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

Happy Friday

Good evening, dear readers!

Today was one of the best days I've had since I have at Cornell. As you know, we did not have class. This three day weekend will be a nice break from all the hard work we are doing, and today was not disappointing.

The girls and I decided to meet at 12:30 for brunch. I woke up a tad bit earlier than I anticipated, so I got a head start on my weekend reading and I was able to finish. All I have left to worry about is the Plato essay, which I will continue to work on throughout the remainder of the weekend. After brunch, we went to the Ithaca Mall. It was nice getting the opportunity to spend time with the Hotelees, since we hardly see them.

For the past two weeks, we've seen the academic portion of university life. Today, we were exposed to a different side - to the part of college that doesn't involve papers and finals, the part of school that takes you outside your comfort zone and enables you to establish the lifelong relations so frequently formed in college. And I loved every minute of it. It hits me harder and harder every single day that my stay at Cornell is coming to a close. I don't want to leave! I've grown so accustomed to this environment, to my daily routine here. I'm sad I have to leave soon, but I know the bonds I've created with the girls is something I can take with me forever. This experience is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity I will never forget.

With that, I will close my blog. More tomorrow, darlings! Happy weekend.

- xoxo, Julia.


  1. Yes, lifetime bonds are vital to future success. This is something that is stressed at every Ivy League Institution. Whether it is Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cornell, Dartmouth, The University of Pennsylvania, Brown or Columbia, they each emphasis the need to remain tied to their class. Why is this? I would value you venturing over to the alumni office and speaking with someone in their department. Yes, the alumni office, not the admissions office. Take the time to sit down with a young alum and an older alum and find out why they still value the relationships that they formed while attending school here in Ithaca. You have so little time to do this, but I know that you will make the time.

    You can go to a mall at any place at any time, but what you can't do is talk to Cornell students and alums at any time. So use this remaining week well and gather as much information as possible.

    I would also visit the department that handles Study abroad programs and see what attracts you. Try to capture as much information as possible. We also want to share it with other students who will follow in your footsteps.

    Let me also know how do you feel about your TA? Has he met your expectations? Have you spoken to other students who have the other TA's? What are their perceptions? Is Dez challenging you and making you work? Have you visited at all with PRofessor Kramnick? How did your lunch go with him?

    Enjoy your Fourth of July. You have earned some fun.

    Take care.

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

  2. Julia,

    Several of you have written about going to the mall from time to time yet none of you have written about any purchases you’ve made. What this tells me is that these trips had little to do with actual shopping but were actually another form of bonding with each other and embracing the whole experience. As far as I’m concerned, these are worthwhile efforts and I encourage them every chance you get.

    Hard work has little value if we can’t reap the benefits of our hard work. I busted my rear end for a quarter of a century working 100+ hour work weeks before I finally stopped to ask myself why I was doing it. The people that owned the companies I worked for raked in the big bucks off of the fruits of my labor but I didn’t have bulging bank accounts, I didn’t really eat any better, I wasn’t driving a better car. So why continue to kill myself if there wasn’t any benefit.

    I gave it plenty of thought, got my ducks all in a row and retired when I was 44 to devote the remainder of my life to more enjoyable efforts. Even of that meant working my tail off on other projects, I’m doing it because I WANT to do it rather than because I HAVE to do it. There’s a difference.

    You’re working hard to learn more but for what reason? Education for education sake is noble but there has to be a better reason, Julia, and even if it’s just to be able to spend a few minutes at the mall with some friends, then that’s reason enough for today.

    Those bonds and friendships you wrote about are precious, Julia. The problem with most friendships is that they often don’t just happen and they are difficult to sustain. Sometimes we need to nurture them for them to survive. Things change that can affect those bonds, Julia. We go off to different schools, we meet new friends, we get married or our jobs take us in different directions.

    My advice, Julia, is that if you find yourself a real friend, do everything you can to keep that friend. Sometimes it’s a lot of work but a good friend is worth it.