Monday, July 6, 2009

My experience with the College MatchMaker


So today I did used the College MatchMaker that Mrs. Kronenberg linked us. I had actually used it once before back in freshman year but I had threw too wide a net and got back about 500 colleges. Luckily, I know a little more about what I'm looking for in a college now than I did in freshman year. I know that I want a college with a good engineering/chemistry program and preferably also one with a business program available. I also checked the option for a medium/large school and medium/large city. Along with a few other options, I was able to narrow down the ~3,500 colleges to 40 colleges. What I like especially about the College Board website is that if there's a college I like, there's an option I can use to find similar colleges.

It's interesting that I got a lot of New York's public city universities. I didn't think about it before, but I've realized that if I'm going to go to a public university, it will be in California. I don't really see the point in attending a public university outside of California as there are perfectly fine public universities inside California. So now I'm looking at the colleges that the College Board narrowed down for me.

As for today in class, we tested the purity of the aspirin we made on Thursday. We didn't dry it very well so the melting point was much much lower than it should have been. We also had a small (very small) amount of salicylic acid left. The phenol test showed up negative but our NMR scan showed positive for salicylic acid. Although it was slightly discouraging, I'm not too bothered as I was able to learn from the lab and learn what caused the mistakes.

The lecture today was also very insightful. We had Dr. Dalia Yablon from ExxonMobil came to give a presentation about her as a research and developer (R&D) in ExxonMobil, an industrial setting. She analyzes lubricants in very microscopic scales to see how and why lubricants don't work well in soot filled environments. A lot of the science involved was over my head but I was able to understand the gist of what she does and the significance of having R&D department in industries. She really inspires others, especially women, to pursue a job in the field of engineering and chemistry.



Don Gosney said...


You may be thinking in the right direction when it comes to public universities. Something to keep in mind is that public schools are subsidized by the state for in-state residents. When you’re from a different state, you get to pay the full boat.

Furthermore, public universities rarely have much funding for scholarships and other financial assistance and what they have are usually funneled towards residents of those states.

That shouldn’t be a problem for you, though. I mean, your family’s independently wealthy, aren’t they, and can afford to finance your education without any scholarship money. Did I have you confused with someone else? You mean you’re just like the rest of us? Oops⎯my bad.

Most lab work these days, Julie, is still trial and error. We learn from our mistakes. Actually, we often learn more from our mistakes than we do from our successes. We become angry with ourselves when things don’t work right and we struggle to learn where we screwed up. Then we make a vow to never repeat that mistake. [That’s a commonly used premise except when it comes to politics where we seem to elect the same bozos over and over again.]

On another note, R&D is one of those areas where the glass ceiling has pretty much been shattered in a lot of places so the sky’s the limit if that’s where you want to go.

Charles Tillman Ramsey said...


Don said it about public universities. What are typically called Land Grant institutions are there to serve that particular states masses. However, great state universities exist like The University of Texas or The University of Virgina. These are fantastic land grant universities. Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia.

El Cerrito High School sends a lot of students out of state to the University of Oregon and The University of Washington. I however concur with you and believe that if you are going to a public institution, no need to go out of state, tuition is too high. However, I completely am perplexed at you not taking the time to evaluate the East Coast schools that have great resumes.

Julie, you are a fantastic and gifted student. You have tremendous talent and gifts. I am glad that you are part of the Ivy League Connection and I am saddened that you have not taken to our program goals and objectives, which are for our highly motivated students to find a "highly selective" College or University to attend.

This Saturday you will be one of the best academic institutions in the World. The University of Pennsylvania is a fantastic University. Only Stanford on the West Coast even comes close to rivaling this great institution. You want a business program, then the Wharton School of business, both for undergrad and graduate school are number one. They also have a great school of engineering. I would ask Ms. Lilhanand to email June Chu at UPENN and ask that she give you a tour of the Engineering school. UPENN is also in Philadelphia. The fifth largest city in the country and one of the most diverse.

Vice President Joseph Biden's son is a graduate of UPENN. Warren Buffett and Donald Trump are graduates of UPENN. The school is filled with heavyweights and it has a female president. I hope that you will take stock of UPENN and strongly consider it for your choice of colleges. You can contact Richmond High School graduate Bertha Romo and talk with her about her first year at UPENN. She had a great experience.

What I am reading from you makes sense but being part of the Ivy League Connection is being open to challenging yourself and making connections that last a lifetime. I am a UCLA graduate and a Hastings College of the Law graduate, both fine schools, but I can tell you that my brother who graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School has deeper ties with his alums.

This is your time and this is your chance to be with the best and brightest. You have what it takes to be with the best. I hope that you will stay open to the idea.

Take care.

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

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