Monday, November 9, 2009

A weekend to Remember

This pass weekend has been the most informative and fun weekend I have had in a while. I learned so much from how to have a persuasive public speech to managing my time. I also learned on how to create an elevator speech that Dean Rose taught us. The elevator speech is basically having all your information for your cause and being able to present it to someone in a timely matter.
I had a class the specifically talked about my action plan. The young ladies that taught the class gave me a lot of new ideas. I'm thinking of going into a new direction with my action plan. I'm of just focusing on getting my homework club back running then going forth with my Big Sister program. The class on managing gave me new ways on how to tackle my big projects also known as the "Big Rocks". I plan to take my new ideas and put them into effect as soon as possible.

I just want to thank the Ivy League Connection for giving me this opportunity to go back to Brown, I learned so much. I hope to share my new ideas and hopefully going back next year. I also want to thank you for trusting to travel by myself, just the travel part itself grew me up a little.

-Tiffany Carter

Saturday, November 7, 2009

College Student

Today was such a beautiful day at Brown even though its extremely cold out here. I got up early in the morning to go to Kiana's classes which were very good. I went to her economics's class and also her french class. I was surprised that I actually understood some of the things that her economic professor was talking about. But far as her french class I did not understand what her professor was saying. I would like to thank Kiana for letting me be her shadow today, going to her classes really cleared up some things to me.

Later, I got to see all my friends from the summer program and also meet new students that came after me. I had an activity with everyone and got to listen to other peoples action plans. even some students that are enrolled into Brown now came and talked about their action plans. It got me to think about a lot of things, I'm even thinking about changing me action plan. I'm not really sure exactly what I would change it though. But hopefully I will find out by the end of this weekend.
Check Spelling

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to come back to Brown. I'm having a wonderful time.

-Tiffany Carter

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Reflection take two

Its seems like ions ago that i first stepped onto the campus of Brown University. In reality, its only been three weeks, yet I feel like a new person.

At the beginning of the three weeks, I was hesitant to answer questions, scared that I would be wrong. I didn't feel like I could compete with these kids who were so smart and dedicated. I was scared to ask the instructor for help, because I thought she would think I was stupid. I was scared to talk to people that I didn't already know. I was scared of being myself, because I might not impress these amazing people.

At the end of the three weeks, I find myself answering questions confidently or at least proposing possibilities when I'm unsure. I feel like I can compete with these kids, but the more important thing is, I don't have too. At Brown, people know everyone else is intelligent. People are willing to give people the chance to be interesting and engaging. Its as if people realize that they competed to get into the program, and now everyone must be there for a reason. I found myself asking the teacher for extra help, asking her for clarification. I realized that people are there to help you, people generally want to help you, but they aren't going to go out of their way to give it to you. I realized you have to ask for help, and its okay to ask for help—its a sign of intelligence, not weakness. I find myself introducing myself to strangers, just because its a more interesting way to live.

This is what I can bring back to El Cerrito— the confidence to be myself. So many students don't ask questions, or don't try because its the cool thing to do. People who don't do work are rebels. People who ask for help are losers. But that's not really the case. Everyone at Brown was open about their shortcomings, they were open about not understanding things, they were open about asking for help. If El Cerrito High could develop a culture like this, I can only see positive changes coming about.

The Ivy League Connection has given me this amazing opportunity to become a new person. It has given me the opportunity to struggle, to fight, and to conquer. Also, it has reminded me that just because the WCCUSD doesn't have the best reputation, it still has people who care about the students, who want them to succeed, and will do everything possible to help them (even when we don't feel like we're being helped).

I'd like to thank everyone who has made my time at Brown (and Cornell) possible. It has been a life changing opportunity for me, and I sincerely hope you will continue to make this experience available for students in our district. And in twenty years, you can sit back and relax, while we take over the show.

Because I can assure you, we're going to be a big deal.

Each and every one of us.

Its been fun,
Joseph Young


This summer has meant a lot to me. Maybe it's too early to say that because it's only been the first month but if the rest of my summer goes like my experience at Brown, I wouldn't have the words to describe it.

My summer at Brown has been a growing experience. I've learned so much about myself and what I'm looking for in a college. I feel like I've learned so much these past three weeks. I learned things like I like a college that is about the size of Brown. I need classes to have a lower teacher to student ratio. I like being close to big towns. I would never have learned these things, had it not been for the ILC. I thought I would like bigger classes, and a campus like UC Berkeley but it turns out that I don't.

Where would I have been without the ILC? Would I even have thought of schools like Brown? Without the impact of the ILC in my life, I would be at home right now, sitting around and doing nothing with my summer. I doubt I would be trying new things everyday like I am here at Brown or meeting any of the great people that I've met here. Thanks to the ILC, I've been able to experience life in the fast lane on the east coast. It is unlike life on the west coast, that's for sure.

I went to the University of Pennsylvania last year and the two experiences can not be more different. The campuses, the environments and the cities are totally different. UPenn was a busy city, integrated into Philedelphia. Everybody was always busy, always doing something. Brown is more relaxed, located in Providence. The streets aren't as busy and the campus is really beautiful. I had a good time at UPenn because there was always something to do, but I found that at Brown, you had a lot more time to yourself and to your friends. Our class at Brown was only 3 hours, as opposed to the 6 hours at UPenn so that definitely plays a role in the amount of free time we had. But overall, I think I can honestly say that I like Brown more because I can see myself going here in the fall of 2010. The people here are dedicated to learning, which is what I admire the most.

Thanks to the ILC, I've gained a better sense of self. I've learned more about myself by getting out of my comfort zone and I would definitely encourage others to do the same. I want my friends to get the same experience that I am getting and I want them to benefit from it like I did. I want to inspire them to go places, like I'm sure they can if they put their minds to it. This is all thanks to the ILC. So, thank you all for your generosity, your caring hearts and your devoted attention. Thank you.

Good-Bye Brown

The time has just flown by, we're all packed and ready to leave tomorrow afternoon. I have gained so much from this experience, more then I'd think I could attain in just three weeks. I mean it was a similar experience as last year, but that extra week just makes it feel more lasting. I feel that I have truly grown a lot and learned to become more independent. Like they say, the bird has finally left the nest. Even though I'll come back, I know what it's like to be out there without my parents.

Independence is a key quality for students how attend colleges far away from home. You can't go home and have mom cook for you; you're on your own. I'm able to say that I can handle being away and can depend on myself. Being in this program has changed me for the better. That's what every student needs, a little independence. Without it they won't be able to survive. I think that is what holds some students, in my school, to nearby Universities instead of Ivy Leagues and colleges on the East Coast. They have to know that it's okay to be on their own, and all of the students in the ILC are perfect examples. We all have to reach out and get the timid students to step out of their comfort zones, so they can see that there are other choices out there.

Multiple students enter college without ever having the chance to experience the college life. I was in the Introduction to Psychology and human Behavior class, and let me tell you, we didn't have regular high school reading. I think the hardest part for most students is the jump from regular high school to the rigorous college work. Being at Brown gave me the opportunity to see just how big of a jump it would be, I mean I'm sure there was more homework to it, but it was definitely a different amount of reading. College life isn't only the homework, it' being able to balance our time and living in dorms, you just have to be multi-talented. Living in the dorms gave me a look at how close everyone gets and just how hectic it gets when five people want to shower at the same time. But it's in the dorms where you bond with others and learn to depend on them in one way or the other. The most difficult part is learning to balance your time between work and social events. At first it was really hard to adjust to, but once I got it down I was able to do a lot more. That's just what's so great about living on a college campus, you get to see into the future and gain skills that you have otherwise.

I was given the opportunity to change and become a better person, whether it was becoming independent or living the college life. Now I want to go back and make sure my peers are aware of this program and the wonders it can do for you! It would be like I was mentoring them in some way. Everyone is capable of doing anything if they are given a chance, and that's what students at Richmond High need, a chance. And of course with the help of programs like the ILC they will be able to succeed. Thank you everyone who has made this trip possible. I am extremely grateful; I've learned so much more then I would have at Richmond High. It also opened my eyes to all these colleges which is just as good as the UCs, I'm very proud to say that I have been there and done that. Thank you once again!


