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.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Tattler and Fireworks

John Stuart Mill has been some of the most difficult reading, which made Professor Kramnic’s lecture extra anticipated today. Although we all made it through the reading with a general understanding, the professor’s clarification was much appreciated.

The first part of discussion was dedicated to the return of our Plato essays. We are supposed to read the TA’s comments and write the second draft for Monday. I plan to get started on that tomorrow.

Our guest lecturer was very interesting today. His passion was clearly obvious. His main story was about censorship of the Tattler which is the Ithaca High School newspaper. He also told about a couple of other cases he represented. I really enjoyed his lecture. He actually ended up going over his time, but when he offered to stop the whole class responded with a resounding no.

Considering today was the start of a wonderful weekend for us, we hit the closest thing to a mall after school. In all honesty, it was nothing close to a mall, but Julia, Justine, and I rode the bus to Urban Outfitters – a clothing store that just opened out here. We came home to eat, and almost as soon as we finished we attended a “diversify your space” event. We painted jewelry boxes, pencil holders, and keepsake boxes. It was a great way to pass the time between dinner and the fireworks; which we went watched from the slope behind McGraw Hall. Unfortunately, (and no offence Cornell) but the fireworks seemed pretty far away, and were not very captivating. Nonetheless we had fun. After that it was back to the dorms for check-in and for the night.



  1. Ramiah,

    Justine penned some of the same comments about the fireworks as you. Tis a pity.

    Back in 1986 when both the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge were celebrating their 50th anniversaries (before you all were born, no less) I attended the firework display for the Bay Bridge. They set the barge right off of the Ferry Building close to the bridge itself. We were standing right along the waterfront as the fireworks went off.

    We were so close that everytime one exploded the percussion literally blew my hair back. By the end of the show my clothes were covered in soot and pieces of charred paper from the fireworks.

    I had some friends who got stuck in traffic on the bridge itself and when they started the show everyone just turned off their engines, walked over to the edge and had a blast. Because of their elevation, they were right about at eye level with a lot of the explosions.

    Whether from my vantage point or from my friends, this was just way cool. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

    I’d like to read more about The Tattler case. Censorship of high school newspapers is a very topical subject. Too many courts have ruled that while in high school you actually have fewer rights than when you’re outside of high school. And this often applies to school newspapers where school resources are used.

    In colleges this is one of the main reasons why their newspapers are separately owned publications with no direct ties to the university. That way they can write about the university without fear of being shut down for writing something negative about the institution—or their administrators

  2. Good luck with the final and your essay that you will turn in to the TA. I am sure that you will do your best to turn in a polished essay.

    Enjoy the Holiday weekend. I am trying to get some rest myself. I do hope that you will follow the lead of Justine and Julia and provide us some insight about where your roommate comes from, her feelings on her class and how does it feel to live in Mary Donlon. Remember, for many students who are part of the Cornell Summer Studies Program they have done this for a couple of years. Is this her situation?

    What about your growth and development. Julia talks about how she has become more motivated now that she is actually taking her first college level class. Does it mean much to you to have this experience and why?

    I am also glad that you the three of you had a chance to get some free time to have fun and to also go shopping. Life is about balance and I am sure that it meant a lot to have some down time.

    Keep up the good work and enjoy the Holiday weekend.

    Take care.

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