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, July 11, 2009

July 11: And You Thought Our Adventure Ended in Ithaca...

If you haven't heard already, our 6 Cornellians have not quite made it home yet. I guess we can't help but continue our adventures during this trip!

So here is what happened...
Our flight itinerary was supposed to be as follows:
Ithaca to Philadelphia
Philadelphia to Charlotte
Charlotte to San Francisco

Our flight from Ithaca to Philly caused no problem. We left a little late, but we made it to our Philadelphia flight to Charlotte in time. Actually, we had plenty of time. The boarding process on the flight from Philadelphia added nearly an hour to our flight time. This caused us to arrive in Charlotte 20 minutes after our San Franciscan already departed. I'll admit. I was upset. I expected to see my family and friends in a few short hours, and I was emotionally drained at that point. To be cut off from going home two flights into the day was hard to absorb. After talking to supervisors at the Charlotte Airport, we were told that we could not leave for SFO until tomorrow morning at 7:30am. This meant a night to be spent in Charlotte. I was extremely upset, but I feel fine now. It's only a half-day away from being home, and I've already spent 22 days away from my homely surroundings. I think I'll survive.

Upon receiving our accommodations and food vouchers, we took a shuttle van to the Quality Inn, the hotel we will stay at for this brief visit to Charlotte. Having not eaten since roughly 10:00am, we were all dying to chow down. Lucky for us, our hotel is located right next to "Cracker Barrel" (Someone please tell me that doesn't scream Southern dining). I have never had Southern cooking, and I was quite impressed. Everything I tried was great, even though it was little hard finding vegetarian friendly food. The food made me feel loads better, and we all made the best of it.

Tomorrow we're waking up bright and early for a flight. I think
I'll actually prefer arriving at SFO in the morning. I'll have the whole day ahead of me! While our trip was meant to end today, I'm happy at this point that it didn't. I got a taste of a state that I had never been to and learned the art of preparing for canceled flights. Also, being a huge NASCAR fan, I'm in the state with one of the most famous tracks: Lowe's Motor Speedway. Maybe, the next time I visit N.C. will be a previously planned arrangement!

Since I'm already blogging, I think I should tell you about my ENTIRE day, aside from the airport mishap. This morning began with chaos throughout Mary Donlon. Parents were showing up, and rooms were being dismantled. I am very happy to have packed last night, for I enjoyed that extra bit of sleep this morning. Checking out of the dorm was pretty simple. I put all of my luggage in Mr. Crossley's van, had an RCA review my room, and I was outta there! Before our informal graduation for Freedom & Justice, Julia, Ramiah and I enjoyed our last meal at Appel Commons. We then headed out to our graduation in Kennedy Hall. I really enjoyed the graduation. It was a great sign-off to a wonderful, compacted semester. By the way, we finally got a picture with Des! Here's the man we've been raving about for the past 3 weeks! I particularly enjoyed Professor Kramnick's speech. I urge you to watch the video below. It's a tad long, but make sure you find the part where he talks about the population of 100 humans. After the graduation, we ran to the airport where we had time to spare. That is where I crazy adventures began. Adventures always seem to follow us Cornellians!


  1. Justine,

    Talk about being brainwashed! Here you've actually finished your stint at Cornell and STILL you're blogging! Outstanding!

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful story about your trip home. Of course, you haven't confirmed. yet, that you've made it this far.

  2. Yes, they are all safe and sound. Mr. Crossley called me this morning and said that all parties were accounted for with their families.

    Justine, excellent work during your time at Cornell. You demonstrated a level of maturity usually not matched by those who are your age. The body of work that you have provided will serve all of us well as we introduce our next class of students in May, 2009. These final photos give us another "set" of memorable moments that will only serve us well.

    I love you ladies sitting in the rocking chairs in Charlotte North Carolina. What a way to make Lemonade out of a Lemon. Sorry, I can
    t share your love for NASCAR, but I can say that North Carolina is home to the finest college basketball and is home to Michael Jordan. By the way, my father's family hails from Rocky Mount, North Carolina, so I have been in the State a few times. The state is even becoming more progressive. You would like this fact-they actually voted for Barack Obama for President!!!

    My father still pinches himself when he thinks about how bad this state treated him during the brutal days of Jim Crow and Segregation. Just remember Letter from the Birmingham Jail when you think of North Carolina. However, I still love the picture of all of you in the rocking chairs. You should frame it.

    Nice touch with Des and the video with Professor K. The video really spoke to Isaac and I can see that all three of you developed a close bond with Des. I hope that he will be around next year to work with the Freedom and Justice Course. My only regret is that none of our students had a chance to work with the other TA's. However, everything happens for a reason. So, I am glad that it worked out well.

    I have to echo Don's previous post and tell all of you congratulations on a fine job. Our community is much better for your involvement in the Cornell Summer Studies Program for High School Students.

    I hope that you remember the experience for the rest of your life. I know that I will.

    Take care.

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