Saturday, June 27, 2009

Another Type of Learning Day

So today we all went to historic Massachusetts and visited three wonderful colleges: Tufts, MIT, and Harvard. Tufts was our first stop, and might I say, the campus was really gorgeous! The scenery was so green and beautiful.

Although we didn't have any guides or anything, Mr. Ramsey made sure to ask any passerbys if they could tell us a few things about the university. Luckily we found one student named Arisa who gave us a lot of helpful information. Tufts has about 5000 undergrads, which is just about the same size as Brown. There are only 10 required courses that you have to take, but other than that, you can choose your own. And studying abroad seems to be really popular, since about 40% of the students do it. Tufts doesn't seem like such a bad college.

Next on our list was MIT. This time we had a tour guide. An alumni from Hercules High class of '08 who had just finished his freshmen year. Although he wasn't an actual tour guide, he should have been because he gave us a lot of information and took us all around the campus. The first thing he showed us was the Kresge Auditorium, who's structure is 1/8 of a sphere. Next he talked about West Campus, which is primarily dorms, and East Campus which is where all the classes are held. All of the classes are classified by numbers. So if you taking Physics, you would just call it 8. There are 4000 undergrads, and in total there are about 10,000 students at MIT. MIT is a really prestigious school and academically grueling school. A lot of their students come from private New England boarding schools, that cost $40,000 a year. MIT had a lot of interesting qualities, such as the Strata Center and Green Building.

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Our final stop was prestigious Harvard, where our tour guide was also from Hercules, I think. Our first stop was the Harvard Yard, which was surrounded by the Main 8-all freshmen dorms. The rooms are actually suites which can fit up to 6 people. The majors are called concentrations and the minors are called secondaries. There are no fraternities or sororities, only houses. The Massachusetts Hall contains the office of the president and 12 students. I wonder how they were able to be in that position. Overall, Harvard was a very interesting school.

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All of the schools were very nice an different in their own way. While Tufts may be my least favorite due to the lack of hustle and bustle and excitement, it was a very serene and beautiful campus. Harvard is in the middle due to the lack of information we received about it. I wasn't really able to grasp what Harvard was like, but personal Google searching will be my key. MIT was my favorite because it was so eccentric and lively. The buildings were so creatively thought of and I can tell that even though the work will be rigorous, they have lots of fun up there.

I hope this blog suits everyone. Especially my pictures. Goodnight!

1 comment:

Charles Tillman Ramsey said...

Really enjoyed spending the day with you. I also want to say that you were the most prepared and were our only student that brought a note pad! A big shout out for making sure that you were ready to learn and document the information. I am appreciative of your commitment.

The pictures are great. If you have any with the students in them please post. I want to see how we looked at the various academic institutions.

Yes, we had a great day at MIT. It was filled with a lot of information and Eric did a wonderful job of bringing the campus alive. Peter Huang, now a Harvard sophomore, is also a Hercules High School grad class of 08'. He did the best he could and remember we all can't have the wonderful outgoing personality of Eric over at MIT.

I hope that you enjoyed dinner and I was appreciative of your comments about students needing to go to class and preparing for the Exit Exam. Too often we make excuses for why students are unable to get their work done but you brought it back to its essence which is personal responsibility and the need to make the effort.

Thanks again.

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