Monday, July 6, 2009

Colleges and AMNH

I have realized that there is a big difference between my Columbia friends and myself. Some of my friends seem to be confidant in where they want to go for college, but I can't seem to find a solid location. Why is that? I have been putting off college research for so long now, that I did not see the creeping applications. I think that most of my peers not only go on multiple college tours, but they also do personal research on some colleges. I feel that actually attending places like Brown or Columbia is a good start, but I need to push myself to actually pinpoint the right place. I did not start earlier, but I would recommend to the future underclassmen that it is never to early to start thinking about where one wants to go for college.

I did use the College Matchmaker, but I do not think any of the results really made me think, "Oh, this is it!" I will try again tomorrow, for I think I might have clicked something wrong, which caused my Internet to freeze. I will try to put some of my time looking up a specific colleges, for I feel that is the best way to get to know the educational aspects of a college. I believe the tours or visits are vital to see if one likes the atmosphere of the location, which of course is a key factor in choosing which place one wants to stay for at least a couple of years.

Today for my class, I went to the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). Professor Olival works at AMNH and my classmates and I were able to explore the taxonomy (class) of species as well as current ways to help conserve biodiversity. We got to visit the Dinosaur exhibit (some scenes from Night at the Museum was shot there), the Frogs, the Biodiversity Wall, the Marine and also a peek at the offices of where the research is done! I really enjoyed being at the museum, but I was more truly shocked to see rows and rows of cabinets. Though I could not see inside, the thought that every cabinet held a type of species both extinct and alive, was astonishing (there were a LOT). I would have never thought that there could be 4 stories of offices above the museum itself.

We also said good-bye to Yohanna today! It was very fun to get to know her. It's great how the ILC not only helps to make connections with people in the East Coast, but also those within our very own district!


Charles Tillman Ramsey said...


You have been one of the best additions to the Ivy League Connection. You are talented, hard working and cooperative. Now is your time to focus and not procrastinate. You will have to become like those other students.

You only have five months to complete, yes complete, your college applications. From reading your post it sounds like you are reaching out and seeking answers. Well I am giving you my answer and that is to really take the initiative and hone in and whittle down the list to five or six colleges. This is not the time to get "stage fright" and lose out on your main objective and that is finding a college that is a "fit" for you.

I am glad that you have enjoyed the college tours. They are useful, but they can only do so much. Remember you will have to use your instincts when making your decision. However, being on the East Coast has opened your eyes to endless possibilities and left you with more knowledge than you would have had by just staying on the West Coast.

In the end Jessica, I see that you still have a lot of thinking to do and I am sure that when the time comes you will make the right decision. I am also thrilled that you are enjoying your class and learning a lot about science.

Keep up the good work.

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

Don Gosney said...


There’s NO reason at all for you to be worried about not having made a college choice yet. The fact that others may have made their choice is independent of your own choice.

Why do you suppose there are so many college fairs in the fall? Could it be that maybe there are millions of students that are still undecided? So how does that make you any different than they are?

I know that you’re bright and I know that you’re mature but at the end of the day you’re still just a junior in high school ready to start your senior year. So why would you think that you should already have your whole life planned out in front of you?

That doesn’t mean that you can sit back for another five months before making a choice. You need to do your homework and learn more about your options, Jessica, so you can start narrowing down your choices. Try to whittle things down from the 3800+ known colleges down to maybe only 2500 or so. Maybe that’ll make it easier to make a choice without your head exploding.

You’ll be returning from Columbia soon and you’ll have plenty of time to devote to coming up with a list of schools that suit your fancy. This should be your new job for the summer. It doesn’t pay worth a darn but the benefits can be immeasurable.

Madeline Kronenberg said...


I'm glad you did the MatchMaker -- now I think you might want to really look at the websites of each of the colleges that came up. Also, as you complete the form give your honest first answer -- don't try to "overthink" it. That's the best way to get a real fit. It's still early as Mr. Ramsey and Don have said - but it is also now the time to start in earnest.

Sounds like you had a wonderful trip to the Museum -- I enjoyed the pictures.

Keep up the good work.

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