mercredi, janvier 19, 2005

this is what you are paying for...

Okay, every year that I've been here, I've had this conversation at least once with a freshmen.. and I'm curious to know.. does no one ever tell them?


Random freshman asks about the REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) which I encourage all science and engineering students to at least apply and try to get .. and most certailnly to do if they get it.

me, myself, and I: REU's are based on the money available, so it's like you get a certain amount of money not the same amount each year prob, and so you have that many slots then you rank the people and then take that number of people you can take from the top and go until fill all the availbe things slots you can pay for that's bout it.. it's not like school where they go “no we didn't like you and dind't htink yo would fit” it's more like, enh we need this many frsehmen this many soph and this many juniors they like people who are ecited and interested who will work hard you know the usual stuff

Random freshman: i have no clue who to use for recs

me, myself, and I: does it have to be profs? I’ve forgotten

Random freshman: dont know, but who else would i use?

me, myself, and I: did you ever do research before?in high school? high school teachers...
if you ever worked int he summers doing science then do that…get those people

Random freshman: i never did :-(

me, myself, and I: I'm not sure what' youve done, but priority is higher on someone who knows you and can say good things then on official sounding people

Random freshman: its all academic for me

me, myself, and I: okay so try high school teachers in science who can attest to your intelligence --if not that then go afte the profs you had last quarter that you did well in their classes --well i need someone who can talk about my lab abilities or comp sci abilities than anyhting ese

me, myself, and I: so do you have an high school eteachrs who can say you are smart and have a passion for science? if not, then try any of your profs or even TA's from last quarter who would be willing to say anythig nice for you.

Random freshman: i have teachers from hs and maybe my comp sci teachers

buyt theyre students...seniors apparently they nkow theyre shit better than others

me, myself, and I: okay, well do that get a high school teacher and a senior to write if you need tow

Random freshman: and if one?

me, myself, and I: it's the only way they can assess your ability or interest to do anything that you say you can or want to do.. the only way to verify. yo're better off with two

me, myself, and I: one, you don't really ahve a good handle on it but I'd go with the senior from ISP if they got to know you cuz it's closer to now and more relevant

Part of school and doing well in school is 1) getting a research opportunity to either help pay for school or else to learn how to do research so you can get these kinds of jobs

me, myself, and I: you do that by going and asking around.. or you pick up things on your own and learn that and show them you know how to do whatever it is you learned..

Okay, and this is the part they always seem astounded by...
me, myself, and I: the other part of school is building up relationships with professors.

Random freshman: i didnt think of that

me, myself, and I: you have to pick subjects you like and go to office hours and talk to the prof about the subject.. but of course only do it if you are genuinely interested

Random freshman: nor did i think id need them so soon

me, myself, and I: yup, so this is part of what you're paying ofr to go to a real university. If you have this kind of connection with profs here you can do anythign essentially

Random freshman: im about to email my physics prof from last quarter to stop by and talk about my final form last quarter maybe i can get this thing done soon. this is why i need a lab job first....

me, myself, and I: because they will have a good opinion of you and you keep your connection going and then you utilise it over the course of the next 5-6 years. while you're here you keep up twith them these relationships usually last 2 years after grad too and sometimes even longer... but it's vital to build this kind of thing up otherwise you have nothing but classes. we'll talk about this later, but you have to be smart about the way you do college.. if you want just classes you should pay a lot less and go to UIC or Loyola or whatever these little er places are that aren't research intensive...here youa re paying for the opportunity to do research and form the ocntacts you need to succeed that's what the extra approx. 7K in tuition at least hat you pay more than the other places is for... they expect you to utilize those resources

Random freshman: and i better as hell start now

So for future reference... This is part of why one college is "better" or more "reputable" or "pricier" than another college....
sigh, next post will hopefully be about my pet peeves regarding an aspect of education in high schools.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Ben S. said...

Are you notified when a comment is posted to your site? If so, I've got comments about this passage. You could've gone to a state school and saved ~$25,000 a year (not $7,000), and still had the same opportunities.

mercredi, février 23, 2005 11:40:00 AM  
Blogger Meowmix Chatul said...

not where I went, but maybe where I am now, yes.

mercredi, mars 09, 2005 12:43:00 PM  
Anonymous ben s. said...

Nah, according to Mitch Albom, wherever you would've chosen to go would've been fine. So why not save some money?

mercredi, mars 23, 2005 4:20:00 PM  

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