice to see that we have our other group now at Brown.

Good night.


One last point that I wanted to make is that all the young ladies enjoyed being able to see something outside of Ithaca. Yueming took a lot of photos of the roadside and especially liked seeing the cows next to the roads. What I also found useful was that they were all happy to have a roommate. Ramiah’s roommate was from Rhode Island and I think that they had hit it off right away. What I really like about this year’s group is their confidence. I was sitting with our Hotel Students and they all were focused and paying attention. Stacy and Yueming were taking a lot of notes and seemed very intent on embracing the opportunity. Louisa was very calm and had a happy demeanor at the Orientation.

So, it is clear that no one is intimidated and that they have a healthy respect for the program. I am thrilled that we did a lot of preliminary work with this group and although most of the students have their parents with them, our kids felt at ease. Justine, Louisa and Ramiah have had a big smile on their face the entire day. Julia and Yueming definitely have a quiet confidence and I can tell that they are ready to show their ability. Stacy is still taking it all in and wants to take it all in. I am curious about how she will do with this program. She is absorbing a lot and seems to be contemplated a lot. I would take a look at 6:00 PM PST because we should have some blogs at that time. They have all promised to blog this evening so I would take a look at about then.

Another update tomorrow afternoon. We will all have dinner tomorrow night after they conclude with the Mandatory College Crash Course class at the Statler Auditorium.

Off to Dinner with Professor Isaac Kramnick.

No comments:

Post a Comment