Saturday, July 4, 2009

What a Long Weekend!

Wow! Yesterday was crazy! We were in New York, just walking around, not knowing where we were headed next. There was so much to do, so much to see. It was a day to remember. We started our day off at 6am grabbed a quick breakfast and got on our train. When we got the New York finally, we headed off to Columbia to have a quick tour before we went to the Statue of Liberty. It is truly a beautiful campus and a very busy one too. Even though I like Columbia, I can't see myself there, but I guess it's just a feeling I have. Right now I am totally stuck among which colleges to apply to, and I'm glad that we've been exploring many colleges so I get the feel of what I want. When I get back I'll make sure to let everyone know of all the other possibilities out there. They should grab every chance they get to explore colleges; they don't want to end up in my dilemma. I know I will eventually find the right college for me, but it's a working process.

After Columbia, we were off to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, I must as the ferry ride was not pleasant. The sight was incredible, I couldn't believe that I was actually in front of the Statue of Liberty. At Ellis Island we took audio tours of the building, and learned of the struggles the immigrants had to go through just to enter the U.S. I imagine that my family faced the same struggle when they arrived in America. At 3 o'clock most of us were outside waiting in line for the ferry back, but unfortunately we missed the ferry because some people weren't punctual and were late. So we waited another 15-30 minutes for the next one. When we got on solid land, it felt great! And we finally got to eat lunch at 4 o'clock (that was the longest time that I have ever gone without food). We grabbed lunch, and got to shop a little. When we were at the location of where the twin towers used to be, there was a certain mood to it. Being there made me feel very depressed because of what happened and all the people that died there, it was just devastating. After seeing that it was almost time to catch our train back. It was so nice seeing the Columbia kids and being able to experience everything with them, it was especially nice to see Jessica and Sofia. After getting on the train, we all fell into a deep sleep from exhaustion, what a day!

Today we went to New Port! The first we did was, shopping! We went into all the little shops on the main street (I don't know the name of it). There was a lot to look at, and everything was unique. After the group split up, Joseph, Karen and I went to the beach and the others stayed behind to shop some more. It was so beautiful and relaxing at the beach. I took a tiny dip in the water, but didn't want to get too wet. But that was a failure because Joseph dragged me in deeper. But I think that was the high light of my day. After a couple hours at the beach, we walked back to meet everyone else. It was a short trip, but very fun and a lot of walking! I can't to see all the fire works tonight, and the water fire show again! I can't imagine being able to do all this stuff if I wasn't apart of the ILC. I would love for other students, at Richmond High, to experience what I did. It's not only fun, but it helps you get familiarized with colleges and exactly which one is your fit. So in order for them to experience the East Coast, we all have to spread the word! I hope everyone has a great July 4th!


Don Gosney said...


You wrote a nice blog filled with wonderful insights and observations. I know that I’m going to make more out of this than I probably should but it seems that after all is said and done we’re going to look back at all of our accomplishments but we were never able to make the whole team understand the importance of being on time. Sadly, when those time bandits go off on their own, whether it’s to college or to that fancy new job, they’re going to find out the hard way that their failure to appreciate the value of other people’s time will cost them dearly.

In the real world, people get fired for not being on time, contracts get lost because people aren’t on time and professors remember with distain that they’ve been shown disrespect when students aren’t on time.

We’ve talked about this, we’ve written emails about this and we’ve pleaded with this but perhaps we simply should have shown some tough love and booted a few transgressors from the program as a consequence of their lack of respect.

I will never forget the ILC orientation on June 2nd where 41% of the ILC participants were 15 minutes or more late. After all that has been done for these kids, what kind of message do you think this sent to the people doing all of the work FOR them?

Enough on that subject. There’s no sense beating a dead horse. It’s time to just walk away from that problem and those who perpetuate it.

Aside from that and the uneasiness on the ferry, it sounds like you had a good time visiting the sights and even the shopping. From some of the photos that have been posted we can see not only the exhilaration but also the subsequent exhaustion.

Charles Tillman Ramsey said...


Glad that you had a great time. Now you see how overwhelming the college selection process is and how you will be perplexed for the next few months. Get ready for it. You will find that much of what you believed and understood will change and that the information coming forward will be a sobering reminder of how competitive this process will become.

The ILC has been great for you and many others, but it is about to come to a close and you and the others will have to fend for yourself and you will then see how frantic and crazy applying to college can be. Just wait until November. You will be reaching out for anyone that can support you. It is a brutal process and it is not for the easy.

You think that you see competition now at Brown, this is nothing. Remember for those just applying to Brown University it will be over 25,000 students and they will only admit 2,400. Out of all the students last year in the district, Brown University took three. Two of them were in our Ivy League Connection Program. Kiana Ward and Malcolm Carson were admitted to Brown, that is it.

You have a lot of research and exploration to do. You need to speak with Bertha Romo and Kiana Ward, both former ILC students and get their insight into this process. Now is the time for you to reach out to others and seek support. Sue Kim will be a tremendous help in your application process, but the process will be stressful and time consuming. I hope that you have taken all of your subject matter test and your SAT Reasoning Test. The time is now to finish up that work. You will be out of high school in ten short months.

Hope all else is well and I would strongly recommend that you join Mercedes and Carla on that trip with Ms. Kent and Ms. Pelly tomorrow.

On another note, Mr. Gosney is absolutely right on with respect to punctuality. When you begin work if you are late at all forget it. People will just go out and find someone else for the job. Maybe the ILC should have been stricter with timeliness, but we have a heart and feel that we are here as mentors. However, please understand that the quickest way to lose out is to be late. Take this time as a good lesson on following instruction.

One last thing that would help me is to know if we have improved the Ivy League Connection from last year to this year. You have had the benefit of being in the program for the last two years. Has it gotten better? And have you enjoyed these campus tours?

Take care.

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