Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Past, the Present, and the Future

Yesterday, after class, we visited NYU. We got off the subway at the Lesbian and Gay district and we took picctures at the beautiful Washington Square Park. Jackie told me this is where the movie "August Rush" was filmed and I was blown away. There was a fountain that people went inside and a huge arch. We sat at the chess tables while Mrs. Lilhanand passed out brochures about NYU. We walked across the park, and there was the library. It was very spacious inside. After we stepped outside and I looked around. The buildings were very spread out and NYU really was in the middle of the city.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I would not like to attend school at big cities, especially one of the biggest, New York. I like the quiet, more secluded areas. I think that I'm just a small town girl who could tolerate the city, but could never be quite happy. I also think I would like a campus in the suburbs. I'm not hating on all cities, it's just that I think I would be more comfortable in a smaller setting. The College MatchMaker gave me results that I didn't expect and it didn't list any of the colleges that I was thinking about applying to. I'll have to do more research to find out what would suit my needs best.

Our "homework" was to make up a list of five colleges we would like to apply to/attend. It's kind of contradictory that three of them are considered "urban." All of these universities are what I consider "out of my neighborhood," and they are put in no particular order.

1) McGill University - Located in Montreal, Canada, it is considered to be a "Canadian" Ivy. I would like to go here because I absolutely love Montreal (I spent many summers there), and I was always amazed when I passed by McGill. It has a bacteriology major, which seems like what I would like to do. The only problem is that I would have to learn some French, even though it is an English school.

2) University of Chicago - Ever since I heard the presentation from the college fair, I was interested. It is an urban campus, but I visited Chicago before, and it is my second favorite city. Since it is a research school, I would like to take biology or biochemistry.

3) Rice University - Once again, after I heard the presentation from the representative, I was wondering how I never heard about this place. I liked that it was research school and it was kind of small. Even though it is urban, the campus seems that it isn't very spread out. They also have a program with Baylor Medical School, and they have a 90% admissions rate to other medical schools.

4) UC San Diego - I would love to go a bit south in my home state. The campus is suburban which I think fits me. They also have a bacteriology as a major, but as a graduate they have an oncology course, which is what I ultimately want to learn about.

5) Columbia University - I will post more about this later. But yesterday, my mind was changed.

These are the schools that I want to attend, and I know if I work hard, I can get there. These schools are prestigious, but I always think it's better to shoot for the stars than stay on the ground.


Charles Tillman Ramsey said...

Yes, I want you to shoot for the stars and you have a chance to go far. I was tickled that you stated that you are a person who likes something less than the hustle and bustle. Well all five of those Colleges you listed are in some of the biggest cities in the World. I mean Houston and Chicago are in the top five in terms of population. San Diego and Montreal are not small towns. However, you can study in a big city and avoid all of its attractions. Big Cities have quiet zones as well.

I do hope that you will look at these schools that have great concentrations in science and research. Dartmouth College has great science and a super medical school. They have a joint program with Brown University. Do some background work on Dartmouth. We also had a Pinole Valley High School student Peter Chau from the class of 2004 that would love to speak with you if you want to seriously consider Dartmouth. Dartmouth is only three hours away from either Montreal or Boston.

Jennifer Henry, our ed fund director also is a Dartmouth grad. So lets talk about this as a potential choice for you. Dartmouth is also highly selective and has a great study abroad program. They also have a relationship with UC San Diego and sometimes students spend a term in San Diego.

Thanks for the wonderful people and I appreciate your candor and openness in sharing your views. I hope that you are looking forward to the campus tours this weekend to UPENN and Bard College.

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

Don Gosney said...


I’m glad you mentioned that NYU was part of the setting for August Rush—one of my all time feel good movies. Now that you mentioned it, I can see what you mean. I recognize the fountain and the arch in particular.

I can really appreciate your comments about being a small town gal. It’s too bad you’re graduating when you are or you could apply for the University of Pinole out on Fitzgerald Avenue due to open up as soon as they negotiate their lease for the old Mervyn’s building. ☺

You seem to have a good idea about what you’re looking for, Cristina, and now you get to sift through your choices to find the place that will best serve all of your needs.

Madeline Kronenberg said...


I'm happy to learn that the College MatchMaker has been helpful in listing some colleges that you never thought of. The interesting thing about that program is that it has a much broader scope (3800+ colleges) to draw information from -- so once you've really thought about your answers, take a look at each of the matches.

Since you are interested in oncology, you really should mention this when you are at UPENN -- ask about the Abramson Cancer Center -- you'll see it when you're there. Here's a link to them:

Thanks for posting the NYU pictures (it is a different vibe thre). Enjoy Bard College and UPENN this weekend -- I'm interested in hearing your impressions of both of those campuses.

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