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

End of Week 2

Lights. Camera. Action.

That's the normal cycle. For the past two days, it's been action, action, action.

Before any of the Hotelies realized, Week 2 of Summer College came to an end. Along with that came the due date to our CHESS Individual Report -- a formal business report regarding profitability of our virtual hotel after the first 6 weeks o
f new management strategies. In order for us to learn the proper ways of putting together the report, we also needed to learn how to use pivot tables in excel to create data tables, charts, and graphs that can effectively represent our hotels' success.

Unfortunately, we were not able to cover how to s
ort data into the required visuals until Thursday's class. With the final report due by noon on Friday, almost all 80 students in Hotel Operations Management ended up staying after class in order to start their reports. As for Stacy, Louisa, and I, we worked from 3:30 pm all the way until 9:00 pm with one quick excursion out to the famous Collegetown Bagels for dinner.

Most of us expected that the report would be mostly finished after almost 5 hours of quality work time in the lab in order to analyze all of the statistic data and improve the business strategy. However, that was not the case. Thursday night's office hour ended in frantic madness with students scrambling to jot down notes about what they can do after returning back to their dorms. This definitely proved how serious everyone in our class intends to do well in this program and is willing to put in time and effort to achieve that goal.

Despite the lack of time we had to make our report, it is still worth approximately 25% of our overall grade. Louisa and I were decided that it would be in the best of both our interests to stay up late and finish as much of it as we can possibly finish so that Friday's in-class time would be dedicated to fixing formatting and minor writing errors. Therefore, I moved
my laptop over to Louisa's room and we camped out for the night.

We came up with a system of taking naps periodically. While I would nap for 30 minutes on the bed, Louisa would be working on her report while keeping tract of the time. After the 30 minutes were up, she would wake me up so I do not oversleep. Then I would return the same service to her. More importantly, we motivated each other to keep on working o
n our reports.

Before we realized, it was already morning. Literally running on a total of 2 hours of discontinuous napping, we went early to eat breakfast at the Commons and headed directly to the computer lab to squeeze in a half hour of work before our morning lecture. By this time, I had already finished most of my report and I was going back to fix formatting
and minor writing errors.

The last half hour before the noon deadline was extremely intense. All of the hotelies scrambled to finish their reports in order to submit it online and print out a hard copy. After realizing the chaotic situation, Professor Mark and Reneta were kind enough to postpone deadline by 1 hour. With an extra 1 hour, I focused mostly on fixing the captions to the 6 graphics I incorporated and I also added an optional title page.

After submitting the report, I felt free but tired. I was definitely ready for the weekend. Immediately after eating lunch at the Commons, I returned back to my dorm for a nice 2 hour nap. I would like to sincerely apologize about not posting a blog entry yesterday night. I will not allow that to happen in the future.


After office hours on Thursday night, Louisa and I decided to take a quick mental break from the report by going to watch a few minutes of the Ithaca fireworks. Unlike celebrating July 4th on the actual day, Ithaca has a tradition of celebrating 2 nights in advance. I have included some photos that I would like to share:

* The crowd that gathered to watch the fireworks.

*A snapshot of the fireworks.

Also, I would like to include my CHESS individual report. I uploaded my report via google documents. However, I had to save the document in a compatible format rather than the 2007 format. Therefore the formatting of the overall report is changed into different proportions. Despite the changes, I would love to share with everyone the reports that we all worked extremely hard on.

From this experience, I learned the importance of finishing my work on time. It does not matter how long it took me or how late I stayed up, the bottom line is getting it done.


  1. Nice report, I am happy that the Hotel Horizons will do well. I am sure that the Bank of Syracuse will remain happy to work with you. You have also given me enough information to understand why you took this amount of time to complete your work. The report was thorough and interesting to read.

    Now onto my other issues. I hope that you can share with us your experience in living at Mary Donlon. Take us outside the classroom and into the program environment, what has it been like to live with other students? Who is your roommate and how has she felt about her experience at the Cornell Summer Studies Program for High School students?

    Yueming you have the uniqueness of being one of our youngest students this year and as a "rising junior" how has this colored your view of the others. They will be applying to college next year while you will be ready for another year of the ILC. How do you see this? Let us know, we are curious to hear your thoughts and impressions.

    Enjoy your Fourth of July and I am glad that you completed your assignment. Now you can go and relax.

    Take care.

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

  2. Yueming,

    Sounds like you had a baptism by fire of what it can be like not just being a part of a real college environment but even in a work environment where strict deadlines are thrown at you and even when roadblocks are erected in front of you making it difficult to complete your task on time. I’m betting that this will be an experience that will be the source of many stories yet to come (maybe a few nightmares, too).

    I really appreciate you sharing your report with us. We’ve been reading about this for so long and now we can see what it is we’ve been reading about.

    As Charles has advised, you’ve earned a respite from the hard work and deadlines—at least a brief one—so take a break and spend a little time on yourself.

  3. Yueming,

    I almost forgot—thanks for sharing the photos.

  4. Yueming,

    Thank you for posting the report. After visiting your class the other morning and getting a chance to use the CHESS program, I really appreciate seeing the results of your efforts.

    Also, thanks for sharing about handling the deadlines. That's a part of being a student, but also very much a part of the real work world and I'm glad you got to experience the real thing (together with a little extra time from the professors.)

    I would like to hear more about your roommates and anything you think would be helpful to share with next year's ILC hotelies as well as the teachers who may be reading this blog. I'm curious as to what you think would be helpful for them to know -- especially things they could start to emphasize (or stop emphasizing).

    Great pix of the fireworks!