There was definitely lots of knowledge to be gained this past week.

Coming to the East Coast for the first time I did not know what I had coming.
Being the top student in all my science class in RHS has my confidence way up high, and Brown did a great job in bringing me down to reality. Like I said before it was a slap in the face. This definitely hit my confidence hard but I did not let my lack of resources stop me. I read each chapter twice before and after the lecture, asked the TA's for extra help and of coarse asked Dean Thompson for help. I believe that I learned more in these past three weeks than I did in a year in my freshman biology class.

Coming to Brown really changed my way of thinking, writing, drawing, and viewing things. Now whenever I see certain things I relate them back to science like when I look at tie die I see compact bone, when I see jeans I think of muscle stritations, and now I cannot look at cats the same way I used to.

Dean Thompson definitely filled up my brain with much useful knowledge. She not only thought us Histology but she also helped us improve our public speaking skills, our research skills, and she helped us learn try to apply what we learn in class to the outside world.

This coming year I am confident that I will do so much better in school because of this experience. I became more studious by getting into the habit of taking notes in class, doing HW right after I got to my dorm, and because this course challenged me I will not complain about how "hard" the class work is.

I will most definitely share my experience with other students who are going to attend pre-college programs but I will also share it with those who are interested in attending college. Because yes its going to challenge you and yes you will have a hard time but in the end it is all worth while because you work harder hence you learn more.

The Experience...

...doesn't end right here.

There are still tons of things that are going on that will add to what's happened in the last few weeks - college apps mostly. After going through two summers of hard coursework, great people, and new insights, there are a ton of experiences that can be shared and should be shared so that everyone can also get the most out of the college search.

The last 3 weeks have been growing experiences for me - well I'm only 17, I should be growing in everything I do. This year, I've been able to maintain that relaxed atmosphere of summer, but still find challenges in classwork and in college searches. Like I've said in previous posts, I've got a pretty good idea of what I like and dislike in a college, and I'm able to use those tastes to discern and identify colleges that would provide a good learning environment for me. After all, everyone is after one thing: Knowledge.

The college search is like a cryptogram. They all have the same message, "Knowledge," but each school has a different cipher, a different way of encoding that message. Some code it through a core curriculum, some code it through freedom of choice. Some present it as intense academia, some present it as vibrant social scenes. In all these cases, the code may seem arduous and imposing to decipher, but we all have our own "key" which can decode the message they're trying to send. That key is an accumulation of personal experiences, of hopes and dreams, of failures and tears, of frustration, of peace; each is a unique solution to the cipher. Our key may work faster or easier at cracking the one code than another, and maybe their will be a school which we can un-mystify immediately.

But the only way to really know which college is good for us is to look into who we are as a person and make a decision based on what we want. Although prestige is something that when given a passing glance, can make or break the decision whether or not to apply to a school, it's not everything. If someone wants to apply based on prestige, go for it, they can't go wrong with a big name school in terms of education. But after meeting with Mercedes today over lunch to talk about admissions, I believe that to get the most knowledge out of an institution, one must be proactive in that quest for knowledge and learn about the school before applying there. There are too many cases of students applying to 10+ schools because they all have good *fill in the blank* programs. And in the end, when they get into some of these schools, they realize that most of the schools they had applied to, if they knew more about them, they would never want to go to.

In the end, for myself, I don't want to turn burnout doing college apps. From learning about the mistakes of others and combined with the positive experiences I've had, I'm going to be starting early on apps, not applying to too many schools, not adding a school to the list because it "sounds good" or because "I might at least try"; I'm pretty set on only applying to the schools that I want to go to. I want to avoid the mishaps that comes from not having a clue about what I'll be doing, and I want to make sure the people around me don't do anything ridiculous either.

Friday, July 10, 2009

My Reflection

I cannot believe I only have hours before I board the plane to return home. As I look back on these three past weeks, I realize how much I have grown. Originally, I didn’t think my lifestyle here at Brown would be as different as it was at UPenn last year. But boy, was I wrong!

Last summer, we had a morning lecture from 9 am to 12 pm and an afternoon lab from 1 pm to around 4 pm. Although class was so long, our professor rarely gave us homework until we neared the end of the program. This year was completely different. My Introduction to Psychology and Human Behavior course was only three hours long, from 10 am to 1 pm. We were also required to send in a reflection email to our TAs in addition to the couple hours of reading each night. Since my homework was extremely time consuming, I was forced to find a balance between school and leisure. Although it was always tempting to take part in some of the activities that were offered, like kickboxing or yoga, I knew class had to be my number one priority.

Another difference was that I had a roommate this time! Last year, I felt it was great having a room to myself because of all the space I was given, but at the same time it was so lonely. Thus, I was bursting with excitement when I learned I would actually have a roommate with me at Brown. The first night was a bit awkward since it was the first time either of us had to share a room with someone else. Honestly, I a part of me was afraid I would not be able to live with a complete stranger for three weeks, let alone an entire year. However, I’m glad to say we’ve grown to be so comfortable around each other. I learned it just takes a little give and take. We’ve learned to live with each other and we’ve pretty much created a routine here. I must say, it’s definitely going to be a little difficult to go home for the first few days and not have Kim there to talk to.

One of the most important qualities one should have is independence. Because of ILC, I can now say I have this characteristic. Last year, I was forced to be independent. I had to wake up on time, do my own laundry, and walk to the cafeteria to get my own food. There was no one to be by my side to count on or fix my mistakes. I could only rely on myself. This year was no different. And I survived! After being on my own for four weeks last summer and three weeks this summer, I know I will be able to take on the challenge in college.

I've also learned about what I am looking for in a college. Before this summer, I was completely lost when it came to picking the best college for me and I was dreading the fact that I needed to decide which schools to apply for. Now, I at least have an idea of what I want. I learned that I like the idea of smaller class sizes and I like living in a city or at least near one. Without ILC, I would probably be at home still wondering which schools I should apply to and I'd probably settle for a college I don't even like.

I'll be coming home from this three-week journey as a new person and I have ILC to thank. Thus, I'd like to end by saying thank you to everyone who has made this experience possible. To Mr. Ramsey, Ms. Kronenberg, Mr. Gosney, and all the gracious sponsors, thank you so much for your support and for believing in all of us! I will forever be grateful for all the opportunities I've been given due to this program.

My Brown Journey

When I first got to Brown two weeks ago I was so nervous, I didn't know what to do with myself. I was fresh off the plane, didn't know to much about the area, and really didn't have no one to talk to besides the other kids in ILC, who I never hung out with. Then when I got to my dorm it was so scary because no one was there not even my RA, the whole building seemed empty. I was so ready to go home but the next day came and that's when everything started happening. The next day was when everybody started showing up and I got to meet new friends. As the week went on I started embracing all new ideas from so many different sides, I became more responsible, and a better leader.

I think my class was the best class at Brown this summer because we had so much fun learning about the Civil Rights Movement whether it was through song, class discussions, speakers we had come to our class, or the documentaries we watched. I would talk about all the incredible things Ive learned but you've all heard it from my other blogs. Overall it was a great class thanks to Branice and Kristain who were my teachers.

From this pre-college program I found out my strenghts,weaknesses, and what type of leader I am. And with this information I plan to apply it to my action plan which is a Big Sister program. I will work with girls from the ages of 10-14 years. And I will help them with their homework,teach them manners, take them to nice placess, and make sure I spend a lot of quality time with them. The program will be based out of my church, Great St.Paul Missionary Baptists Church in Oakland,Ca. As I start to expand in my program I'm going to get some of my friends to help me and two girls will be assigned to each mentor. Then we will meet at least twice a month to do an update of every girl and just have girl talk. I'm going to try to get the program up and going by the end of the year.

Before I go I want to say thank you to ILC and all the sponsors because without you guys none of this would have been possible. And you really touched and inspired my life.


