Friday, July 18, 2008

I'm at the Bear's Lair gym right now trying to take advantage of the facilities available to me. I've visited all the libraries and they're all so amazing. The John Carter Brown library is literally like a museum. Walking up the stairs and seeing the grooves in the marble from the countless students that have walked there before me is a constant reminder of the long history of Brown and the brilliant minds that have come here. As I do my homework everyday, I always start to wonder what genious might have been doing his/her school work in the very same room.

I've become friends with a girl from Canada. She knows english, french, and spanish. It's great to see everyone come here at the summer at Brown program in a big melting pot of languages and cultures. I am personally in love with other ways of life and languages and it seems like a shame that my school puts such little emphasis on it. In America, knowing four or even three languages seems like a great feat while in Europe and other developed nations, that seems to be the standard. At school, we are only required to take two years of language. This barely seems like enough time to me to learn the language much less the culture. I've really learned about my leadership style and ways to make it more effective so hopefully when I get home, this can be a problem that I can address. A main goal for me in coming to Brown was to be able to bring something back to my community to improve it, even if it's in a small way. Maybe bringing a bigger focus on languages can be a first step.

1 comment:

Charles Ramsey said...

Yes Kiana bringing your voice to El Cerrito High School will speak volumes about the "cultural shift" that needs to happen at the high school. Your involvement with the Ivy League Connection has hopefully opened your eyes to the broader community and how we are trying to bring out the best in our highly motivated students.

For anyone mastering multiple languages should be a must, however, our country has only placed a value of "English only". This is a shame and hopefully we will embrace learning more languages. My sister is fluent in French and she uses it constantly, but this is the exception rather than the rule. I regret that I only speak English. Ms. Kronenberg , co-founder of the Ivy League connection and a current school board member, is also only fluent in English. Maybe we could take a lesson from your post and begin to take a course in foreign language. It is never too late.

What I am very excited about is your willingness to be open to a school like Brown. I hope that you explore other choices outside of California. I regret that I never considered a school outside of California. Although I enjoyed my time at UCLA I sometimes wonder why I did not pursue other avenues.

I have seen the difference between my experience as a UCLA graduate and my brother, Izzy, who graduated from Harvard University both for undergrad and law school. We see clearly that Barack Obama transferred from Occidential College and completed his education at an Ivy League School, Columbia.

This is not to say that the Ivy League Schools are the be all, but at the same time it is important to examine all choices and to talk to those who are currently at Brown and ask them why they chose to attend the University.

Also if you have time, attend one of the Summer School Classes and she what type of environment is in the classroom. I am sure that Robin Rose or Dean Takesue would help facilitate you sitting in one of the classes.

I hope all else is well and thanks for providing us such insightful posts. You are showing me that you have a comprehensive understanding of the program as well as our local community.

By the way, at summer school at Pinole Valley High School, they had to put the school on "lock down" because a student brought a gun to school and then sold it to someone on campus. They still have not apprehended the student who purchased the gun. Just real sad to see that we cannot change the behavior and attitudes of students in our community.

Take care and have a great weekend.

Charles T. Ramsey