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.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Day is Finally Over

Such a long day. Going through an almost full schedule while running on only about three hours of sleep, I am just barely awake and ready to crash. I chose to opt out today from the many July 4 celebrations in the residence hall since I am so tired.

I sincerely apologize for failing to blog yesterday. It was a completely hectic day as all the hotelies had to write up their CHESS individual short report. I knew I one of the things on my To-Do list yesterday was to blog. Although, I did not realize that the report would be as time consuming as it was. I used my own judgement to whether to take a break from my report and write a small note on the blog and recount my day and express my thoughts or just go all the way with my report. In the end, I had to choose my report. I thought that it was my main priority to accomplish the report and get as much done in the night as I could. One of my goals at Summer College, aside from attaining a great college experience, is to succeed in the Hotel Operations Management class and to do so, I must do well on my individual report that is worth 25% of my grade.

When the professors say short report, they do not mean it. It is just a better term for saying not as comprehensive. My report turned out to be about six pages long. If this is short, I am anxious to know how long a real business report is. Yueming and I worked all day from the afternoon when class ended to 4:30 early this morning. We only received about two hours of sleep and were still not finished with our reports by the time class began at 9:00AM. Yes, we had class today while all the other students in the other courses, like the Freedom and Justice students, had the entire day off in commemoration of July 4. It was such a bummer to have to go to class today. However, I needed the office hours because I needed to finish my report.

I found that not having the actual Microsoft Office 2007 program on my computer is a real disadvantage when trying to succeed in this class. I believe my fellow classmates would agree with this statement as well. Without it, we are unable to work effectively in our dorms. I had to manage without it by typing up my report just on my Word 2003 and copy and pasting the text onto my saved report in office hours.

During office hours, it was an absolute chaos. Everyone was either cramming or just rushing to put the finishing details for their report. The TA's and the professors were running around from one computer lab to another assisting students and trying to keep them on track. The deadline was 12:00PM and the tock was ticking. As the minutes passed, I began to panic more and more. Fortunately, seeing all of the students' worried faces, Mrs. McCarthy extended the deadline to 1:00PM. I felt an entire layer of stress lift right off of my body. Once it was reached 1:00, I frantically was gathering everthing together, uploaded my assignment onto the class website and printed a hardcopy to turn in. Since every student submitted their report around the same time, the class website slowed down and all of the printers were shooting out papers like guns releasing bullets.

Having finally completed the stressful assignment, I decided to take a short nap and then go out with the F&J students and have some fun. It is Friday after all. We returned to the Cornell Mall and had a blast just walking around, shopping, and eating. As I am sitting here, 11 at night, I am absolutely pooped from such a long day.

On another note, I should make up yesterday's post by giving a little description about my roommate. I have a room of my own at home so having a roommate is something different. My roommate's name is LeAnn and she is from Syracuse, New York, not very far from here at all. In fact, last weekend, she went up to Toronto to attend a piano recital and then returned home to do some laundry and convenience shopping. LeAnn is also a part of the Freedom and Justice course. I do not get to normally interact with my roommate since my schedule is so much longer than hers. Even when I am back at the residence hall, I am not able to spend time with her because of the studying I do at night in the lounge with the other hotelies.

It is a little difficult living with my roommate sometimes as our living styles vary greatly. I am a person who considers personal space as a substantial virtue. I do not like it when I feel my personal area or bubble is invaded. LeAnn does not seem to feel the same. When we first moved in, we signed a contract and one of the items on the contract stated that we will keep our respective sides of the room tidy. I try to clean my room whenever I have the time, just to keep everything in line and organized. I was hoping she would follow me as an example, but that did not happen. Many of her belongings would end up on my end of the dorm. It was truly disturbing and irritating to find her items on my side of the room. I have requested she keep her things on her part of the room, and she agrees and then apologizes. This has become a trend. Recently, I asked her to clean up the room and she did just that. Now our room is much cleaner and more attractive. I think that since I do not spend much time in my room and I do not see her often, there is a lack of communication and understanding between us. I think that I should try and improve our relationship before the course ends, just so that everything from here on out runs much smoother.


P.S. There has been one "culture shock" around here that has interested me here a great deal. In the Bay Area, the terms "hecka" and "hella" are common words among the vocabulary of the people that live in the locale. I know I am one of those people who use the two words on a daily basis. Here at Cornell, the students are surprised I say it all the time. Some students who are from SoCal, who do not use hecka or hella, do not like it when I use it. They think other stereotype Californians for using the word. Those who have never heard of the word try to use it all the time, even if it is out of context. It is really amusing to hear their attempts.


  1. I find it amusing about the "culture shock". When I was in college in Southern California no one had heard of "hecka" and "hella" and we had used it when I was in high school at Berkeley High School in 1980. So some things never change. I am glad that at least one tradition still remains from my previous days as a high school student.

    Now onto the finer points. Louisa, I am thrilled that you took me through the day. In reading this post it clearly was a day full of anxiety and a day of stress. I am glad that you got it done, but it also shows us the need to make sure that next year that everyone has Microsoft Office 2007. No way will our future Hotel students travel to Ithaca without having this computer software.

    Thanks for the sobering and honest post about living with your roommate. It provides you knowledge about what may happen when you go away to college next year. Sometimes you have to find a way to work with others and it appears that you both came together and found a way to live with each other, although you have very different habits. So, take something from your time at Mary Donlon.

    By the way, how is your family adjusting to you being away from home? What has it been like for them and your younger sister? I know that they miss you, but are they curious about what you have learned at Cornell? I get the impression that Cornell has been fun, but that you are looking for something a little different in a University. I could be wrong, but I would hope that you would give your honest feelings about your time in Upstate New York.

    However, that is a different discussion for a different day. Now is the time to relax and enjoy the joy that is the Fourth of July, our National Holiday.

    Take care.

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

  2. Louisa,

    You chose wisely to focus on your report over blogging. For all of our blustery rhetoric about blogging we know full well what’s really important.

    We’re all so sorry about the problems you all faced with not having Office 2007. I hope you know, Louisa, that if we had gotten word from Cornell about the importance of having this on your computers, without hesitation we would have made it happen. This is a lesson for all of us but you’re the one that suffered because of it. I’m so very sorry.

    Maybe you can tell us about NetPrint and how that’s working out for you all. Your blog mentioned how the printers were working overtime and Cornell warned us about the cost for making prints so maybe you can tell us about it.

    This whole summer college thing is supposed to be about breaking away from your comfort zone at home so I’m not sure that your roomie is getting the most out of it. Being able to go home to do laundry may be nice but it’s shortchanging the experience. At some of the other schools we’ve sent kids to some of the students are actually living at their homes and commuting to class each day. On the whole, I think that what you’re experiencing is doing you more good.

    It is a shame, however, that the schedules of you and your roomie have turned you into just co-boarders of the room and not real roomies. I’m seeing this in your description of how you have to remind her of maintaining your own space within your room and having consideration for each other with regards to cleanliness.

    Your comments on colloquial terms is interesting, Louisa. Even if the SoCal kids don’t like your use of some of your terms, I hope you won’t let it faze you. If this was 25 years ago they might insist that you learn Valley Speak so you could properly represent all of California even though that was a centralized (and much parodied) colloquial dialect. Almost every region has their own terms, phrases and ways of speaking, Louisa. There’s nothing to say that one area is right and another is wrong. The next thing you know you’ll be hearing someone say that their dialect (Boston, New Jersey, SoCal, Texan, New Orleans…) is the real Americanized English and the rest of us are all wrong. Of course, the Brits and the Aussies might say the same about the way we butcher their language.