-Tiffany Carter

The End

Today was my last day of class and we watched Across the Universe. Although I don't really like musicals, the movie was actually pretty good. The majority of the events that happened in the sixties were portrayed in the film. What I didn't like about the movie was that the transition from scene to scene was very weird and confusing. The movie didn't really flow.

After the movie we discussed the sixties and the forties and fifties as well. We talked about how the problems and concerns in the forties and fifties were mostly voiced in the sixties. We recapped the forties with conversation about post-war anxieties revolving around atomic bombs. Then we discussed the fifties in correspondence with its prosperity, nuclear family ideals, and McCarthyism. We gathered all these quick summaries and saw how they were brought out in the sixties with nuclear family ideals turning into the Women's Right Movement and how McCarthyism became anti-McCarthyism for the counter-culture and anti-war protesters.

Overall, the title of my class: Decades of Change, was very fitting because these three decades made the platform for how America is today and without those three decades, I really wonder what America would be like. I really enjoyed my class and I learned A LOT of interesting facts that I didn't learn in school. I am very glad that I decided to take this course. I would definitely recommend this course for future ILC students who are incoming seniors because they will learn so much that they didn't learn in class. When I arrive back home and tell of my experience, I will say that this was definitely a great opportunity for me because I was able to learn more facts about those three important decades in American history and that I had the chance to take this course at an Ivy League school!

Being at Brown helped me realize what school will best fit me and although Brown is no longer at the top of my list, I am thankful that being here helped me realize that. I look forward to the college application process later on this year and hope that my first choices: Stanford and Columbi, will accept me. The ILC has made a big difference in my life and hopefully many more students will have this great opportunity that I did.

My Action Plan/ What Im Going To Bring Back

When I first got to Brown numerous things went through my mind. Who am I going to meet? What can these people possibly teach me? Am I good enough to be here. And after this course I found out the answer to all those questions. The people I met her are wonderful people who are very social and people with whom I would like to keep in touch with forever. My teachers Nell and Nora taught me a lot of things about myself that I didn't even know. They taught me how to be a leader most importantly. If I want change, I have to go out there and get it. If I think something is unjust, I should fight for what I think is right. That's why when I get back to California I want to build on my group called the Brown Bears and make it more global. I want to not only be able to help struggling kids in my community out, but also struggling kids around the country. So here is my action plan explaining everything I learned since I have been here, and not only do I want to thank Brown for allowing me to learn, but also for my mom, the Ivy League Connection Staff, Ms. Lamons, and all who helped me get to where I am today and for shaping me up into who i'm going to be in the future.

My thoughts/ Action Plan:
Part 1- Why It’s Important to me.

Before I came here I didn’t always have good grades. I began falling behind my junior year, and my grades began declining. I was always so focused on sports and tried spending all my time trying to be the best, and I didn’t notice that I was getting a 2.7 my junior year. This started becoming a problem for me because I was getting yelled at by my mom, and my coach who knew I could get better grades, I just wasn’t balancing my time. Then one day a teacher that I didn’t even know saw me struggling and submitted my name for a group called the Ivy League Connection. Never in my life have I ever dreamed of going to an Ivy League school. The Ivy League Connection required me get my grades up and strive harder in school if I wanted to go to the Summer at Brown program. “This is a chance that you can’t pass up”, said my mom and my coach, “a chance of a lifetime”. This made me think, sports isn’t everything. I then started focusing more on school and my grades went up from a 2.8 my 3rd quarter of my junior year to a 3.6-3.7 the 4th quarter. This all happened because someone pushed me to strive harder and helped me realize my full potential, and that’s what I want to do for other kids.

Part 2- Starting the Action Plan
Months ago I created a group called the Brown Bears because I was inspired by, not only the Ivy League Connection, but also by the Black Panthers. The Black Panthers showed that they fought for what they wanted and what they thought was right for not only themselves, but for others. I created the Brown Bears, a completely student run organization, for the sake of my peers. I noticed that kids were beginning to not care about their education and started giving up and saying things like “I will amount to nothing in life anyway”, or, “what’s the point?, It’s not like it matters”. But the thing was, their grades did matter. High school grades decide what college you will go to, and that will decide your future. So my kind of “alternative gang”-- the Brown Bears-- helps kids find special opportunities and programs, such as Summer at Brown, that they can apply for and do, and we also help each other with homework and discuss community problems and gang violence. I started the Brown Bears specifically because I know way too many people that are on the streets selling drugs, are in gangs, or are having trouble getting good grades in school. The group meets every Saturday so that kids know that they don’t need gangs to resort to when they have us, the Brown Bears, who treat each other like family and like to help each other out, no matter what the problem.

Part 3- Resources/ Going Global
When I help people that decide to be in the Brown Bears, they have to be willing to help themselves first. So far we have about 20 people in the Brown Bears and counting, but if I could get my school to help out then I know there would be more. Kids at my school are always looking for opportunities to get somewhere in life whether it be scholarships, programs, tutoring, as long as it benefits them in the long run. That’s why I would like to inform my school about the Brown Bears so that teachers, counselors, and fellow high school students can help out too. I’m sure that the tutoring part would go better if we had actual teachers with degrees in certain subjects and counselors that can give me information about scholarships and programs that I can spread the word about. I am also in Forensics Speech and Debate and AASU, so I could use those and talk about the Brown Bears as one of my speeches. The other resources I need are: money for some trips to colleges, an actual meeting place instead of the bookstore or park (especially if this organization gets big), flyers, and people who are willing to spread the word. The way I would get these resources are simply by asking teachers to be involved with the Brown Bears, and start fundraisers and tell parents and adults about what the Brown Bears do. At my school, only a hand full of students knew about the Summer At Brown program, but when I told them they were interested, but it was too late. This is bad because students should be informed about the many opportunities around them and they should all have a chance to be involved inside or outside their communities. The targets of my program are high school students because I want to help them reach their full potential and be a well-rounded student because that’s what colleges really look for. I not only want my high school to know about this, but also high schools around the world. I already talked to some high school students in New York about starting a New York Brown Bear chapter. My timeline for this project is infinitesimal. I want to keep helping kids grow as long as I live because I don’t want them resorting to drugs, gangs, or giving up, just because they have it hard. There is always an alternative to things, and I want to keep kids thinking that they actually can make it in life, and I want them all to realize that the dreams that they have could be achieved. I accept anyone who is willing to help my cause, as long as it benefits those in the program. Even though I am going to be busy and have a lot on my plate, I will still be able to meet with kids on the weekends or some weekdays after school when I don’t have football so this will be organized on and off campus. I spread the word all the time through phone calls, texts, telling kids at school, MySpace, and even Facebook. The only challenges I could possibly face is money because not enough kids have money to go on trips or can pay for certain activities that I might have such as a getting together and having a potluck, or even playing sports together to keep people active. That’s why I am going to try and ask parents, teachers such as Ms. Lamons, and Mr. Wilson, asking my school, other schools and even other people in power to donate money for the Brown Bears program. I will try to individually ask parents and teachers one by one at a place that’s best for them and tell them about the Brown Bears.I know I will overcome this now though because the social change program, teachers, and speakers, taught me that you don’t need to start off with power or a lot of money to be a leader, you just need to find people who believe in your cause and are willing to help you.

Game over.

The morning started off with heartfelt goodbyes and hugs. As for us, well, we dully walked to the cafeteria passing all the early departures and I could not help but feel sadden by this. These past three weeks have been a blessing. I am blessed to have such a wonderful opportunity to experience life in the Ivy League. It has changed different aspects of my life in various ways.

Before EVER coming to Brow, at all, I was naive to the world outside of the Bay Area. (Did you notice I said Bay Area, not California? Well it is the truth because most of the low-income community are located in the Bay.) Up until last summer, I was merely focused on getting accepted to UC Berkeley and completely closed off my options but then the Ivy League Connection came and reopened the gateway.

I was a timid and quiet girl who kept to myself. I would normally hate to step outside of my comfort zone for fear of the unknown. When I was offered the opportunity to attend Summer@Brown, I admit I was reluctant. I already had plans for the summer of 2008 and I was in no way prepared to go across the country. However, something inside of me was urging me to go and I guess that urge led me down the right path. I was never really challenged in school whatsoever, and that summer, I came to conclude that I have met my challenge, Brown.

