Saturday, July 4, 2009

New York to Newport

HAPPY 4th of JULY!!!

I am proud to say that I have been to New York. It took waking up at 5 a.m. to a long three hour train ride for me to reach my first experience at New York. I was anxious for the well known rush of the city that never stops and I was expecting just that but when I stepped out, I noticed that it was not as fast pace as I thought. Maybe it was because it was early in the morning, approximately 10 o' clock, so people probably slept in or were busy.

Then from there, we headed to 34th street where we met up with Ms.Kronenberg and boarded the subway to Columbia. My previous assumption was that Columbia was going to be a bustle and hustle place but I guessed wrong. It was quite calm; I was not expecting that. However, I have to keep in mind that it was July 3rd and people were probably off to celebrate July 4th with their family or anything of that sort. Columbia has a really nice and serene campus in general but I wish there was more UMPH into it. The campus is also small compared to what I intially thought. This just shows me that visiting the campus really do make a difference! From the tour and walking around Columbia, I realize that Columbia is not the place for me. I love the that it is in New York (I am a city girl), but it does not give me that vibe and warmth that I want in a campus. The atmosphere is not right. It doesn't impress me like how M.I.T. impressed me.

Then we went to Barnard, an all women's college, which is literally right across from Columbia. I know that it is not good to judge a school before actually visiting it but after visit Wellesley, I came to the conclusion that I do not want to attend an all women's college. Last year, I took the Women and Leadership class at Brown. This class challenged me mentally and physically to go above and beyond the expectations for women. We talked about how we want equal rights as men and we want to be integrated into their society. Therefore, I do not want to attend an all women's college because it will seems to juxtapose the idea expressed through many females of equality. However, the good thing about both of these schools is that the students at Wellesley are able to take classes at M.I.T. or Harvard and the students at Barnard at Columbia.

After the little tour, we went on the ferry ride to see the Statue of Liberty and got a audio tour at Ellis Island. Walking through the audio tour was like walking through a glimpse of each culture that have passed through the very buildings I was walking in. It is shocking that so many people had to register in that building to have access to citizenship in the United States. A good amount of my time at Ellis Island was looking at the pictures of the immigrants who came to United States.

A good amount of us students met up in the line to board the ferry early (thus we were on time for the departure of the ferry), but some were late. Therefore, we missed the ferry and we had to wait a good 15 to 30 minutes for the next one. It was near 4 p.m. and us Brown students were starving since our last snack was at 7 a.m. so we grabbed a snack at Picnicks. Afterwards, we shopped a little at the stalls and then headed off to Ground Zero. It is shocking to believe that two great big buildings use to stand just feets away from me and now it is gone. It is depressing to know the tragedy that occured there. I could not even imagine the numerous lives lost and the families and friends that have to suffer and mourn the lost of a love one.

That was basically all for New York. Now, about Newport.

If you think waking up for New York was horrid, try waking up early two days in a row! We went to Starbucks to grab a snack and then boarded the bus. It was a good 45 to 60 minutes bus ride. When we got out, we walked around for a bit then split into two groups. One group went to the beach and the other went to explore the shops around Newport. I bought various little gifts for my family and friends. I noticed that while walking around, there were a lot of tourists of all race. It felt relieving to know that I was not the only outsider there. For a little city, Newport is quite a busy city.

After a long day at Newport, we finally came back to Providence. Now here I am blogging about my experience in the last two days.

While in New York, I notice a lot of people with accents who were trying to sell T-Shirts and souvenirs to tourists. Then I come back to Providence and see all these students around me who are, money wise, pretty well off. They come from wealthy high class families and all of that. Then I see these students at Newport spending large amounts of money on high price and high name brand clothing. I see them walk around all the time with expensive looking items. Now that I take a better view of it, I sympathize for those people who were trying to sell souvenirs for a living. They are hard-working and maybe works harder than most people but yet they do not get very far while some people have money handed down to them. Even I admit that I was once intimidated by the wealth and background but now, I see that I can handle being in their presence. Afterall, we are all humans and although the gap in family income may be possibly distant, it is not so difficult to get along with them. In fact, some of them admire me for coming from such a "murky" background and I am proud. I am proud to represent my school district. I am proud to represent my community. I am proud to represent me.


Don Gosney said...

Hey Meuy!

I can’t tell you how amused I was to read about your travails having to awaken ‘early’ TWO days in a row. I’m sure there might be some organization out there that will fight for your right to sleep in every day.

