Testimonials for Ivy Literature

  • What Benefits Do I receive from Ivy Literature  By TY

The Ivy Leaf Literature program in Dr. Li’s school is a program that delves into the history and literature or the world. The class is formatted so that I can learn as much information as possible, as well as read classic literature and write responses to essay prompts. The program opens my eyes to many things that I wouldn’t have been able to learn elsewhere.  I learned about Greek and Roman philosophers, Gulag camps, the Holocaust, the American Civil War, etc. The content we learn in class would never be covered at school. Even if the content was taught, it wouldn’t go as deep as Dr. Thomson, who seems always ready to offer the history behind each book and author. We talked about many topics that teachers wouldn’t dare bring up in class due to “political correctness”: this provides me wider knowledge of the terrible tragedies that happened over the world including the Culag camps, the Ukrainian Famine (Holodomor) and the Holocaust. The books we read were emotional, empowering and thought-provoking. In every single class, we were encouraged to ask questions and express our own opinions, leading to a more engaging class. Furthermore, as Dr. Thomson is extremely knowledgeable in the realm of history, we have been able to learn from real experiences and a teacher who has real connections to some of the events we read in the novels. This class has been extremely beneficial to me. Since in school not one word was brought up about the Gulag camps, and many people have not even heard about Aristotle, Socrates, and Plato. I was able to appreciate Greek and Roman cultures, especially their philosophers, who were thinking about many questions way beyond their time.  This program exposed me to be more with the classics. History also sheds lights on many problems that we are facing with nowadays. It truly astonishes me that public schools teach us nothing about the three philosophers that shaped and changed Western philosophy. Overall, this class enlightened me to classical literature and taught me skills and topics I wouldn’t have known about. This class expanded my horizons, and it has challenged me to think beyond my comfort zone. I am extremely grateful for this rare opportunity to widen my views, and make me more prepared for the future.

  • What Benefits Do I receive from Ivy Literature  By KZ

I came to the Ivy Literature program because my mom forced me to do so. As a STEM student, I never liked anything about humanities, or writing, to the least. I didn’t want to spend two hours of my time writing and even less doing the extra homework. However, when I sat in a few classes, I began to enjoy it. In one class, I learned more about the founding of America than I have in the past 3 quarters of my US history class. Dr. Thomson went much more in depth than in school and covers parts of history that are often overlooked by regular curriculum based classes. Moreover, the course is structured in a way that ties together the important events in history. In regular history classes, you learn events in chronological order and you are given dates but you are clueless about what fits in where and the cause-effect relations among the events. You would simply assume that each individual event occurred by itself. In Ivy Literature, Dr. Thomson explains the context of each event, what happened during the event and also what effects it had rippled through the history. Given this knowledge, I would be able to comprehend any text with more appreciation. This increased comprehension allows me to complete my essays more effectively. As a STEM person, I consider Ivy Literature as necessary supplement for the humanities that I need.

  • What Benefits Do I receive from Ivy Literature  By VZ

The Ivy Literature Program founded by Dr. Li and taught by Dr. Thomson delves into history and literature that originates from early civilization. The class is formatted such that each quarter spans six weeks for three books, or one for every two weeks. Each book is chosen from a different time period. This program has widened my horizon as well as strengthened my writing skills. Frequently, Dr. Thomson assigns an essay prompt with a required length, 300-500 words and a required amount of citations, 3 citations with the page number. Dr. Thomson gives me grades based on a scale up to an A-plus. However, he pushes us to write above our grade level by grading us harshly while marking what could have been improved upon. Not only this, Dr. Thomson occasionally assigns grammar worksheets to correct my weaknesses. By staying through Dr. Thomson’s class in a whole school year, I have read a wide range of books spanning from the Greek and Roman Philosophers to the American Revolution. I have been able to absorb a vast amount of information with deeper understanding, owing to Dr. Thomson’s profound knowledge of history, language, and geography.  In his class, Dr. Thomson discusses each book on different selected topics. As a result of the discussion, I have been able to learn about Dialectic and Rhetoric the differences as well as similarities. The class is formatted in an extremely beneficial way, which is never possible in public schools, where the pace is so fast. Moreover, no school teacher would ever be dedicated to completing assignments in such details as Dr. Thomson. In the end, the Ivy Literature Program has educated me on classical literature as well as modern literature. It has provided an irreplaceable opportunity of learning and development where my knowledge base has grown and my writing skills have improved. This opportunity has given me a chance to widen my knowledge base in order for the future (SAT).

  • What Benefits Do I receive from Ivy Literature IZ

I think that the Ivy Literature course means well, and is constantly improving itself, so today we'll discuss the pros and cons of the course and what makes it attracting, and what the course can improve on. We'll also discuss how the course is improving, and how the future of the course might look like. The benefits that students can get from taking the Ivy Literature course is that students are able to get one on one help from a teacher that has the profound knowledge on the subject. Many students may think that having to interact with a teacher is scary, but the Ivy Literature program gives students time to adapt to the new conditions of the course lessons. This allows students to be able to find their strengths and weaknesses and work it out with a trustworthy and learned teacher. Another attracting feature that the Ivy Literature course has is that students get to study topics and actually read pieces of literature that are not in the curriculums of regular public schools, and this not only allows students to learn new things that they won't learn anywhere else, but also promotes interest in reading new books that are formatted differently and talk about a subject that the reader probably has no knowledge about.

Probably one of the most beneficial aspects of the Ivy Literature course is the small class size. A small class size not only Lit allows students to reach quickly and more efficiently, students can also make themselves at home and familiarize themselves with their peers, and be able to ask them for help when they need instead of having to ask the teacher for help or support every single time that help or guidance is needed. Some downsides to the course are homework, material, or time frame. Homework usually consists of an essay and several long-response questions that can take a long time to answer, making it more likely for a student to stay up late to finish homework.

Add that to the fact that homework is usually sent very late in the week or right before the next lesson, which means that students don't have enough time to finish before the next class begins. However, this problem has been addressed, and homework is now due the next week that it is assigned, giving students more time to complete it. One of the best things about the course is that it is constantly evolving, since it is the first time the course has been tested, and it is flexible and can bend to everyone's needs. The course is constantly correcting itself and testing out new concepts and ideas for learning experiences.

Another downside to the course, however, is the material. Although the material is not very long or very hard to read, it is sometimes boring, and hard to relate to and understand. For example, many parents didn't even read Greek philosophy until high school or college, and some haven't even read it ever before. Philosophy is sometimes hard to understand for many middle schoolers, and is boring to read as many students don't even care about the subject. An educational alternative to philosophy is American history. However, philosophy is sometimes a very important subject to know about and since the course is constantly providing young people with new literature to read, most students can get used to it and endure through the 2 to 4 weeks that philosophical texts are assigned as readings.

The future for the Ivy Literature program looks very promising. New summer courses are going to be available very soon, and many new students could join for the second year. The course is turning out to be very attractive and engaging, and is working out as an educational resource for many students. So what we can learn from this course is that it is never bad to consult a teacher is you need help, and that students shouldn't be afraid to get new exciting information to sources that they don't know a lot about like philosophical texts and websites like Wikipedia. Basically, this course teaches you how to have an open mind, and to appreciate literature for what it actually is.