I was aware that I was surrounded by people with wealth. However, when days dragged on, I figured that the best thing to do is put aside the differences in family income and instead focus on the assigned task. I have learned to associate with people from different cultures. People are human beings and that is a fact. We all think and feel emotions so one's background should not change the fact that we are more alike than we think.

This summer, I was lucky enough to go back to Brown. I had the choice to apply to other Ivy League schools but I chose Brown because I know for certain that it is capable of challenging me. Just like last summer, Brown challenged me to take on more leadership roles and responsibility. I have learned how to maintain my time and to set my priorities. Prioritizing. That is a skill that I have gained from this experience and it will surely help me a great deal in the future.

I have learned so much through this experience that I cannot imagine life without it. The memories that have been built here at Brown will forever remain.

Final Words

It is Friday of my last week here at summer@Brown. I had such a fun time here, but I have to be honest and say that I am ready to go back home. I have been a bit homesick, but I did not let that get in the way of my exploring of Brown University. I have taken advantage of all the activities offered to do here at Brown. For example, I went to watch two independent films on Wednesday night and Thursday night. One was Jesus Camp which I do not want to spoil, but do recommend it and the other was Best in Show recommended for those whom enjoy a little comedy. Apart from the cinema entertainments I went to the Brown college Fair composed of 125 universities and colleges from around the country. I got so many catalogs, brochures, and admissions information. It was a great opportunity for me to look at different schools and have some one there from the schools to tell me about it and answer any questions I had.

This morning I had my last class of Intro to Psych. It ended in a pretty fun way, I have to say. We all got to see each other's final projects most of which were photo collages. We also ended with a personalty test in which I got categorized as an Idealist. Also the very last thing we did was play Jeopardy which contained all the information we had learned during our three week course. It was so much fun, my team won by 50 points all thanks to the final Jeopardy question.

I have gotten to say goodbye to those that are and did leave Brown today. And now I have to head back to prepare my luggage for my trip across the country back home to where I can share all my experiences with everyone I see.

So Long, Mercedes M.

Week Reflection.

Much of this week’s reading and lecturing revolved around one thing: our society. Our generation is very different from the previous generations and in our discussion group, we attributed this to many reasons ranging from peer pressure to advancing technology. I feel like this week was devoted to studying the patterns in the youth today and why we act the way we do.

Our lecture topic on Monday was a study of “The American Life on Pot.” It was interesting because we heard about someone who actually turned their life around from being a real addict. Most people stick with pot because of reasons like peer pressure or because it helps them relax. The reason I thought this was interesting is because people who are addicted to pot usually don’t turn around from it without something as drastic as an intervention party. The change that he made in his life was remarkable. I took away from this that self-reflection is very important. Awareness is something that we must always strive to have. This point also correlates with the reading that we talked about in discussion group that day. In our society today, we seem to lack awareness in our relationships. The “hook-up culture” only seems to be interested in relationships for the purpose of self-gratification or social status. I believe that if we were more aware of ourselves and the people around us, we would be more modest and thoughtful about how we affect each other by doing things like hooking-up. Why do we hook up? Why do we smoke pot? I believe the reasons are correlated. We do these things in our search for attention, acceptance and in our search for ourselves.

On Tuesday, we talked about cognitive science, which is the study of human behavior or human intelligence. We focused mainly on development and memory. It was interesting to listen about this because it reiterated the fact that childhood was important. When we talked about advertising in the discussion group that day, it was easy to see the link between the two and why advertising nowadays may be detrimental to the youth today. I don’t think advertising to young people before they are fully developed is right. The reason I say this is because I feel like it really hinders growth and individuality. What are kids suppose to do when media is telling them left and right what is correct and what is wrong? When will they learn how to develop their own opinions? This is a major difference between today’s society and the society 30 years ago. We are constantly surrounded by advertisement and people who want to change our opinion whereas before, it was really easy to get away from all of that. I don’t want to say that we should separate kids from media altogether but I feel like advertisements can very often be a negative influence. I feel like this may be dangerous to us because we are engulfed and overwhelmed by it all. I’m afraid because we have learned to depend on advertisement for the latest gadgets and the coolest toys. We listen to them and trust them. Is this wise?

I thought Wednesday was the most interesting lecture day out of this whole summer session. We talked about psychotherapy both in the lecture and in discussion. I thought this was all interesting because I got to learn more about myself as a person while listening to this lecture. Listening and learning about transference really struck me personally. I thought about how this also plays a role in our society today. It is no secret that family life is slowly deteriorating in our society. I say this because of divorce rates today and how many kids complain about how many problems their family has. If this is the case, this must make relationships in the future very hard because according to Freud, our future relationships pattern after our first relationships. In a time when family life was stronger, people built stronger relationships and things like hooking-up were not as common. This may not be causation but it does seem like a correlation. Does this mean now that family life is deteriorating, things like hooking-up will be more common? This does seem to be the trend so maybe we aren’t to blame; maybe media doesn’t play as big of a role that I had originally thought; and maybe it really the fault of our parents.

This summer session has been interesting. I found that this week tied together really well and I’ve been giving our lectures, discussions and readings some serious thought. Everything inspires me to think more about our society and the problems with which the youth are faced with today. We are faced with a different set of troubles than what people were faced with years before and therefore, we are forced to deal with them in a different way. I can’t imagine a society where technology wasn’t prevalent because that’s the type of society we live in today. Therefore, we, the younger generation, need to evaluate our surroundings objectively and decide how to handle this. How are we supposed to deal with the “hooking-up culture” and peer pressure? How will we handle advertisement and media? How will we treat future relationships? These are all questions we need to think about for ourselves; I know I have.

Our Days at Brown are coming to an End

I can't believe time passed by so quickly, it seemed like just yesterday that I was moving into my room and anticipating my roommate. While I was busy being homesick, I didn't notice how quickly the three weeks flew by, now I regret not doing as much as I could have. It's so sad to see everyone packing up and getting ready to leave, luckily not everyone is leaving till Saturday. In the last couple of days class has been getting easy, all that was left to do was our final project. As you can tell, the atmosphere around here is winding down.

Today I we attended the college fair, and it was packed with tons of people! It was the longest line I've seen in awhile, going all the way to the back of the building! It was even crazier inside; it was held in the gym and there were a lot of colleges there. At every table you'd see a flock of students hovering over the representative. I found out so much about all of these different colleges, and even some that I've never heard of! I feel that if there were less students, then my time there would have been a whole lot better. I mean I did learn a lot about multiple colleges, I could have learned more if there weren't hundreds of other kids trying to get their attention.

Tomorrow is the last day to bond, then they're all off! I really wish I had more time here. I'm also really excited to meet the admissions officer for our area tomorrow! I hope to take in a lot of information from her too! Well I'm off to bed and maybe I'll pack a little more, it's going to be a tiring day!

Well, It's Here

My floor right now is having a party! One last fun event before everyone heads back home. I'm going to miss the guys on my floor 'cause we've all grown really tight since the first day. It'll be weird having to send everyone off cause I'll be leaving on Saturday while most people are leaving Friday.

Currently, it's too hectic to be able to sum up what happened. People are packing, saying good byes, dancing, singing, keeping people awake, etc. Stuff you do when there's only so little time left.

More later....

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Coming to an End...

It's finally hit me that I'm leaving in two days! I've already turned in my last reading reaction email and paper and had my last floor meeting. And I just finished my final reflection. I can't believe this experience is about to come to an end. My roommate, Kim, and I recently talked about how we're just getting used to our routines and now we have to leave. Of course I'm going to love being back at home with my own room surrounded by my friends and family, but I'm truly going to miss my time here at Brown.

