Friday, May 14, 2010

Reading List and Yale Dinner

I got an e-mail from the Yale program coordinator. It had all of the forms that we had to fill out along with the reading list. Everyone told me that is was going to be a long, tedious list, but it didn't look too bad. Here are just a few of the books we'll be reading:
  • Sun Tzu – The Art of War
  • Kennedy – The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers
  • Ferrazzi – Never Eat Alone and Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time
I look forward to starting these books. We're supposed to finish them before we leave for Yale, but I don't think that will be a problem. Yohanna told me that The Art of War is a "life-changing" book, so I'll probably start with that one. I'm drawn to life-changing literature.

Yesterday we went to Cafe Rouge in Berkeley to have dinner with Dr. Minh Luong, Associate Director of the Ivy Scholars program. From the time we met him outside the restaurant to the end of the evening, I did not hear Mr. Luong say "Um" once in any of his stories or speeches. He was an excellent speaker and seemed to know exactly what he wanted to say before it even left his mouth. He told us about campus life, what we could expect in the classroom, and more information about Yale than we knew what to do with.

I hope that through practice I can speak like Mr. Luong, naturally and structured, all the time. I imagine my experience at Yale will definitely help me out. It looks like there will be a lot of student participation and presentations in the classroom to exercise my speaking skills.

The dinner at the Cafe was excellent as well. They passed around appetizers and I tried the cheese and crackers. It was so good I ate the whole thing, but I didn't realize the cheese had a hard, waxy outer shell you were supposed to cut off. I learned that the hard way.

The rest of the dinner was excellent. Good food, good conversation, and lots of information about Yale. I'm getting more and more excited for the summer.


  1. Dr. Luong has command in what he is saying because he believes in every word that he utters. I want you to have the same command and I expect that you will once you conclude your time on the Yale University campus.

    I am glad that you are not uncomfortable with the reading list. I believe it is healthy to read from some of the great authors of the distant past. Yohanna was right "These writings are life-changing experiences" What a wonderful opportunity for you to expand your horizons and to seek out ultimate knowledge.

    "Um" is not in my lexicon of words as well. I also see that you are very observant and pay special attention to detail. This is a good sign Connor. I hope that you are able to also show your talents and abilities when you are on the Yale campus. It will be a serious endeavor and one that will give you a new perspective when you return home.

    I am glad that you stuck with the Ivy League Connection and decided to give this program a chance. You did a wonderful job in your interview and your true personality has now come to the forefront.

    This summer will be exciting and I hope that you are looking forward to being on the East Coast.

    Take care.

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

  2. Connor,

    3,749 pages of the most fun filled reading you can imagine. It just doesn't get any better than this.

    While your friends are off having a good time when school lets out, they won't have a clue what they're missing. How can they possibly get by without reading 707 pages on the Peloponnesian War? And how will they be able to master their senior years without having read The Art of War?

    No sir, Connor, you've got it made in the shade. Their fun will be fleeting while yours will last you a life time.