Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Day in Massachusetts

*I'll be editing this post soon to show the pictures I took today since I'm still learning how to add them.

This morning, at 8 am, we all met with Ms. Kent and Mr. Ramsey. After grabbing a bite to eat for breakfast, we were off to Massachusetts!

Our first stop was Tufts University. We didn't have an official tour, but we walked around the campus a bit and Mr. Ramsey even asked two students (Arissa, an upcoming junior, and Joanie, an upcoming freshman). The campus was truly beautiful with all of its greenery. We found out that there are 5,000 undergraduates going to this college and it is known for its international relations studies. I liked the fact that Tufts seemed like a quaint, private university. It is located in a peaceful environment, which I feel I may need to look for in a college so I won't get distracted from my studies. However, at the same time, it is only 15 minutes away from Boston. Thus, I wouldn't be missing the city life.

Next, we went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where we met up with a Hercules High School '08 graduate, Eric Trac, who just finished his first year here. After eating lunch, he gave the group an excellent tour of MIT. We were able to see the outside of the dorms, the inside of a classroom, and the inside of a lecture hall. I found it interesting to walk through a tunnel that led to the classrooms, which was built since the administrators did not want students to have snow days whenever there was a horrible blizzard. Eric also told us about the Interphase program at MIT where admitted students can go to the campus for two months over the summer to get ahead if they felt their high school didn't prepare them for the fall. He told us he felt behind during his first semester of college and offered us some advice for the future, such as taking courses at a community college during high school. Eric also told us to stay motivated no matter how difficult college may seem.

Our last stop was in Harvard. We met up with another Hercules High School '08 graduate, Peter Hung, and his brother Henry who is currently taking summer classes there. He took us on a tour of the campus where we saw the Widener Library and the Harvard Crimson, where the school paper was made.

I felt today was extremely productive! We were able to see three prestigious universities and came back with a whole new sense of these colleges. I loved how we talked to WCCUSD students since they gave us pointers on how to prepare for college. Not only did I benefit from the college tours we took today, but I know I can show what I've learned to the others at home who do not get the wonderful opportunity to travel to the east coast and see these universities for themselves. We can also tell people about programs, like Interphase at MIT, which help students who may not feel confident when starting college.

Well, I must get ready for the dinner tonight where we will be meeting with Ms. Kronenberg, Zackery, and Tiffany!

1 comment:

Charles Tillman Ramsey said...

Thanks Courtney for your comments. I am glad that you are conscious of how it is important to "give back" when you return to Hercules High School. I also hope that you took note of how both students who took us on the tours came from your High School. Yes, it is possible to achieve greatness coming from West Contra Costa, but it starts from within. No matter your personality, and Peter and Eric had different personalities, but what they both had was drive, confidence and a will to succeed. Look beneath the veneer and see how both of them were challenging themselves and making the most out of their opportunities.

You have the same chance and I know that you are committed to success and that your time on the East Coast has been productive. I am also grateful for your open statements about still being curious about which colleges are a fit for you. That you both enjoyed The University of Pennsylvania and now your time at Brown. You have a unique opportunity to share your perspective with others and I hope that when you return to Hercules High School that you will engage as many students as possible.

Keep up the good work. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

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