Anyways, today after dinner, I went to the college fair at the OLMAC. The line just to get into the building was enormous! It was even more hectic once I finally got into the gym. There were stations circling around the indoor track and several people trying to push their way through the crowd. As I was approaching the track, I didn't know where to begin. Unfortunately, I only had about an hour to go to the different stations and the colleges I wanted to see (like Columbia) had massive amounts of people around the table. Thus, I decided to look at the smaller colleges that weren't getting as much notice. One college I learned about, College of Mount Saint Vincent, is near New York City and supposedly has a great nursing program. I'm not sure if I want to apply to this school, so I'll need to do a bit more research to see if it's right for me. Overall, the college fair went well and I was able to look at a few colleges I never even heard of. I'm definitely glad I went to the college fair in St. Mary's last April since I had more time and more chances to speak to the college representatives.

Final goodbyes && college fair

Today was dean Thompson's last day :(
We went to the green house and learned about medicinal plants which was very interesting. We got to see the plants, smell them, and learn about what they do.
In the afternoon we had a guest lecture on Diets. Not as in loose weight diets, but eat healthy and keep a normal weight diet.

College Fair!
Wow it took Mercedes and I about 2 and a half hours to go all the way around the gym asking questions at most tables. The line was huge! We waited about an hour in total to get in!
My Favorite colleges from the tables that we went to were: Albertus Magnus College and Stonehill College.
Apart from the fact that Carey Schmidt doing an excellent job in explaining the school I really liked the fact that the school is really strong in many different areas specially in science! I also liked that SAT scores don't matter too much. I liked Stonehill for similar reasons. It is optional to send in your SAT scores and they are looking for students who are strong in academics but also have other activities that they do.

Overall summer @ Brown was an incredible experience! I learned that even though I don't want to attend Brown I did get to visit other schools that are at the top of my list like Wellesley. This was something that was truly life changing and I appreciate all the hard work that many people did in order for me and other students from wccud to attend pre-college programs.

One Busy Thursday ...

These past two days have been hectic for me. I have been rushing to finish my final weekly reaction paper and my reflection project. I still have yet to finish my reflection project. However, I did find time to attend the college fair. Boy, was that a LONG line. When I say long, I mean LONGGG! The line was nearly stretched out among two blocks, possibly more! We heard from some people that they had been waiting for an hour and a half. That is absurd. Luckily for us, we did not have to wait that long.

When we did get into the gym, I was in for a shock. It was crowded with hundreds of people from all over. There were a bunch of tables set up and colleges around. I did not know where to start at all so I started from Reed and went down the road from there. It was catastrophic in that gym; there were too many people and too little space. However, I did learn some interesting stuff and I even across schools that I never heard of. I was disappointed that we were unable to get into a deep conversation with the representatives because there was just too many people waiting to speak with them so they kind of had to push us aside. Other than that, I think the college fair was a big success.

As for myself, I have been thinking about this whole experience. How can I bring what I have learned here back to my community? Well, I can almost guarantee that if we were ever to have an enormous college fair like this at Richmond, there would not be as much people. Therefore, I was shocked how many people cared and took time off of their day to attend this college fair. I hope that I can go back to Richmond High and inform students about the various opportunities out there. I will try to motivate people to think about college and go beyond high school. The conversation about the CAHSEE test at the dinner have encouraged me to stand up and help my peers who needs help in this area. I know a number of students who are unable to pass the CAHSEE. I do not want any of my friends to be denied the right to graduate and walk the stage just because they could not pass this test so I want to help as best I can. I will even offer tutoring assistance. I will do this by incorporating the leadership skills I gained from coming to Brown last summer and from what I have learned this summer. I will combine both of these experiences at Brown and implement it in my school, community, and home.

The longest lab

Today was an exhausting day. I woke up feeling more tired than usual, even though I'd gotten more sleep. Then, I went to the lab.

I got to the lab at nine am, and finally finished us for the day after six. We started working on cloning our DNA into a vector.

We had to design the procedure ourselves. I'm the only one in my class following the same procedure, because most of them chose an easier, less reliable method.Because of this however, I was able to get a few minutes alone with the instructor. She is still working on her degree, and is researching methylation patterns in an animals. However, she doesn't want to do research. She wants to help bridge the gap between lay people and scientists, so that the everyday person knows why a doctor is doing something, or understand the studies in the news. She wants to help people get informed. She also loves Kurt Vonnegut, a sympathy I don't share.

When I finally got out of the lab, I was very pleased by how the lab went, despite a few setbacks. Hopefully everything goes well so I can get some of my DNA sequenced.

Until then,Joseph Young

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Close The End Of The Road

Today in class we had another guest speaker, who happens to be one of my teachers cousin. Her name is Kathleen Mosley and she was a good friend of Stokely Carmichael.She just talked about his life and his different views on things, especially about the civil rights movement.From the stories she told it sounded like he was a powerful and well spoken person. You can really tell that he really stood for what he believed and he took it personal when things wouldn't go right. Like the riots in 1967, he felt like that was his fault that they were doing that even though it wasn't. Also he really wanted to get back to his roots so he went to Africa and help out there. And later he actually moved to Africa and lived there up until he got sick with cancer. This is a picture of him below.

Then later on in class we watched a video called "American Blackout." It basically talked about the 2000 and 2004 elections. Like how Bush cheated and how a Georgia congress woman by the name of Cynthia McKinney tried to tell America the truth. Then she talked about how Bush knew about the 9/11 attacks before they even happen. The media started changing her words and made it seem like she was a bad and that she didn't know what she was talking about. Shortly after when it was time for her to run for office again the republican party planted an African-American woman to run against her so they could get all the African-Americans to vote for them. She lost that election because she was manipulated and also the voters were too manipulated.

The video is so surprising and interesting I recommend that you watch it.

-Tiffany Carter

P.S. I did try to upload a picture of todays speaker but it did not work.

College Q&A

I finally got the chance to ask all the questions about Brown to Dean Thompson. I also got to hear what my classmates had to ask. We talked about admission, PLME, majors, and classes.
What does it take to get into Brown?
- Demographics
- Athletics
- Ethnicity (mention, but not emphasize)
- Legacy (it helps if your parent is an alumni of the school sometimes.

Does Early Action help?
- It show commitment, but it is hard to tell whether it helps or not.

What are some examples of what works and what doesn't work?
- Don't make up stuff that you think will impress the college, be yourself and talk about what is interesting to you, what is real about you (does not have to be activities)

Are letters of recommendation important?
- Yes! If you want to add another letter you can send a supplementary letter (must state something diff. or special that no one else can say, does not have to be from a school teacher). Teachers that you have known for a long time should write your letter of recommendation.

Do people who get wait listed have a chance in getting into the school?
- no one from the wait list ever gets in.
These are the questions that I found to be the most interesting.

Today my group and I got to present our career project on Biotechnology. Other students presented theirs as well. The career that I found to be most interesting was the patent attorney because it combines the law career with science. We had a class discussion on whether companies should be able to put a patent on genes or not which was very interesting.

Final Days of Psych

On a usual day in our Introduction to Psychology class we have an hour of lecture, then an hour of discussion with our groups based on reading assignments from the day before, then we reconvene in class to another hour of lecture or presentations given by groups of students. Being the last week of our course, today was the last day in which we would gather in our discussion groups. It was a good experience for me to be able to read for homework and come back to a class in which everyone had done the reading and was ready to have a productive conversation. I would love it if my classes back in Richmond were this productive and maybe when I get back I can meet with students and make my own discussion group.
Today we also got to see the last of the student presentations. There were two of them, one on the theory of intelligence and the other on defense mechanisms.
We have also had the last of or reading or writing assignments. We are now to focus on our class' final project which can be anything from an essay to a photography collage. I have chosen to draw out the many places in which I spend my summer at Brown. I have been taking these sunny days to sit outside and draw a few buildings.
Even though we are leaving Rhode Island on Saturday I will have with me my memories, photographs, and drawings.
Mercedes Montelongo,
Only three days left


Yesterday, the disorder of the day was cutting. I felt this was an important topic to discuss since many of us know people who cut and may have even done it ourselves. From the moment we got our syllabus, I couldn't wait for this day because I felt we needed to talk about this subject. As a class, we made a list of the reasons why people start to cut. A few points on our list were:
  • release of anger
  • punish themselves
  • revenge & self pity
  • a way to control something in their lives
  • attention seeking
  • addicting
  • aggressive apathy
We then went on to making a list of what parents might have done to cause their children to cut. Some of the possibilities we came up with were:
  • parents busy
  • parents not getting along
  • promoting guilt
  • high control
In order to treat a person who cuts, Dr. J said the most important thing to do is listen carefully. I was a bit disappointed with this lecture only because I wanted it to last longer. I wanted to discuss more about the disorder because when I go back home, I want to be able to help someone who is cutting in any way I can.

