Saturday, July 11, 2009

Add Another College to My List

I like UPenn, probably being the biggest surprises throughout this whole trip. I always thought that there was only one Ivy League for me, and that was Columbia, but I was wrong.

UPenn really impressed me with its hardcore academics. These people seem to take their higher education to an even high level, if at all possible. After the tour of UPenn, the group and I met up with some UPenn students involved in the college's very own Asian organization. These people were warm, inviting -- but most important, informative. They told me that UPenn's academics seemed to be difficult, extremely difficult at times. This is a challenge that, with the right mindset, can be easily accomplished. They three students also informed of the Filipino presence within the campus and the Asian organization. Joanna, one of the students who spoke to us about UPenn, told us that the Filipino group within the Asian organization was fantastic and was named best group, completely shocking me. I would have never thought of being so many Filipinos in the college. I believe this means so much to me because I feel that the transition from the west coast lifestyle to life in the east coast would be much easier with guidance of people of my own race -- people that make me feel at home because I've grown with the same mannerisms.

Aside from that, UPenn  is the most prestigious school I've heard of in the United States that offers a 4-year degree in nursing. This astounded me. As I've mentioned before, I enjoy health science, and if you may have not known, I love social interaction. I believe that life in the laboratory is unsuited for me because I believe I would lose my mind being within the confines of a laboratory all day. I need to get up, walk around, talk to people in order to keep my sanity. Nursing definitely fulfills my desires of being social while under the field of a health science. Once I heard this in a brief overview one of the students presented to us before the tour, I took this school under consideration.

The only discerning thing about the school is its location -- Philadelphia. New York City is surely incomparable, and to me, puts to shame most of the other big cities in the United States. I've pictured myself living in a big city after college, but Philadelphia was never one of them; it just lacks the vibrance that I've seen in other cities like San Francisco, Chicago, and of course, New York City. Maybe it's just me; we only spent more or less than seven hours in Philadlphia. Hopefully I'll be able to see the city's greatness the next time I return.


Charles Tillman Ramsey said...

A very nice read and now you know why we have the Ivy League Connection. Our program is to unveil the unknown and share with our students all that exists in the country, especially on Ivy League Campuses.

No Philadelphia is not NYC, but no other City in the country is like NYC, but thankfully NYC is only a one hour train ride away. So, you can have the best of both worlds and in the end your time in college will be focused on academics.

The University of Pennsylvania is ranked as one of the top five universities in the Country. UPENN is first class and has an abundance of resources, its rankings in all of its disciplines are in the top ten. You can do no wrong if you are one of the fortunate few to get accepted to UPENN. This school is not easy and we rarely have anyone accepted. Last year we had a superstar apply to UPENN and she got the rejection letter. So, lets remember that UPENN is highly selective and only the best will be admitted.

I like what you have written and it shows me that the Ivy League Connection is definitely needed in our community. I would strongly encourage you to locate Ms. Chu's email and write her a "thank you" note expressing your joy at having this informational tour. You can only imagine what it will mean to you and the others at Pinole Valley High School in moving forward and having others see that we respect their time.

The bigger issue is why do students not know about these facts? How is it that the West Contra Costa Unified School District is not providing resources to inform and educate our students about these wonderful academic opportunities as well as sharing with them the ethnic organizations on campus that provide support? I would hope that you return to Pinole Valley High School and write to Ms. Kahn expressing your concern with her in this arena.

Thanks again Gabe, I am glad that you had a great time at UPENN. I hope that you will apply.

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

Don Gosney said...


Maybe now you’re finally catching on to what the whole Ivy League Connection process is all about: To provide our kids with so many options so that the confusion will cause their heads to literally explode. Are you getting close, yet? We’ll keep working on it.

You’re going to have a pretty tough time, Gabe, deciding where to go to school. What you’re looking for in the classroom, coupled with your desire for a really big and vibrant city and your need for surrounding yourself with people from your own culture may make it difficult to find the right fit for you—especially in this country. I don’t envy you your decision.

By the way, I’m reading that you’re the one responsible for adding to your cohorts’ repertoire of culinary delights when you made sure they had a Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich while in town. Good for you. That’d be like visiting Paris without snacking on a snail or two.

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