Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Aurelia High School student invited to attend summer school

Kyle Glienke, Aurelia, son of Keith and Marcy Glienke, attended summer school at one of the most prestigious areas in the nation.

With an amazing ACT (American College Testing) score of 32, he was one of only a select few invited to apply for a spot in the Harvard University's summer school. He received the notice in January, surprised by such an honor, but did not hesitate to get the application in quickly.

"I knew this would be incredibly good for my future if I were accepted, and I also knew it would be a little fun," the Aurelia senior said.

It was a few months later he was informed that his application was accepted.

The session was held June 24 through Aug. 17.

With many, many classes to select from, he was given the choice to take two less strenuous classes or one intense class. He chose to take part in the biology class which was a full-year course condensed into eight weeks. The study consisted of two hours of lectures each day for eight weeks with two three-hour lab sessions each week. He knew going in that it would be tough but he also knew because biology is of great interest to him that it would also be fun.

He did quite well in the class and received eight transferrable credits for his efforts.

"I also wanted to get done with a tough class before heading out to college," he admitted.

Besides Kyle, there were some 800 other high school students taking part in the summer school. Those he became acquainted with were from large cities along the east coast and large cities along the west coast.

He was fortunate to be paired up with a student from Los Angles who also was taking part in the biology class. They kept each other on track, he said, and helped each other during study time. Graduate students on campus for the summer also were a great help to the young students, taking part in study groups with them.

"It was very hard and we did a lot of studying to keep up with the flow of the lectures. It sure gave me a taste of what college will be like," he commented.

The class size was about 130 students; a bit different than the four-member to 18-member classes he takes part in at Aurelia High School.

"That classroom experience was something I had never been exposed to. It was a good experience."

Kyle enjoyed the lab work and had the opportunity to take part in projects he had not had the chance to do in high school.

"There was very little instruction. They gave us the materials and we were to figure things out," he said saying that was a great learning experience. "All of the labs were complicated but one example was that we were given a calf's heart to dissect. From there we were to find the muscles and valves. The anatomy of the heart was right there in front of us."

This was of particular interest to him since he has grown up on a dairy farm.

The biology professor was great, Kyle said. "I liked him a lot and he did a good job making the information make sense. It was so much better listening to him than reading everything from the text book."

Kyle knew before this summer that he wanted to pursue a career in biology but the total experience swayed him to a career in the medical field.

He enjoyed the atmosphere for the short time, surrounded by history and the huge campus but he admitted, "personally, I don't think I'd like to go there for my whole college career. I didn't really like the city life. It's so much different than the rural life I have had." He isn't ruling the idea of city life out totally at this point but currently he would like to stay closer to home and take pre-med classes at Buena Vista University and then transfer to the University of Iowa or a South Dakota university.

While in Cambridge, he was also able to tour the city, traveling by subway, another new experience.

"The subway was right outside the door of where we were staying so it wasn't a big deal."

He was also able to share some of the scenery with his parents, who drove him to the university in June.

A big baseball fan, Kyle took in a few Red Sox games. The games filled in a small empty spot he was feeling. In order to take part in the trip, he had to give up his second base position with the Aurelia Bulldog baseball team. His season began the end of May so in reality he should have some good playing time, But he injured his shoulder and was out for several games. His injury was healing well and he had just gotten back out on the playing field before it was time to pack up.

"This was such a good experience though. It was worth missing a little baseball for." Plus he knows that next summer he will have the opportunity to play again. The Harvard experience is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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