When I go home, I want to share my experience with everyone I know. However, this is not limited to the knowledge I've gained about Brown and the other colleges I visited on this trip. Because of this psychology course, I want to use the information I learned and help someone if he has issues with cutting, depression, or an eating disorder. I know I won't be as useful as a therapist, but I think I can assist by simply listening.


They’re brainwashing us!

“It’s part of what we cherish most about friendships. And that’s precisely why the marketers are so keenly interested in them.”

In psychology, we've discussed about how the advertisers work. It was very interesting to read about. I knew that advertising was getting more invasive but I had no idea. Reading about it showed me how it’s actually a lot more sophisticated and sneaky then I thought it was. Advertisers get paid to figure out new ways to get into people’s heads. I never thought that subliminal messaging works but it must because the advertisers use it to their advantage very often, according to these articles.

“Marketers are teaching kids to view their friends as a lucrative resource they can exploit to gain products or money.”

Where do we draw the line? There has to be a line somewhere. What’s appropriate? When are they going to far? For me, I feel as if they’ve already gone to far. They’ve hired people to influence their friends just for the purpose of advertising. This invades personal privacy and it brings in the question about who can we trust? What can we trust? The article talks about “the Wholesome Halo.” Companies like PBS, which has a positive connotation, are being targeted by advertisers BECAUSE of their positive connotation. Schools also fall into the lure of the advertisers. Do the ends justify the means in this case? On one end, schools do need the money because of budget cuts, but on the other side of the argument, does that mean it’s okay?

“But since 1990, commercial activities in schools have expanded substantially, with an explosive rise in nearly all types of school-based marketing since 1997.”

Targeting kids is more dangerous than anything else because I don’t think they are old enough to make their own decisions. That’s why kids need to be around good influences when they are young because it will really influence the way they are when they grow up. However, with these new forms of advertisement everywhere, what are we going to do? Kids don’t know how to differentiate between what is good and what is bad. They don’t know if they are being advertised to or not. Kids are very na├»ve, and they’re not to blame. They’re young. I believe that media now makes it really hard for kids to learn how to make their own decisions. At this moment in time, all we need to do is look outside and media tells us what is cool and what isn’t. Where is our individuality? Where will it be for the future generations?

Where do our own opinions really start to form? This article reminds me of Wall-E where the people are constantly hooked up to a screen. Our generation is like this because we are constantly seeing what our society wants us to see. We are constantly being influenced to think a certain way. This is portrayed by this article and by the article we read the other day about hooking up. Media plays such a big role in our lives. When are we suppose to learn how to make up our own mind if we are constantly being pressured by everything else to sway in a certain direction?

I like our psychology class because I feel like I'm really getting challenged to think about the world around me and why people act the way they do. This is exactly what I came to the Summer Program at Brown for. I feel like I'm exercising my brain and doing so much thinking about the world and I decided that I wanted to share my insight with you all.

The Black Panthers

Today in class we had a speaker whose name is Ashanti. He was a former Black Panther member who was arrested numerous times and tried to fight for justice. He talked about the founders of the Black Panthers, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, and he also talked on how he started off reading books when he got into the Black Panthers instead of using a gun. The Black Panthers used nonviolence in some cases and used violence only to defend themselves. Ashanti showed pictures on how cops were thought to have been pigs, and the government and police force is only meant to keep the colored people oppressed and down at the bottom. All the Black Panthers tried to do in Ashanti's view was watch the police and make sure that blacks got treated the same or as equal as whites.

Back in California we watched a video about the Black Panthers in my AP US History class and I was inspired in numerous ways. I was inspired so much that I made my own group called the Brown Bears. The Brown Bears is an underground organization that I made a couple months ago and we don't have weapons or anything. The Brown Bears is a group of 20-30 friends, and counting, and we meet every Saturday at the local bookstore or park to discuss problems, help with homework, tutoring, community problems/ needs, and I try to do what I can to think of ways to fix those problems and help out. I also try to inform my peers about special opportunities and programs that they can do, so that they can fill up their time with bettering themselves as people and making sure they become successful instead of ending up on the streets. The Brown Bears were made in California and so were the Black Panthers. I made the Brown Bears in order to help out my fellow peers and help them find opportunities and programs to help push themselves and realize their full potential.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Less then Three Days Left

I can't believe that time is running out! It seemed like just yesterday we arrived. There has been so much that I learned at Brown, some good and some bad, I believe that there is so much more left to learn here yet our time is limited. In my opinion, we should be allowed to stay a little bit longer. There really is much more to learn, and we should grab it while we are at Brown. I'm sure that it has truly been an enriching experience for all of us. From college tours to visiting New York, this could not have been a better trip. Coming back to Brown has definitely given me a new outlook on the true college life. Last year's class was demanding and long, but this year seemed more rigorous. I liked the Women and Leadership Class more just because of the sense of community and openness of the Leadership Institute, but I really liked that the Intro to Psychology class gave me a normal college work load. It was an intense and interesting class. Everything we talked about was very captivating, but it has not completely made me want to jump into a psychology major. When I signed up to be in this class, it was because I wanted to learn more about psychology because it seemed interesting. But there wasn't that click I was hoping for with the subject. Now I know that maybe psychology isn't the major for me, even though it is very appealing. Hopefully I'll get to learn more on the subject though.

Although the class wasn't quite what I expected, I stilled learned a lot and the information I attained here will forever stay with me. I'm very grateful to be here, and feel like this opportunity helped me get one step closer to college.

Berkeley in the Sixties

Today we took a little tour back to California and visited Berkeley. Our primary focus the whole day was the Free-Speech Movement.

We first discussed what the term "new left" meant and who represented it. I didn't really remember too much about this term, but the teacher gladly refreshed my memory. We then discussed SDS-Students for a Democratic Society which represented "new left" students. We watched a movie called "Berkeley in the Sixties" which had videos of the sit-ins on Cal's campus and interviews of some of the main players of the movement. The movement drew from the civil rights movement and later turned into an anti-war movement. The majority of the students that were a part of the movement were young, affluent and privileged. Many right-wing Americans, primarily older adults, were astonished that these "good kids" were rebelling.

In the movie, the demonstrators were dragged down stairs and carried across streets by cops, because they would go limp and refuse to move. This showed me how dedicated the demonstrators were to gaining victory in their cause. It was very obvious that they were not going to give up until they got what they want. And they did get what they wanted in the end.
Seeing those demonstrators stand up to the police without any fear to fight for freedom of speech made me realize once again that sometimes myself and other students take certain things for granted.

I am very glad I am able to be out at Brown having this great learning experience because it is teaching me more about America's history and even myself. While being out here I have been able to decipher what colleges I would want to go. Although Brown is no longer on the top of my list, I still like the school just for the fact that it helped me realize the type of school I would and would not want to go to. Brown is too much a quiet, non-excitement school and I think after a year of being here, I would get bored or relentless.

As well as realizing the type of school I would like to go to, I have noticed the different opportunities some students have had. Some girls I know have been able to take French classes at the schools in their district since the second grade. A lot of students I know in my grade back home say that they still don't know how to read an analog clock. Although this could be the students fault, it just shows the difference in teaching and learning between where I'm from and my floor mates are from. My experience so far at Brown has been very fulfilling and I know that I will grasp much more with just the 3 days I have left. Goodnight everyone!

Second Day Of The End

Today was basically a typical day, it started raining again. In we wrote our own freedom songs and one of the freedom riders came and spoke to our class. I do not know how to spell his name but he was a professor of Russian history at Brown.

