Saturday, July 4, 2009

4th of July at Jones Beach


Happy 4th of July! Today I went to the beach with my suite and some other people from other suites. It turns out that there were two beaches that people were going to, either Jones Beach or Long Beach. I went to Jones beach with my suite whereas everyone else who went to the beach (Cristina, Sofia, etc.) went to Long Beach so I didn't see them today. I actually had a lot of fun; Jones Beach is on Long Island so we had to take the subway to Penn Station, the train to Freeport Train Station, and then a bus to the beach.

Even though I live near the coast, I rarely ever go to the beach back home, so this was a pleasant change and the beach was BEAUTIFUL! Although the water was kind of murky, the actual beach had NO trash and the sand was very fine and not painful to walk on (although this should probably be common to most beaches). I also was able to bond with my suite mates some more. Also, arriving at Long Island from New York City was a very dramatic change in the landscape, the tall buildings and narrow streets were replaced with one-story buildings and open space. It felt like Hayward without the car dealers.

In front of Freeport Station

Jones Beach

I also have more things to add about my thoughts on the chemistry class that I didn't mention yesterday. I actually feel rather prepared for the class. Even if I didn't take AP Chemistry and took the class only on what I learned from regular chemistry, I think I would be able to understand a lot of the class. The professor and the TAs are really good at explaining everything and take the time to walk students through each step so we know what to do. I know that if there was something I didn't understand, I could ask them and have them explain it to me. It's true that a lot of the course material is over the level of chemistry in high school, but the professor and the TAs know that it is so they take the time to explain everything in detail. So although I believe that taking AP chemistry would be beneficial, the class is manageable without it.

As for the students that are taking the class, it seems that only a couple of student have taken AP Chem, whereas the rest have only took regular chemistry. The students knowledge of chemistry ranges a lot but everyone seems to be absorbed into the class and like it. There are a couple people that are totally into the class and are asking questions everyday and there are students that aren't. So although I can't say that every single person in the class happens to raise their hand at every opportunity they get, no one is uninterested in the class.

I still cannot say how I feel about coming to Columbia University for college. The city environment is different from the Bay Area for sure, but I still need to be here a little longer before I can decide whether it's a place where I'd like to go to college. I look forward to the visit to UPenn so I can compare and contrast it with Columbia U.



Don Gosney said...


Thanks for posting the photos.

As a part of furthering your education, let me give you a quick tip about photography: when at a beach, posting photos of the backside of a fat guy isn’t what we want to see. Were there no women or even young people you could have filled the frame with? Oh well…

Thanks, too, for the update about your chem class. It’s good to know that the instructors are cognizant of the abilities of their students and are working to remedy any shortfalls they might have.

I suppose that this class is just like any other in that how well you do or how well you’re going to adapt has as much to do with your own abilities as it does with how ell you were prepared coming into the course. Sounds like you were ready on both counts.

Charles Tillman Ramsey said...

Glad that you ventured away from the group and got out to Jones Beach. It is nice to read how someone had a different experience.

I also appreciate you answering my questions. I value your comments and see that you are still taking in a lot of information about where you want to attend college. Columbia is a top tier school that has a lot of support from alums. I hope you give it strong consideration. I know that you will enjoy UPENN. It is a great University.

We have a lot of contacts at UPENN. Remember Brian Mertens from El Cerrito High School just completed his Sophomore year at UPENN. Malcolm Carson and Kia Walton both will be at Columbia in the fall. They both graduated from El Cerrito High School. You may want to seek out their advice.

Hope that you had a good time at Vassar with our other Ivy League Connection students.

Charles T. Ramsey, Esq.
School Board Member
West Contra Costa
Unified School District

Madeline Kronenberg said...


I'm a native NY/Long Island girl and spent every summer going to Jones Beach. It's wonderful to see that it hasn't changed (and the picture of the "fat guy" really proves that).

Thanks so much for your insights on your Chem class. I'm glad there is a mix of AP/non AP students and that you are so supported by the TAs.

Enjoy your last week in NY.

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