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

Another attempt at CHESS

We took our first written quiz today. It was about the companies that were presented yesterday. Everyone was stressing out over what the test will be like and what we will be tested on. Mrs. McCarthy told us it is a simple quiz and that we should not lose sleep over it. I lost sleep, but it was not over studying. I was busy reading the readings assigned. I browsed over my notes that I took during the presentations and was pretty confident about it. When I took it, it was not that bad at all. I was glad I didn't stress out over it.

Today was a very simple day. We began working on report templates. This time, I was able to take lots of notes. Normally, when we work in the computer lab with Mr. McCarthy, he goes through every step of how to set a template up really quickly. You are watching the projection of what he is doing on the computer and if you blink once, it seems like you just missed two steps. He tries to slow down if many of the students are lost, but most times he doesn't. If you need help, the TA's normally come to you and get you up to speed. I was glad I was able to take lots of notes though. I feel much more informed and prepared with the steps in my notebook.

After working with Mr. McCarthy, my group worked with Mrs. McCarthy and started our second attempt at the CHESS hotel simulation game. I read through the comments she wrote on my memo and began making the adjusts she suggested. I thought I would do much better. In the game, the speed is set to one minute per day, so it goes pretty quickly. We have to go through a seven-week duration in the game. My goal was $10,000 by the end of those 7 weeks. I started off well, but then for some reason, my revenue and the percent of occupancy declined. I was trying so hard to figure out why. I changed various expenses and played with the rate planner. In the end, I ended up with about a 74% occupancy and around $9600. I was so angry that I didn't reach $10,000. I wanted it so much!

Next week, we will get to work with CHESS again, but this time as a group project. With four brains put together and all our ideas, I am sure we will be able to reach a revenue beyond $10,000.

After class, we met up with Ms. Kronenberg and Mr. Crossley. It was quite lovely to see her again. We discussed a little about the class, Cornell, and being in Ithaca. Everyone was all smiles and laughs. Our short meeting together was very enjoyable. In the midst of our talks, a little old lady approached us with an article in The Ithaca Times about saving the deers that live in Ithaca. She expressed how she felt about the atrocity of the decreasing populations of deer. She had so much determination to make everyone aware of the issue. Determination is something I always admire.



  1. Glad that you did well on the exam. I see that you have settled into the class and are felling very comfortable. I hope that you continue grwoing with the class during the final week.

    What I hope to read in your future posts is an analysis of how this compares to being at Hercules High School. I hope that you can give me a comparison so that we can learn better how to serve our students.

    I just completed a phone call with Ms. Kronenberg and she mentioned that each of the Hotel Students did not see Cornell as a viable option to apply to school, why? It is OK to not want to be in a rural setting, but we need to understand what you see and why the environment is not conducive to students coming from our district. Students from NYC attend Cornell in droves and they find the University charming, peaceful and challenging.

    I make no judgment on where a student applies to college, this is your choice. However, I want to understand the reasons why. The Hotel School is a great program, but I sense that although it has been a wondeful experience that maybe being here on the West Coast closer to home is more to each of your liking.

    Let me know.

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

  2. Mr. Ramsey,

    I have to agree that Cornell is an exceptional school and I know that it does carry the studies I want to pursue. I can explain why the environment here is not conducive for me, but I cannot speak on behalf of other students. I just cannot feel myself fitting in here or reaching a good level of comfort here. Through the hotel management course and from the words of you and everyone in the ILC, finding a balance is key. In hotel management, there must be a balance between quantity and quality. To be able to be successful in summer college, I must learn to juggle a full schedule of class, loads of homework, leisure time, and sleep. Well,for college, I think I must find a balance between knowing I will enjoy the studies and also the atmosphere and life on campus. I don’t seem to see that in Cornell.

    I am thinking one reason would be the size of the campus. Coming from an environment where all places are near and transportation is easily accessible, I do not think I will enjoy constantly walking from place to place. I also would enjoy a much urban setting. Being so far from downtown areas is quite inconvenient. I would like to have all my resources close to where I am. I know I may sound a little spoiled, but these are just my preferences. I am always up for change, but I think that Cornell is just way too far for my personal predilection.

    I want to enjoy everything in college. Although I don’t find a fit for Cornell, I do not regret this experience at all. It has taught me a great deal. I was able to feel first hand what it is like to be in an institution that is in a rural setting. Working with Ms. Kim, one of the activities I thought I would not mind was the school’s location and environment. As I am moving forward on this college exploration of mine, I find that my search and desires in what college to attend is narrowing down, which to me is a good thing. Now, I know that I would prefer much more to live in a more urban setting.