Our class song goes like this:

we are one, freedom is coming

we stand together, for equality and a brighter day.

The melody is to the song "we are the world." It was a very fun process of trying to make the song because we all had so many ideas. But in the end we came up with a great catchy song.

Then we acted like we were back in the time of the civil rights movement and talked about how we felt about white people joining the freedom summer. Shortly after that one of the freedom riders came in and talked to us. He told us why and how he joined that summer. He also told us about his experiences of how he did a sit-in and how he was treated.He said he was never thrown out of his chair but he did get hit in the back of the head and got things thrown at him. One thing that really stuck out at me was how he was sometimes treated by black people. When the times were hard they would get in arguments and sometimes he was asked "why are you even here." But he said he never let those comments get to him because he knew that he was there for something greater than him. This is his picture below.

Richmond High School vs. Summer@Brown

The fact that we will be leaving Brown this Saturday sounds so scary. In these past weeks that I have been here, I have grew accustom to the dorm life. I really do enjoy the freedom that I have here as well as being in an environment with students my age who are more or less as motivated as I am. This is a whole different environment that I was never really indulged into at my high school. The difference between being here and being at Richmond High is definitely beyond what words can express.

At Richmond High, it seems that a majority of the students are attending school out of force, not willingly. And if they do attend, they are likely to cause disruption. Many of the students lack a will to succeed and the drive to get to college. Some lost all hopes to even graduate. Not only that but there are those students who thinks that education is a joke and so they take away from other people's education. It seems like there is a small number of students who actually want to learn and go to college. The rest are just there creating obstacles for the highly motivated students.

Summer@Brown is the complete opposite. Not only is it way different from school where we have the freedom to do whatever we want, but the students here are different as well. I am surrounded by intelligent students who are highly motivated and most likely, goal-oriented. These students KNOW what they are doing. This is how I wish my school was like. It is amazing to me that all the students attend class on time, some even way early, and prepared for the lesson for the day. While I sit in class, I see everyone jotting down notes and this is something that surprised me. In my high school, you rarely see people taking notes. Also, everyone is respectful of one another and they are mature. Maturity is not something you see very often at Richmond High. It is like a word that does not even exist in the system.

I admit, like I mentioned various times before, that sometimes I feel like I was not prepared well to merge in with these students. Most of these students come from really great high schools from public schools to boarding schools. They possess extreme knowledge that I cannot even began to imagine. However, I keep in mind Dean Robin Rose's words that we were selected because they found something special in each and every one of us. Therefore, I MUST be doing something right. I may not have the best education, but I have struggled to strive for the best. Being in the bottom for so long have motivated me to aim high. I know it will take a lot of extra work but I believe that if I stay focus, there are no boundaries to what I can achieve.

Lastly, I really want to thank everyone who have made this opportunity possible for me. I want to thank the ILC and everyone involved. Without you all, this would not have been possible. Never in my dreams, would I have imagine to even step foot on an Ivy League campus but because of you all, I have. It has been a challenge for me to be so far away from home where the culture and environment is different, but now I know that there is something beyond the Bay Area. I do not always have to stick within the circumscribe boundary that have been drawn for me. Through the ILC, I am able to step out of my comfort zone and experience things I have never experienced before. Thank you. I surely am going to bring this back to the students at my school and encourage them to join the ILC. It truly is an eye-opening experience.

Continuation of the cat dissection....

Today I finally got to present my inquisition on Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS). I was nervous because I was called to be the first to present but I managed through and I think I did a good job of presenting and explaining the syndrome. Tomorrow I will be presenting my group project on a science related career (biotechnology). The part that I had to research is the job market, employers, Salary, and applications. Public speaking skills is something that Dean Thompson has been emphasizing on these weeks because it is something that we should all become comfortable doing. That is something that I strongly agree with because we can't just have great ideas we also have to be able to communicate them to others. If it weren't for Mr. Ramsey being able to communicate his ideas ILC would not exist.

Today we had a lecture on blood and the digestive system, it was a lot to take in today but I managed through and I completed the assignment for both blood and the digestive system. For the digestive system we finished dissecting the cats. We made the incision, De-fatted Fat Joe (our cat) once more and identified all the digestive organs as well as looking at the kidneys and cutting one in half to look at the inside of it. After finishing up the cat we got a microscope and looked for the different types of blood cells as well as illustrating them. My Atlas is almost finished! Now I have to get a binder and plastic slips for it and I will be finished!

Tomorrow we will be having the Colleges Q&A, Dean Thompson re-scheduled because on Thursday we will have a guest lecture instead! Just a few more days left of the program and I am so exited to see my finished atlas.

Museum of Anthropology: Believing Africa

Today Mercedes and I rushed to the Museum of Anthropology which is at Manning Hall to see the "Believing Africa" exibit. Here are a few pictures of the wonderful exibit:

Incredible Night

Yesterday was a great day because the Ivy League Connection students got to go to a pizza dinner with Robin Rose, the Dean of the leadership institute at Brown, and got to meet the other students in the summer@brown program that came on similar scholarships. We had pizza and then divided ourselves into three groups. Within these groups we talked about our challenges this summer and what we liked and what we did not like about Brown or our classes. It was interesting to see how a lot of us had similar ideas on what we did not like. It all had to do with the maintenance of our residence halls and our dorms. We also talked about how some people wanted more social activities with their Ra's. It was fun to be in a room with students that came to brown within similar processes.
After the dinner Robin Rose invited us to a small concert on Brown campus. It was exhilarating to watch and hear the singing about freedom and the piano play. I enjoyed every second of it. I had such a great time.One of the many things to do on my last week at Brown.

Break Out

I feel like I've told this story countless times, but I guess it's worth recalling again.

Spring of last year, when I had been offered a spot to be part of the Ivy League Connection and be one of the first students going to Columbia, I didn't really want to go. I hesitate to say "reluctant to go" because that seems to be a strong word, but in reality, I was hesitant and reluctant to venture all the way to New York City. However, I do want to clear up one misconception: it was not because I doubted the ability of the program or the worth of the program. At that point of my teenage and high school life, I had personal reasons that caused me to have conflicting feelings about going. So after much discussion with friends, mentors and parents, I was consoled and convinced that I should take a chance, and see what happened.

That risk was most certainly rewarded.

I had a blast at Columbia. I was challenged both academically and socially. My class taught me how to cope with ideas that were unfamiliar and hard to understand. The people I met, taught me that, well, not all rich kids are snobs. Yes, I did have that biased view of the world around me, and there I made a few friends that I still keep in touch with.

However, when I came back, they asked me "what can you bring back?" or "how are you going to share your experience?" The time immediately after I came back, as much as I credited myself as being more mature than most teens around me, I acted immaturely. I wanted to keep my experience to myself. Part of it was because I didn't know what TO bring back. I went to an east coast college over the summer and had the time of my life - now what? I think it was because I was still slightly bitter about having to completely overhaul my summer to do it. I didn't want to have any positive things to say, as much as it had been fun for me, I didn't want it to appear that way.

Fast forward to this year. I was excited to have to chance to go to Brown and have another great summer. One catch, Mr. Ramsey had been sending email after email asking all us students to form an opinion and collect our thoughts about what we thought of the program and what we thought were the benefits of even having it in the first place - it was implied that we all should answer. I tried putting it aside, not worrying about validating my experience or my reasons for wanting to go again, but at some point, I just got fed up with dodging the question that I decided to answer most of the emails he sent out. And slowly, as I responded more and more and told others more and more about my opinions of the program, I got a pretty good idea of what the program had done for me and what I saw was its perceived benefits.

The main one was this: The Ivy League Connection gave me the opportunity that helped me break out of my shell. I had always limited myself to what I could do, usually out of modesty. I didn't want to stick out and make myself vulnerable to ridicule or have my every action analyzed and criticized. I knew I was good, I just didn't like it when people made a big deal out of the fact that I was good, it didn't seem like it was important to be praised for something another person could have done as well. Anyways, when I noticed I was surrounded by people that were good at what they did, and weren't afraid to show it, well I had to step up my game. It never came to the point where I thought that I was incapable or deficient, I just knew that I had to work a bit harder.

