Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Taylor Doty's Parents

 The Cornell Freedom and Justice program, and the ILC program more broadly, provided an amazing educational experience for Taylor. The experience has bolstered her confidence not only to attend college, but also that she can be successful at one of the top universities in the country.

From the beginning, the ILC program rightfully sets realistic "admissions" requirements: essay writing  and interviewing. Students begin to get the sense of the seriousness of college applications. Then came the admissions requirements to get into the specific Cornell Summer School program itself: asking a teacher for a recommendation and writing a personal essay. Again, having Taylor go through this "real" college application process was invaluable as it gave her an early start to framing her personal essay for her college applications.

The stopover in Chicago gave the Cornell students some great exposure to two outstanding universities and the personal dinners/meetings with the admissions staff were priceless. I'm so glad the students are required to blog because we got to travel with them and see their development/maturity along the way.

The pure educational aspect of Taylor's trip was exceptional. From all accounts, Prof. Kramnick is a gem of a professor...the kind idealized in movies, except he's the real thing. He imbued his passion for his subject matter on Taylor as I'm sure he did on all of his students. I'm actually worried that she believes ALL professors are like him. The TA seemed to go out of his way to help with writing assignments; a big help as frankly, I think this sort of teaching has been lacking at ECHS. And while we don't know the final grade, all of the Freedom & Justice kids seemed to do well on their mid-term which only serves to boost their confidence about their ability to master college material at a high standard level.
And then there's the positive experience of living the college life. The students had to manage their time to complete assignments which is a big deal especially when the final is scheduled the day of the midnight premier of Harry Potter's last stand! And while our kids are attending a fairly diverse school here at ECHS, having classmates and roommates from all over the country and world was a good introduction to life outside the "left coast."

In sum, the Cornell Freedom & Justice program provided an outstanding opportunity to test the college "waters" for a group of kids that can and will contribute to their community. What the ILC provides is quite a gift to both students and parents! Thank you so much!!!

A point of constructive feedback: The process for how one gets nominated for any of the ILC programs could be made more apparent to the ECHS community. I remember asking around a little Taylor's sophomore year, and being told her 2nd semester by her AP World History teacher that he was the one (or one of the ones) who was involved, but I never got any more details. So, a little more information at ECHS on how and when students are identified would be helpful.

Thanks again,

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