Thursday, July 9, 2009

Reflection and Progress

In response to what Mr. Gosney said, I do believe students should be fully aware of what they would be getting theirselves into when applying through this Ivy League Connection program. Then the ones who do apply for the program will be the students who are willing to go through the struggle and learn, even though they may be going into fields which they may not know much about. And like Julie has said before, it's not like they're expecting us to know what they are teaching already. I don't know about other classes, but in our Chemistry class it doesn't seem like a student necessarily has to be brilliant to succeed in class. Professor Luis Avila seems like he cares more about the students making progress and learning, no matter if they still don't understand certain concepts by the end. He wants us to ask questions all the time, because asking questions helps a person to learn. The mentors are also very helpful. They know that a lot of the concepts they present can or do go over our heads, and they are willing to sit down with us and help sort out our confusion to their best abilities.

Today, I felt like I made so much progress in class. I never really feel lost when we do our labs (thanks to AP Bio), but during the second part of class, in which we have a post-lab discussion, a seminar, and a post-seminar discussion, I am usually really quiet. It is difficult for me to ask questions when I am not familiar with certain concepts and such. However, today I was able to grasp the concepts enough to be able to ask questions. I became very involved in the discussion, and was actually able to answer some questions by myself. Furthermore, after Mike (my group's mentor) did a quick summary of the seminar afterwards to help us understand better, I was able to ask some questions and share my views. I learned so much today, more than I have on any other day yet. I also participated in discussions more today than on any other day, and I am truly proud of myself for that.

On a completely different note, I think I fell in love today. Therefore, I find it depressing that I only have a week and a half left. There is not enough time for me to visit my love enough -- to experience every part of my love's being. Truly truly truly, I will never be the same because of this experience. I will be heartbroken in a week and a half, when I have to leave Columbia....and Butler Library. I can honestly say that I truly fell in love with the place. Ask Cristina -- I kept saying it over and over as we walked through the different floors. I want to be able to spend time reading or doing homework in so many different rooms, but it would probably require me to go every single day for at least two weeks. Butler Library fills me with so much comfort and peace. I literally stood in front of a window for five to ten minutes, just gazing at the amazing view of Columbia University. I really just sat in certain places, to feel the different atmospheres of the library. As Mrs. Lilhanand suggested, I took some time to reflect upon myself. However, it was slightly difficult because I could only think about how much I want to attend Columbia for college. I have seriously fallen in love with this university, and I feel so comfortable here. To be honest, at first I wasn't sure I would enjoy living here. My first impression of Columbia, during Spring Break, did not do it any justice. I enjoy just walking in the university, sitting on the steps, gazing at the view, watching all the different types of people, and so on and so forth. I used to say that my dream college was one that had the Columbia education, the Yale buildings, and the location in Boston, but I am more than satisfied with what Columbia has to offer by itself.


Charles Tillman Ramsey said...

Nice post. It is a good feeling to find a "fit". You should strongly consider Early Decision for Columbia. Sometimes your first instinct is the right instinct. I do know that people who are certain usually have the best success. I am sure that you will have a lot of probing questions when you meet with our Columbia Representative, David Buckwald, who handles the Northern California applications.

Thanks again, Jackie for a well thought out and inspiring post. I am also glad that you had a great time in your Chemistry class. This trip seems to be working out well for you.

Take care.

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

Don Gosney said...


I don’t want to waste anyone’s time, effort or money by sending someone to a class to review what they’ve already been taught. But with many classes—especially in the math and science arenas—there are often prerequisites that are necessary to lay the foundation for that class. I want to make sure that our students have met those prerequisites prior to enrolling in the classes. From our perspective, I think we need to examine these classes a little more thoroughly. We might even want to enlist the help of some of our better science instructors to give us some guidance.

I can understand completely, Jackie, any reluctance a student might have to asking questions when we’re not even sure enough to ask the questions. I’m like that just about every morning. It’s good, though, that you’re feeling more secure in yourself so you feel comfortable enough to engage in the discussions and ask those questions. That’s all a part of the process. It’s a good feeling when you know enough to feel confident in what you’re doing.

We like t tell people that there are no stupid questions but we all know that none of us wants to ask that question and have people give us that look like “she didn’t really ask that, did she?”

You had me worried when you started describing your new-found love. Even after I learned it was a building, I started to feel inferior. I mean, my place is old just like the Butler Library but it’s better maintained than my place. I have a couple of thousand books but how can I compare with a building that has a couple of million books? I could try to convince you that it’s not the quantity of the books but the quality but I’m betting that Butler has a couple of decent books. I guess that I may have just lost out here so maybe I should just move on. Oh well…

Madeline Kronenberg said...


Thanks for describing the class so well and especially for sharing your academic journey. I agree with Don when he says how intimidating it can be to ask questions -- and I think it is telling that you learned more today than any other day -- perhaps because when you do ask quesitons you are able to frame the information in a way that makes sense for you. I really appreciate your insight into the process of just putting the question together -- and the fact that it is not as easy as it may seem. Good work.

As far as your new-found love -- NYC is pretty seductive all by itself. Add in a beautiful building with spectacular books -- and incredible views and vibes -- it's easy to understand how you would fall. Mr. Ramsey is right when he recommends the early decision strategy. Really consider it. The colleges are all looking for those who strongly feel they are a fit -- and the easiest way to show them your intention is to say your willing to go steady right from the beginning.

You should talk to David Buchwald about the details.

Enjoy UPENN and Bard College.

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