I've been fortunate in this regard. I can grasp new concepts and adapt easily. If something is unfamiliar, I have the capacity to figure out what I have to do to improve. A lot of this has to do with being pushed by my parents to learn things at an accelerated rate at a young age and therefore learning early how to take a lot of information, condense, and then pack it all into my brain for recall later. I've also been blessed to have had mostly good teachers; they're invested in each students education and know what they're talking about. However, those teachers are starting to retire and I know our district will be hard-pressed to find new-teachers that can live up to those legacies. Still, I think that those are the types of teachers that would best benefit students, who aren't afraid to challenge their students and are aware that with the right resources, student's can achieve higher than their expectations, as long as the student is aware of those resources and takes advantage of those life-lines.

Break out, and take a look at what people have to offer; I've benefitted and grown tremendously from doing it.


When I was asked if I'd finally met my match—in terms of the rigor, quality of work, and level of understanding required—here at brown, I quickly and unthinkingly responded yes. However, thinking back, I realize that it wasn't really a fair match to begin with.

I entered the arena with one hand tied behind my back. In order to begin to compete, I first had to untie my hand. I spent the first week bemoaning my tied hand, almost giving up, and feeling disadvantaged. Finally, I asked the professor for some "scissors" which came in the form of a introductory textbook, and I spent the weekend untying my hands.

The second week, I began to hold my own in the battlefield that is my class. I began answering questions, forming hypothesis, analyzing what I was doing, wondering why I was doing it.

And now during the third week, I'm pulling ahead. I'm answering more questions than most people, I'm thinking about the concepts exactly how the professor wants me to. I'm forming my own procedures, instead of following step by step instructions from the textbook.

What i'm trying to say is, yes, coming from the WCCUSD we are under-prepared. Honestly, this makes me angry. Its not fair that we have to struggle with ancient lab equipment, and outdated textbooks, while the kids from Stuyvesant and Harker have everything brand new, top of the line. Its not fair that the already privileged get more privileges. But that's the way it is. In order to be successful, in order to compete, we need to take every opportunity we can. We NEED to ask the professors for scissors. We NEED to take advantage of every head start, extra time, or second chance available.

And this is what the ILC is all about. The ILC is giving us our head start, its giving us extra chances to prove ourselves, its giving us a chance to learn how to fight for what we deserve.

And for that I am thankful,
Joseph Young

The Start Of The End

Today was a wonderful day I woke energized and much better than I felt over the weekend. In class we talked the movie that we watched on Sunday night which was "Freedom Song" and then we watched a documentary that was called "Let Freedom Sing." It was so powerful and it made me realize how singing really brought the movement together. I believe if it wasn't for music the civil rights movement would not have been so powerful because the people would not of had the motivation to do what they did.

Then later on today I went to my teachers concert. I already knew that she could sing from class but tonight just brought all my thoughts together. She song freedom songs and you could tell that she really felt the words that she was singing. She worked with Harry Belafonte for tens years and many others. I recorded some of her singing I will see if I can upload it so you guys can experience what I did.

Overall I had a great day and I'm kind of sad that things are ending.
-Tiffany Carter

My Last Monday.

Today was pretty normal. In class we had a lecture about pot, discussion in our groups about the articles we read over the weekend, and had two more group presentations.

No doubt about it, my favorite part about today was having pizza with Dean Robin Rose. At 6 pm, our group went over to have dinner with her and other students who are here on a scholarship. When we walked in the door, I was surprised that some of the students were from my class. It wasn't until I received an email invitation to this dinner that I found out that there are more than 90 students attending a Summer@Brown course with the help of programs like ILC. I liked how we were all able to connect on that level. After dinner, the group split up into three groups in order to discuss our classes and living here at Brown. We talked about our likes (such as teachers and learning material) and dislikes (like bathrooms and the floor activities), but the one part of our conversation that stuck in my mind was when we discussed the intimidation factor. Most of us come from schools where we are one of the best students and for me, it gets extremely intimidating when I am put into a class with the best and the brightest from other schools. However, Ms. Rose told us that whenever we feel this way, we must remember that we were chosen for this program because someone saw a special quality in each and every one of us. This is great advice for the future especially since college is only a year away. I know it may be a bit frightening when I am in college and am faced with a bunch of the top students from their high schools. However, they probably feel the same way. And I must remember to keep working and to never lose my motivation.

We then went to watch Branice McKenzie and Richard Cumming's concert. It was amazing! I took a couple videos and I just wanted to share the incredible music we heard tonight:

*my video would not upload, so I will have to find some way to post it tomorrow morning.

Monday, July 6, 2009

American Of African Descent

Today was different from all the other days. When I went to school, we had a guest speaker along with a former Black Panther Member come and talk to our class. They talked about prison reform, and went and talked about slavery starting in the 1500's. I learned many things such as guards for jails make more money then teachers, and prisons are a form of segregation. More than 70% of inmates in the U.S are black, and some didin't even commit crimes.When I get back to the Bay Area I want to learn more about the California prisons, and learn statistics and find out about abuses and forms of jail segregation. People in jail are more likely to hand out with people like themselves (race, color, etc).

The second thing I did today was go to the concert and watch Richard and the teacher from the Civil Rights class. What I heard was really amazing. Not only the way she sang the songs, but the words that came out of her mouth. She sang about freedom mostly and the songs really inspired me. When I get back to California I want to make songs, or sing spiritual or about troubles in life, so I can reach out to others like she reached out to all of us today. Statistics show that kids these days are more likely to listen to words in song form because it is a big part of their cultures.

Just a Typical Day

I woke up like usual, excited for what the new day had in store for me. But nothing much went on in class today; just the norm. After class is when all the action happened.

Dean Rose had invited all of the Ivy League Connection students to join in on the pizza dinner and to attend the jazz concert (which you have probably read about in other blogs). Since we had a huge group, we split up into three groups and I was with Courtney and Cynthia in Dean Rose's group. We talked about all the pros and cons during our stay here at Brown University. On the first couple of days, I was intimidated by all the wealth and superb educational background the students around me came from but I was relieved to find out that I was not the only one who felt that way. These other students in the room felt the same way as me because they come from more or less the same situation as me. I was happy that I was not alone. Not only that, but saw a few of the students in my class attend this dinner and this dinner was limited to scholars. I did not know that these students came here through a program that I came through. Now, I think I will feel even more comfortable in my class environment because I feel like I can connect with them. Who knows? Maybe we will build a friendship that will last longer than this week.

Well it is getting late and it is almost curfew so I will take my leave.
Until the next blog,

Sick.... :(

Today was a long day, we had our usual lecture in the morning and three Inquisitions. I have yet to present my inquisition but I did get to present the student researcher project. I also dissected a sheep brain today. We didn't do anything too special today. I got sick after eating chicken at the v-dub so I was unable to take in the experience of dissecting a sheep brain.
Apart from doing the usual I found out that we will be having a college Q&A in our class on Thursday so I get to ask Dean Thompson about what Brown University is looking for in applicants.

Pizza Dinner and Concert

Today was like any typical day, class started as usual. We started off by talking about weed and how it effect this teenage boy from Beverly Hills High. It's strange to see how he changed after he started using drugs, it sort of reminds me of other people I know who have done drugs. They slowly get more and more isolated. But the effect on him when he heard recordings of his conversations with his drug buddies is what made him turn around. I think everyone has to the ability to stop if they really see how it is affecting them.

The highlight of the day was when we got to go to a pizza/dinner event planned by Dean Rose. We just gave our insight into the programs, and how things can be improved. I felt very special that they came to us to figure out what they need help on. There was a lot to be said, but my experience at Brown has been terrific, even though I got a little homesick. I'm really glad that they gave us a chance to speak, because it shows that our opinions count and we can help better the summer program. After that we went to a concert performed by Branice Mckenzie (singer) and Richard Cummings (pianist). They were wonderful! The songs had history and a lot of emotions tied to it. We are so lucky to be able to watch the show! Thank you everyone for making it possible, and for letting me come to experience life at Brown.