Meet Isaac Lee, Ghidotti Junior at the Nevada County Campus (NCC)

Isaac at the Student Center Cafe
What’s your major?
I do not currently have a major. I’m with Ghidotti (Early College High School).
What year are you in?
This is my junior year. I’ve been here for three years. We take both high school and college classes. I probably haven’t taken as many college classes as normal third-year students, but I’ve taken a lot. I’m taking trigonometry and a few online courses through Rocklin.
What do you like about Ghidotti?
I enjoy the freedom it offers us. We make our own schedules.
What do you like about the Nevada County Campus?
One thing I really enjoy about the college: I love the cafe. It’s one of my favorite things. I’ve ordered the exact same thing for the past three years every day. Crazily enough, I still enjoy it. It’s the grilled cheese and a mango peach smoothie.
There’s a nice feel in the cafe. There are different groups that hang out here. There’s a group that plays card games by the couches. There’s usually a group of louder people in the front, and then people doing work in the back corner.
On days when I’m alone, or I have a lot of pressing homework to do, I’ll do homework here or in the tutor center. But usually, if I’m with friends, I’ll be one of the louder people.
Will you get an associates degree when you graduate from high school?
I will. It’s awesome. I’ll be entering most colleges as a transfer student. It’s an amazing opportunity for all of us at Ghidotti.
Ghidotti gives us a real experience to see what college is really going to be like.
High school teachers tell us that college is going to be a certain way, but we get to take actual college classes from professors.
Was it hard at first to take college classes?
My first semester it was difficult to see how they worked. High school classes are really there to make sure you learn, they help you along. College classes expect a lot more initiative from you. So you really want to be there because of how much energy you put into it.
It was tough for me in the beginning. But after seeing how engaged the college teachers were, it became easier for me. I really enjoy the college classes.
How many college classes have you taken?
I’ve taken eight so far. We have a maximum of three classes a semester from the college. I’ve taken my languages here, three courses in math, and health and physical fitness through the college.
How are the high school classes different through Ghidotti?
A lot of our time is put into college classes, so the high school classes are a lot more sped up.
Normally it takes up to four years to take a language at high school. We get all the language classes done in two semesters, which is a college class.
Do you know what you want to do after graduation?
I want to go into either business or law. Thankfully, I was able to take an optional college class this semester in business law. The class allows me to experience what it might be like, to test the waters.
It’s an amazing opportunity. Most high schools would not be able to give me this kind of experience.
I am using Ghidotti to try out what I might want to major in.
How do you like the business class so far?
I’m really enjoying it. It’s about thirty percent memorization of laws. Seventy percent of it is us taking the position of a lawyer or businessman in a certain situation and trying to solve it for both parties.
It’s a lot more fun than I expected. There is a lot of interaction with my peers, which is kind of strange because I’m a lot younger than the adults in there.
I feel kind of odd when I’m trying to argue stuff with them and seeing that they know a lot more than me when it comes to the real world. But it’s a lot of fun to see the dynamic. And the adults treat me as another adult rather than as a destructive teenager, which is amazing.
How do other students treat you?
There are students here who really like us because we are very motivated to be here. It’s very tough to get into Ghidotti. I’ve had a few older students tell me how I’m smart for taking this opportunity, and how they wish they had when they were younger.
What’s your favorite thing about Sierra College?
It’s hard to separate from Ghidotti, but it is the teachers here. I really related to one teacher. He just had a son, and I have a little brother who was about the same age. We talked about the dynamic between them and not having any sleep.
And while I struggled in his class, in the end I got an A mainly because we talked a lot. I was able to really able to communicate my weaknesses, my strengths and what I was having trouble with. And through his help, I was able to get a good grade. The teachers are very nice.
I like to end on a fun question: if you could have any pet, what would it be?
There’s one pet I always loved, snakes. My dad had one when I was little. He had a small boa. It would wrap around his arms, and he would hold it. He once let it roam free around his college dormitory He found it a few days later, and it freaked a bunch of people out. So I’ve always loved snakes. I think it’s cool to hold them.

Thanks Isaac! We wish you a lot of luck in your future studies.