Monday, July 13, 2009

One Post Late

My apologies for missing a blog last night, I was once again extremely exhausted from all the events the group and I attended. I guess I'll just have to make it up with one concise blog.

Yesterday was exhausting. After a long trip to Pennsylvania the other day, we were confronted with our last college tour -- Bard. We hopped on the train at about 8:20AM, and took the same route going towards Vassar, except a bit farther. Once we arrived, a majestic view of a lake graced us, along with vivid green pastures and flora. 

As for the college itself, a wonderful tour guide named Katie was presented the college in its finest way possible. Although the school didn't fit my criteria, it earned my respect. Katie was able to expose Bard for its unique traits. After this, I now see the big importance of having a guide take its prospective students through a tour. Compared to Vassar, I enjoyed Bard more, probably because a tour guide was present, giving us details and facts about the college.

After, Mrs. Lilhanand had the group and I in for a treat; we were to have a fine dinner at one of New York City's finest restaurants -- the Porter House. The restaurant was so elegant; there aren't many times when I get to see such lavish places like this. I've been so accustomed to the high school diet, eating off the value menu in every fast food restaurant. The food, like the restaurant, was exquisite as well. I ordered a delicious filet mignon, and I was astounded at how the chefs got the meat to be so juicy. During dinner, Mrs. Lilhanand and us students had a discussion about ways to help improve the ILC; Mr. Ramsey and Mrs. Kronenberg, I hope for us to share our thoughts with you guys when we come back!

Today, after class,  David Buckwald, Senior Officer of Admissions in charge of us students in California and other parts of the west, graced us with our presence. Mr. Buckwald was kind enough to elaborate on Columbia's core curriculum, doing a fine job explain its importance and meaning to the Columbia undergraduates, as well as answering some questions regarding the application process. This was truly helpful for me since Columbia is high on my list of colleges, as of now, standing nearly shoulder-to-shoulder with UCLA. I recently heard from one of my Chemistry mentors that the Universities of California will be facing a huge budget cut, affecting class sizes and such. Hopefully Columbia may give me the opportunity to escape these recession-effected schools.


Charles Tillman Ramsey said...

Gabe, you are learning a great deal during this trip to Columbia. I am a UCLA graduate and I can tell you that UCLA is a great school. However, the reality is that the state has slashed funding for the UC's and CSU's and as a result students here at home will be greatly inconvenienced. Fortunately, you have a chance to learn why Columbia is also so unique.

Columbia has a fantastic network of alums and it has a rigorous core curriculum. IN addition, it has more resources than what you will find in any state college. It is a school that is highly selective and has a strong class of students. I hope that you will be open and apply to Columbia. Remember, you will need some other schools to apply because Columbia has a low admit rate. This is not to discourage you but to make it clear that getting into Columbia will be no easy feat. Yet, go for it. I want the best for you.

I hope that you will also look at Northwestern University which is another highly selective college located in Chicago, another dynamic city. Thanks also for telling us how important it is to have a tour guide when visiting a campus. We will keep that in mind when we plan for next year.

On a different note, what has the ILC meant to you? Are you now glad that you decided to join up with our program? Share your insight, we would love to find out what your thoughts are about what you have gone through this summer.

I hope that you will remain open minded and work to inspire other students to go outside of our community. The next few months will be very important to you and I hope that you will continue to ask questions and then apply to five or six colleges.

Keep up the good work and no apologies needed for the late post.

Take care.

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

Don Gosney said...


These blogs can be so helpful. Just from what you wrote today I can see that we need to cut back—possibly eliminate—these extracurricular activities so you can spend more time on your class work. ☺ Just having a little fun with you.

There’s no question, Gabe, that having a tour guide enhances the experience when visiting a school. What are you supposed to do? Read what’s on the Internet and just walk aimlessly around thinking that all of your questions will be answered? I don’t think so.

If you had your heart set on one of the UC’s, the budget will definitely have an a affect on your educational experience. Fees WILL be raised but the level of quality will surely go down as well. I’m afraid that the once stellar standing that the UC’s had will suffer and we may not be able to resurrect their fine image for a great many years.

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