Shared Experiences in Michael's Class

NG (Churchill HS, Gr10)

I found this public speaking class to be extremely helpful for my future. This class has offered me new vision and advice that I have never received before. Prior to this class, I had no direction/ plan/ strategy for my college application. My parents both came from India and we are clueless about what the college application process. If it wasn't for this class, I would still be confused and most likely would have not constructed a strong application for college admissions. Now with this class, I have a strong grasp of what the college application process is like and what the admission committee is looking for in these top colleges. I also gained many skills in public speaking. Public speaking is a very useful skill that can be used in all facets of life. I learned about projection, eye contact, body language, etc. With this new knowledge, I have grown in self-confidence and maturity. When given an opportunity, I now know I possess the skills to fully capitalize on it and further expand myself to my goals.

IP (RM/IB, Gr10)

Ivy Leaf Program Reflection

This instructional program has been exceptionally helpful. As a student with parents who did not go to college in America, it provided an insight to the logistics of applying to college and what colleges want. More specifically, what competitive colleges want. There were little to no issues with the program. As this was clearly a first-time attempt, the adaptation to truly effective methods took some time, but by the fourth quarter, the teaching was focused, streamlined, and vigorous. I especially appreciate that advice and planning was personalized for each student. Together we were able to build a strategy that really targeted my passions and ambitions both for incoming education but also in life. Our instructor was honest and willing to answer our questions while also sticking to a formulated class plan, and because of each of these things I could thrive, despite my more risky plans for my future. Instead of receiving information that could only help if I pursued a career in the STEM field, our instructor was able to provide knowledge regardless. Upon starting this I considered suggesting a less intimidating approach, but have since revised this idea. The fact that the course was aggressive contributed to motivation and understanding about the Ivy League application process, which I am so grateful for. The class was not particularly demanding in work, but made clear that applying to a truly competitive college would be demanding. Furthermore, my favorite part of the class was discussing colleges. While the bulk of my anxiety does not come from choosing colleges, it was something that weighed heavy in my mind and a great help to get the thoughts and opinions from our instructor about the colleges we're interested in and how to go about making ourselves favorable to that institution. Overall this program proved to be an incredible asset and the skills that I've learned through coming here are ones that I plan to utilize. I was incredibly impressed and I'd recommend it to anyone who is competitive and looking to get into those top-tier colleges.

Aleah (Candlewood, Gr4)

Throughout my experience in the Ivy Leaf program, one thing that I like about is that each time I had an opportunity to make presentation in front of the class. This practice really helped me to become less nervous each time. Also, I like reading interesting short stories. My top two favorites were “Two Kinds,” by Amy Tan and "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," by Mark Twain. I like the former because of its depth, and I like the latter because of its fun. My improvement in writing was quite significant since the start. I feel more comfortable in writing a thesis. I can also figure out the multiple themes of story/article much better than I used to. Overall, I learned a lot and had wonderful time in the Ivy Leaf program.

Jennifer (Clearspring, Gr4)

I improved a lot both in writing and public speaking through this program. I feel award even in conversations, but now I am quite comfortable in front of audience after learning how to project my voice.

Yet, still one thing I still don’t like is eye contact. I was taught to lay my sight on the three walls in a room. In this class, Mr. Li told me, instead, to stare right in front of the eyes. Doing so makes me uncomfortable. But, now it becomes natural to me.

The writing component of this program opens a window for me. My current school only cares about my ideas, not the vocabulary, sentence construction, or even grammar. Just to the opposite, Mr. Li is very demanding on these qualities. He would offer corrections in details using his beloved red ink pen.

I enjoy a lot creative writing on "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," by Mark Twain. To be honest, I felt rewarded by re-writing for the first time because of his praise in class.

My reading skill also got boosted by the Ivy Leaf program. I can easily receive good grades by skimming through the text in my school. In this program, I was frustrated by the prompts. I have to read the text a couple of times to get what the requirements in these prompts. I also learned to use annotation, which effectively improves my comprehension. We did loads of annotation in class, which has helped my grades a lot.