Monday, July 6, 2009

Seems like much longer than one week

Hello to all from the Big Apple.

It is extremely hard to believe that we have only been here a little over one week. We have been busy, to say the least. Let's see, there was Rockefeller Square, Times Square (2 times so far), St. Patrick's Cathedral, Trump Tower (with the waterfall), the Gay parade, Columbia University, Bay Cruise at sunset, the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Wall Street with the bull, Ground Zero, fireworks over Hudson River, train ride to Vassar College, and Vanderbilt mansion. Whew!

The students have settled in well. Yesterday at Vassar I reminded them that they need to really think about what they want to major in and what type of school they want to apply to: big city vs. rural, big school vs. small private school, etc. In fact, Madeline, your web site regarding the college matchmaker is perfect timing after our discussions yesterday at Vassar. Yes, that will be a homework assignment for them this week. It will be very helpful for them to better define what type of school they are looking for before the large college fair at the end of next week at Columbia.

Last Thursday Madeline and I had a one on one meeting with Darlene Giraitis, the director of the high school program at Columbia. She reminded us that not only does she oversee this summer program with two sessions at Columbia, she also has a program for students to study abroad in Spain as well as Jordan. In the current session at Columbia there are about 1000 students, about one third are international. However, because some students live in the local area, in the dorms the percentage of international students is about 50 percent. During our meeting I set up a time for our students to meet Ms. Giraitis this coming Thursday.

With the exception of the 4th of July, I meet with the students every day after class on campus, around 4:30. We debrief how their day went and now I am starting to meet individually with one at a time each day after our group debrief. At the group meeting we also discuss what they are going to blog about that day. They have been very good about calling me if they want to go off campus with either their RA or another group of students. I feel more reassured that they know their way around better now that we have gone on the subway a number of times. That in itself is an experience of this fast paced city. As Jessica pointed out in her blog, the doors close very fast on the subway unlike the slower paced BART doors.

I am pleased with the students' progress so far. They all seem to take the fast paced city life here in NYC in stride. Although it rained almost on a daily basis the first week or so, when it rains, the rain is short lived and we now are used to it. The last few days have been absolutely fabulous, no rain, sunshine with a slight breeze.

It will be interesting to see two more colleges this weekend, UPENN and Bard. I do feel visiting as many campuses as possible is extremely helpful to the students. It opens their eyes to the possibilities and does give them a chance to start doing more self reflections in looking ahead for the college application process. Before they know it they will have to make some major decisions as to which schools to apply to and then complete their essay and applications. Later, either this week or next I will take them down to NYU for another perspective.

1 comment:

Don Gosney said...


How wonderful to hear from you.

Your post is chock full of information and was very enjoyable to read. Thanks you for the updates.

All I want to know is where were you when I was young and could have used a 'chaperone'?

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