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.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Last Complete Weekend

Starting off my last Sunday here at Ithaca was brunch with Mr. Crossley and the other girls at Taverna Banfi, a restaurant comfortably nestled at the Statler Hotel. In a sense, it felt like a full circle. Keep in mind that this was the same eatery Mr. Ramsey, Mr. Crossley, and all the girls ate at two weeks back. The girls all discussed the courses over sampling items from the Sunday brunch menu.

Afterwards, Mr. Crossley dropped all the ILC scholars back at the Mary Donlon residential hall, so we could squeeze in time for studying, reading, and writing (the latter is only applicable to the Freedom and Justice students).

Right now, I want to highlight the difference between a high school course and a college one, specifically a condensed version in three weeks. In high school, readings are spread out in moderation and are easier to digest. However, in a business course, students have to crunch many, many pages within two nights. Aside from analyzing the charts and tables, business students have to understand the core concepts and the strategic ways hotel companies are utilizing to help strengthen profitability substantially.

In addition, in high school, teachers appear as if they are feeding you, spoonful by spoonful. What I mean by that is that they tend to give students dates of when they should finish a reading section. For college, students are on their own, and they must pace themselves in a way where they can maximize their reading experience, yet not be under stress.

To be frank, I have gotten the hang of balancing time and FINDING time to complete assignments or other top-priority tasks. This may be the fact that I have always taken seven classes in my high school career. Using a facile method, I can now better juggle activities.

Tomorrow is the start of my third and last week at Cornell University. I cannot wait to see my professors again.

Until then,
Stacy Chan


  1. Stacy,

    Thanks for your comparison between high school and college. You make some valid points.

    So it doesn’t seem that I’m being redundant, take a look at my comments to Justine about this subject.

    I think that one of the differences between the two settings is that in high school they treat you as children because that’s what so many of you demand. At college you’re treated as adults because that’s what you are. And being an adult comes with responsibility for your actions.

    You might recall something I wrote to you all several many months back. I told you all that I would treat you as an adult all the way up to the point where your actions demanded that you be treated as a child. Technically, you’re all still high school teenagers but we’ve thrown a lot of responsibility in your laps and almost without exception you’ve shown that you’re deserving of our respect.

    There’s nothing wrong with giving you deadlines for assignments but we don’t have to lord over you reminding you at every turn about what’s expected from you. Most of you have embraced the mantle of responsibility and carried it with honor.

  2. Stacy you have really come alive at Cornell. I feel your energy in every post and I am appreciative of all that you have gained as a result of the experience. It truly has made a difference for you. I do hope that you will continue to explore all of your options and stay in touch with the Local Cornell Alumni Association and talk with them about applying to Cornell.

    You have not indicated if Cornell is on your list of schools to consider, so I will ask, do you see yourself applying to Cornell?

    My frustration with each of the blogs is that is generic in terms of Hercules High School. Tell me the entire story, are most students motivated to attend a highly selective University or College? Do you find your peers pushing you to do better?

    Why is it that we have a 30% drop out rate in our district and we still have students who struggle to pass the Exit Exam? I am sure that the majority of the students in this program have highly motivated students who routinely have highly selective colleges visiting their campuses. It is almost impossible for me to have anyone visit our sites. Last year I was glad that Stanford, Northwestern and Cornell came to campus, but this was because I pushed and asked them to come.

    All of these schools collect data and I am sorry our schools do not register high on their list because no one applies. For the most part our students are content with going down the street to Contra Costa Community College, why?

    How do you plan to work with Sue Kim when you return to Hercules. Take me through the steps of what you will discuss with her and your parents. Do you feel more empowered after this experience? How will you use it on your college application? It is nice to show prospective colleges that you are "college ready" and can compete with the "big boys".

    I am anxious to read your next blog with your thoughts and impressions.

    Thanks again Stacy for the energized post. I value your comments.

    Take care.

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

  3. Stacy,

    Your words "I cannot wait to see my professors again" are music to my ears. Pay attention to the feeling -- this is what will hold you in good stead all through your college and work career. You are inspired to get to work -- and that is a wonderful thing.

    I appreciate your reference to your teachers "spoon feeding" you. Hopefully, many teachers will read this blog and would want to know from you how you might suggest that they do it differently. Should they take away the spoons? What would that look like? And how do you think most students would react? More importantly, do you think most students would be better served if they did? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    Happy Monday.