I’m just having some fun with you, Muey. Before I retired we usually had to be at work around 6:00 AM before putting in a 10-12 hour day. And we got to do this at least five and often six days each week. Not to worry, though, they’d give us a ten minute break mid way between the start of the day and lunch (which was only 30 minutes) and we might be able to sneak another break mid afternoon.

Yeah, you have it pretty rough.

There are well over 3600 universities and colleges here in the US and if they were all the same, then you could just attend the one down the street and get the same education as at every other school.

We know that’s not the case, though. Every school is different in some way or the other and you have to find the one that’s the right fit for you. I don’t envy you that task. It can be pretty tough. You’re fortunate, though, in having the services of Sue Kim to help point you in the right direction.

Do you find it is strange as I, Meuy, that Barnard holds to the need for continuing in their tradition of being an all women’s school yet they send some of their women across the street to mix with men?

Charles Tillman Ramsey said...

Thanks Meuy, now is the time to enjoy sleeping late.When you join the ranks of the working stiffs like me then you will find that having to wake up early two days in a row is a piece of cake.

Now Don should be the last one talking, he is retired and can sleep in as long as he wants. His stories were from his time when he had to listen to the alarm clock. I am still on the clock and I was not smart enough to figure out how to retire early, oh well.

Anyway, I am glad that you are finding yourself and seeing that being around wealthy people is no big deal. UC Berkeley and UCLA have some of the richest students attending their schools, so no matter where you go to school, wealth will be visible. Just look at any frat house or sorority and it will speak volumes.

The reality for going beyond High School and attending college is that college is expensive and typically it is the families with money, and plenty of it, that send their kids to college. It is fortunate that these days, low income students who are motivated and hard working find that many colleges have endowments that are willing to provide a prominent level of support.

However, do not get it wrong that these places are free. They will make you participate in work study, work long hours over the summer and during your years as an upperclassman take out student loans. The path to success is expensive. Take it from me, I see everyday how costly it is to raise a family and provide for the basis necessities. That is why you should be happy that it is only two days that you have had to get up early.

Meuy, you may want to join Mercedes and Carla on the trip to Mt. Hoyloke and Smith College. Yes, they are women only colleges but it does not hurt to get more information as you are trying to find a college that is a fit for you. Sue Kim would value you taking the time to learn more about these phenomenial academic institutions.

In reading everyone's post it appears that people wonder why we in our school district lack resources to learn about these schools. What I wonder is why do our students not seek out this information on their own? Is it because students are not motivated? Or is it because we see that our families do not have all the answers and many of them are new to this country?

Meuy, share with me what has the ILC done to broaden your horizons? Has being in the program helped you grow as an individual? Do you feel that you would have considered attending a school on the East Coast prior to being in this program?

What will be your thought process as you move forward in selecting a college? Is it easier to just say, what the heck, I can just go up the street to UC Berkeley. However, would that meet your goals? Let us know. We want to learn from you what going on these college tours have meant.

The reality is that these highly selective schools are hard to get into and they are challenging. I know that you have what it takes to make it at these schools, but how will you decide what is right for you. I think that Tufts is a great school that has a lot of benefits. It is a small school that is close to Boston. You may want to think a little more about this place.

Anyway, glad that you got to visit New York City and Ellis Island and Ground Zero. These memories will last for a lifetime.

Take care and remember to get yourself a Brown University Sweater before you leave next week. This time next week you will almost be back home. Now won't that be something.

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

Don Gosney said...


Two things here: The first is that Mr. Ramsey had already closed up shop for the night and was headed to bed when he and I spoke on the phone and I told him about your recent blog. After discussing some of what you wrote he felt compelled to restart his laptop and jump back into the fray.

Secondly, what Mr. Ramsey failed to mention is that he knows I go to bed around 4 in the morning yet he has no hesitation to call me about the latest blog after only about four hours of sleep. He tells you that I don't have an alarm clock? HE'S my alarm clock. Times are rough all over, Meuy.

Charles Tillman Ramsey said...

He is right! It is close to 7:00 AM and he will get a phone call soon! This also includes Ms. Kronenberg. The posts are great. I am glad that you are focusing and finding your voice and finding your way. I am also proud of you and I am thrilled that you are happy and glad to represent us here in the Community.

Have a great day, just one week left before returning home to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Take care.

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