Monday, July 6, 2009

Chemistry Class and Vassar College

The intensive seminar modern chemistry class has definitely exceeded my expectation. The students in my class are absolutely brilliant when it comes to chemistry. Although I do not fully understand most of the material I am definitely learning more concepts and have an understanding of how things work as we go along. I just feel that I wasn't well prepared as the rest of the kids who seem to understand what we do in class. However I am doing everything possible to get a better understanding of the material in which we are working on. I often ask the other students to help me understand the way in which a certain molecule reacts with another and other things relating with our labs. I constantly ask Julie for help because I find it easier to understand when she takes the time to explain everything to me. I am really glad Julie is here to help or otherwise I would be totally lost.

Also I meet with my tutors one in a while to ask them any questions I have in mind. In addition to asking other students for help and getting help from tutors I have also taken the liberty yo do my own research of the terms I do not understand. Being in this program is an eye opener of how a college life is really like and teaches me that when having difficulties all you can do is give it all your best.

Well enough talk of class troubles. Changing the subject, I want say how much I enjoyed the trip to Vassar College. I absolutely loved the setting in which Vassar is located in. At first I thought Vassar might be a too quit college for me but then I realized that ti might seem quit because of the fact that it is summer and the majority of the students are on vacation. What I loved about the college was the amazing lake and the building which are a little over a hundred years old. I like the idea of Vassar being a closed campus because I personally like the buildings to be together very much like the buildings at Columbia. I can definitely see myself attending Vassar College but I still deciding what I want in a college.


Don Gosney said...


What’s happened with you and this class is a real eye opener for us as well. We need to do a better job of making sure that our ILC have the prerequisites for a class before enrolling them This is critical. It’s no different than what you’ll find when you enroll in any class at college—especially science and math classes. Even in language classes, for instance.

I think that everyone would agree that even with Ancient Sanskrit II under your belt, you don’t sign up for Ancient Sanskrit V until you’ve taken the prerequisites.

What’s happened in your situation is a disservice to you, our District and our sponsors.

I’m glad that you’re taking appropriate steps to try to stay on track but even with tutors and help from Julie, there’s only so much you can accomplish without the prerequisite background and training.

Charles Tillman Ramsey said...

Hang in there Sofia! I know that you are a hardworker and I love that you do not complain. We have learned a lot from this experience and we are committed to not have this happen in the future. Don is correct about this being a disservice to a lot of people, but all we can do is learn from the situation and stay positive. You have a great support network with you at Columbia. It also does not hurt to be in one of the most wonderful places in the world.

I will write you a wonderful letter of recommendation when you apply to college. Remember you still have some work to do, but we know that you can do it. I want you to work hard with the Kaplan program before you take the SAT Exam in the fall. This is your time and through adversity you learn and grow a lot.

We are all proud of you and I love your fighting spirit. Continue to stay with Julie and seek her counsel. She will make sure that she helps you along the way. I am also hopeful that our other ILC students who are in Chemistry will support one of our own and give her the support that she needs to make it through this difficult class.

I am glad that you enjoyed Vassar. I would strongly recommend that you let Ms. Lilhanand know so that she can help you stay in contact with the admissions office.

Hope all else is well.

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

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