Monday, April 19, 2010

University of Pennsylvania

Today, I attended the University of Pennsylvania's Penn Preview Day. My dad took a drive through the highways anticipating traffic, and we were glad that we left the hotel early. We got to see more of Philadelphia, especially University City.

Unlike Haverford, Penn was in the middle of the city. After taking a short walk from the parking garage, we arrived at Irvine Auditorium. Then, we checked in and waited for 9:00 until we could file into the auditorium. At the auditorium, the Dean of Admission and Provost congratulated everyone. After the lovely greeting, parents and students were split up. While my dad attended "Becoming a Penn Parent" and a financial aid talk, I attended "Being a Penn Student" and got to meet my potential Penn classmates.

At "Being a Penn Student," a panel of students answering any and all academic and social questions that anyone had. The only things current students wanted to change was the one-ply toilet paper, and having too many things to do and not having enough time. After, we were split up into small groups, where we were taken to an area at Penn, asking our group leader more questions that we had. We also introduced ourselves, with many in my group coming from Massachusetts and some as far as South Korea.

After, everyone regrouped with their parents. I met my dad at Irvine Auditorium to hear more about the college I applied to, the College of Arts and Sciences. We listened to a panel of students and faculty members. I came away with the feeling that students really get to know their professors, and that there are classes that fit every interest every student has.

Then, we were split into smaller groups for lunch. My dad and I ate at Hill Dining Hall. The food had great selection and was delicious. After lunch, we split up into groups once again to take a tour of the dorms. We saw dorms at three buildings that house freshmen: Hill, King's Court, and the Quad. The rooms were not as cramped as I anticipated.

After our tour, we were free to roam around campus, so my dad and I went to visit Dr. June Chu at the Pan-Asian American Community House. She talked about Penn and offered me some things to think about if I were to attend Penn.

I talked with some current students at the Center and asked them "Why Penn?". Their answers were about the same as the students in the panels. They wanted a place that was both urban and enclosed, but more importantly had a sense of community.

Penn has a college campus feel in the sixth biggest city in the United States. If I do decide to attend Penn, I know that I'll be able to interact with some of the most talented and intelligent people in the world and also learn any subject of my choosing.

I would also like to apologize for my lack of pictures; I forgot to bring the cable to hook the camera to my laptop, so I will post pictures of Haverford and Penn when I get back home.


Charles Ramsey said...


I was happy to read your comments. You have grown so much in the past year. I see that you are becoming empowered and feel ready to take the next step in this academic journey.

The choice that you will make in selecting which College or University is one that is personal and one that has to feel right. In some ways, these excursions just complicate matters, but it is a process that must be done. Now that you are armed with information about both of these schools you can compare them with the schools in California.

You are one of the fortunate one's that has a plate full of choices. You have options that most students could only dream about in this tough admissions acceptance period. I am glad that you have embraced these times and are positioned to make the most out of your chances.

Please note that the window will soon close. Everyone at some point gets their "15 minutes of fame" and so now is your time to take it all in and then make a decision.

I know that you have your trip to Southern California to visit a few other schools. Once you have concluded that trip, I hope that you will tell us your decision.

As always, you comply with the program requirements and I must say how appreciative I am that you took the time to share your experience. I also hope that your father had a wonderful time visiting these well respected academic institutions.

We look forward to seeing you when you get home.

Take care.

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

Don Gosney said...


This is being written AFTER having seen your wonderful photos so the following comments apply to the full breadth of your work: Thank you so much for posting so much and so often about your trip east.

When we send our students back east for site visits we tell them of the importance (and even requirement) to post their thoughts but we often find ourselves having to write emails, make phone calls and take other nefarious actions to get some of our people to follow through. With you, though, the words and photos just flowed. Well done, Cristina.

As you were describing how great everything was I couldn't help but chuckle about your descriptions of your dining experience. I recall back to my brief stay in a dormitory at Cal and the one time per year when the parents were invited to visit and share everything that we had--including access to the dorms. Not only did we have meat that night but we had steak. The parents all reveled in how well we were fed but once they left the dorms we went back to pasta and rice. C'est la vie.

I'm also glad that you had a chance to visit with June Chu. June has been a great ally and advocate for many of our students that have visited and attended Penn. June can be a great person to stay in contact with f you elect to attend Penn.

As Charles mentioned, you now have the daunting task of weighing all of the pros and cons about your choices for college. The hard part is that you're not really weighing the pros against the cons but weighing the pros against the other pros.

It must be tough to be really smart and have so many choices thrust at you. For some of us the choices were pretty limited and the decisions not so hard. On the whole, though, I like your problems more than those I had. The outcome of your choices looks pretty good no matter how you decide.