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To the Editors of The Crimson:
Speaking as one of more than 900 secondary school program students at Harvard this summer, I would like to express my surprise at the disrespect accorded us by other University students. Not only are we often looked upon as over-achieving, obnoxious high-school kids, but we are told we are only here for the summer and are therefore only pseudo-Harvard students. The other day, as I was walking past a tour group in front of the John Harvard statue. I heard the guard proclaim that the students seen around campus "were not real Harvard students" and that they were only "here for the summer as part of a high-school program."
While it may be true that the "Camp Harvard" (as The Crimson puts it) that we are attending is different in many ways from the experience of a year-round college student, it is also true that we are as much a part of the University as anyone else is.
Perhaps it's time for a change in people's attitudes. True, I unhappily admit to knowing several kids who insist on talking only about the SATs and the prestigious university they "know" will accept them. However, the majority of the kids I've met are warm, friendly people who would much rather complain about the Union food or talk about the latest movie than bore classmates with tales of all their community service back home.
I even believe that other Harvard summer students can learn as much from us and our experiences as we can learn from them. Indeed, I challenge every summer school student to try and meet at least one high-schooler. Whether it's in a classroom or out in the Yard, the conversation will be worth-while and the rewards tremendous. Dan Konigsburg
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