Friday, June 19, 2009

My First Post! Yale, here we come!

Wow, I am actually not quite sure how to use this yet. (Thanks to Ms. Kronenberg for doing such a wonderful job on our site and for helping me with my first post!)
So, as of today, there are 35 days left before we leave for Yale! I am very thankful for this amazing opportunity and I cannot wait to learn more about leadership, Grand Strategy, and also more about myself. I am really glad to have already met the three other talented students from our district who are also going to Yale. In addition, I cannot wait to visit colleges before we arrive at Yale! We will be touring the campus of two great colleges in Connecticut: Wesleyan College and Connecticut College. What I admire the most is that though we will be very busy throughout the two weeks at Yale, Mr. Ramsey and Ms. Kronenberg still made sure that we had time to visit other colleges there. How great is that? In fact, Mr. Ramsey put a whole "itenerary" up for us, and we got to put in our opinions about specific arees we would like to visit. For example, at Wesleyan College, some have recommended us to visit the new Center for the Arts as well as the East Asian Studies Center, where they have their own Japanese Tea Room (according to Sue Kim, who as also been very helpful).

Being a part of the Ivy League Connection is very special, and I am thankful for all that Mr. Ramsey, Ms. Kronenberg, Ms. O'Brian, Mr. Gosney, and everyone else who contributed have done for us students. The intense course at Yale will be memorable and I cannot wait to start blogging more about my experiences and what we are learning.
Though it is approximately still a month away, I can honestly say that I already feel the Yale spirit within me. Not only have we been able to meet Dr. Dr. Luong, who is in charge of this Ivy Scholars program, but we also had ANOTHER dinner where we met Yale Alums who shared their experiences there with us. Last but not least, the Yale program is always in my mind especially because of the pre-requisite books that we need to read! Here is a little information about what I have read so far:
  • Never Eat Alone, by Keith Ferrazzi. This book is truly inspiring and discusses the fact that success is built upon relationships and the connections that we have. After reading this book first, I became more dedicated in showing the people at Yale how much potential our school district and students have. As I have mentioned to Mr. Ramsey before, the Ivy League Connection is helping us "connect" with other students from all around the world, and this book has informed me that guiding us towards connections will lead us to success. Hooray for ILC!
  • The Art of War: Sun Tzu. Translated by the Denma Translation Group. This second book discusses the idea that victory can be attained without fighting. With the correct mindset, as shown by the Sage Commander (the main "character"), one may be victorious. It was actually very surprising how I found relationships between these two books. The Sage Commander definitely showed the characteristics that Mr. Ferrazzi described in a successful person.
  • The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli. Translated by Harvey C. Mansfield. This book is dedicated to and written for Lorenzo de Medici, the "future" prince of Italy. It was well written/translated, and provided some great opinions about how principalities are aquired and maintained, as well as how they are lost. Machiavelli also talks about how being feared is better than being loved. He definitely has a great political mind.
So far, these are the 3 books I have completed. There are approximately 7 more books to go, as well as some online sources that I need to read. As one can see, I feel like I am already in college, though Dr. Dr. Luong has mentioned that his courses he teaches there require much more reading in a week than we have to do this summer. (Crazy, indeed).
This is only the first of many blogs that I will put up; and I am looking forward to the next one that I do! (I think I'll put my expectations up next time and some more information about the other texts I [will] have completed). As for now, thanks for reading!


  1. Thanks for your post, Jessica! It looks like you are really getting through your readings and are hopefully enjoying it all and are learning a lot. You are right in saying that while a month seems like it is far away, it will be here before you know it! It has been fun following our fellow Ivy League Scholars who have already begun their experiences at Brown and Cornell.

    I hope you are all doing well and please continue to blog! I would like to get together the week of July 13th to touch base with you all, discuss your assigments and go over the packing list. Please let me know if that works for you guys and I will follow-up with a date and time. I hope you are all doing well and please let me know if you have any questions about anything. Talk soon!

  2. Thanks Jessica,

    I concur with Ms. Larson. Keep up the good work. I am looking forward to this trip.

    Take care.

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

  3. Jessica,

    Who would I be if I didn't stand together with my colleagues? [Didn't Sun Tsu mention something about this?]

    While 35 days (much less at the time of this posting) may seem like just about a month, try to put it in perspective: that's maybe 3,000 pages of reading or somewhere around 85 pages per day--every day. I do not envy you that task.

    You need to make sure you plan in some rest days where you only read maybe 50 pages so you don't burn yourself out.

    Everything about this trip should be a momentous turn in your life. You're going to either have the time of your life or you're going to go bonkers and hate us all forever. I vote for the former. What sounds good to you?