Search This Blog

Saturday, November 27, 2010

USF-University of San Francisco

I decided to write a little bit more detail about some of the colleges we visited, in part so I'll remember!  USF is a small, private, Catholic university.  It's a bit easier to get into than some of the other schools we visited.  The required GPA was about 3.5, weighted.  If you have a 3.8 GPA, plus score 30 on the ACT that automatically got you entrance as well as $19k yearly.  It was similar to Stanford in the flexibility of required classes.  They have general ed like most schools except there is a lot of room to play with those classes.  The girl leading the talk said she isn't good at math so instead of taking a math class she took an iphone app class and that counted as math credit.  They also really push you to do some time overseas.  One of their business majors you spend three trimesters abroad and graduate with a masters in 5 years.  It sounded like it could be a really great school.  The downside is that they don't have water polo, and don't have a lot of majors.  Plus even with the $19k discount in tuition, it's still quite high.  So that's my take on USF.  I think it ended up middle of the list after first look.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Final days of our road trip

Well we ended up not making it to UC Davis.  It was too long of a drive to see another school that I'm pretty sure he wouldn't like.  So we spent the time in San Francisco.  Wednesday night when we arrived, we only had time for dinner.  So we walked to The Cheesecake Factory in Macy's.  That Macy's was amazing!  It was 7 stories high!  So we had a 20 minute wait for dinner and ended up buying Nikki a pair of jeans and Ali a pretty hair clip.  We were really looking forward to spending the next day in a shopping bliss when the store employee told us they'd be closed for Thanksgiving.  Huh?? Why didn't we consider that as a possibility?  Here we'd been so excited to shop all day.  We had a nice time anyway.  We had breakfast on the 36th floor of our hotel, then walked to the movie theatre.  The girls and I watched one movie (The Social Network) and the boys watched another (Unstoppable).  Then we all met up and the kids went ice skating.  We headed back to the hotel for a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner.
Friday, the girls wanted to shop.  But I had to break it to them that I DON'T do black Friday.  I can't stand crowds and I never find anything I like on sale anyway.  So we got up, checked out and went to Gott's.  It's the former Taylor's Refresher that Bill and I ate at several times while in Napa.  We had burgers, fries and oreo shakes at 11:30 in the morning.  It was the perfect way to end our fabulous trip!  We had a great time and got some good college info.  We'll still have to find a few more schools that aren't such a reach to get into, but it's definitely a start.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

3rd day of colleges

So the next stop was UC Berkeley.  We drove through a seedy downtown and parked in that downtown area.  We walked up to the campus and didn't know where to begin.  Stephen was grouchy because he didn't like the town already.  Unfortunately the campus was closed due to the holiday so we weren't able to set up any tours.  A lady there pointed us in the direction of the pool so we headed that way.  Stephen said he didn't even care if we saw that because he had no interest in that school.  Being that it's a little liberal for me, and so tough to get into we said, "okay, let's go".  We didn't have much time until our appointment at University of San Francisco so off we went.
All I knew about USF was that it was another small, Catholic school that Jen had recommended as well.  Here we had an informational meeting as well as a tour.  At first Stephen said he wouldn't even consider it because he didn't feel he could deal with the big city.  After the tour he had said it seemed like a good school.  The down side is that they had an awesome pool, but no water polo or swim team.  That was a definite downer.  They did have D1 soccer, which Nikki liked.
At the end of that day, we all talked about the schools.  They all liked all of them except for Cal Poly SLO.  They all said it just wasn't their kind of school, whatever that means!  I think at this point it goes like this:
Santa Clara
We may try to squeeze in UC Davis.  We'll see how it goes.

2nd stop on our college road trip!

So our 2nd stop was at Santa Clara University.  This is a small, Catholic school that was recommended to me by our college planner.  I knew only the basics about it, as well as that it had a D1 water polo team, which was obviously a plus.  We went on a tour in the rain and then sat for a short, informational talk.  It sounds like a tough school to get into.  Grades and test scores need to be high.  Being a water polo player will help.  We all really liked the school, even if it does seem a bit small.  The girls really liked it, and though I think Stephen would do well there, I think it might be a better fit for the girls.
Next stop was Stanford.  We had an informational meeting only scheduled.  The meeting was very good, and they mentioned a tour afterward.  We begged and they agreed to let us join the tour even though it was full.  Of course the tour sealed the deal.  It makes it so much more personal to have someone explaining the buildings and letting you inside.  The church was beautiful as was the campus.  The story behind it was very cool too.  The original Stanford family had a son that died at the age of 16.  They wanted something to carry on his memory and decided on a university.  One of the 5 things that they agreed upon was that they would never sell any of the land.  It is an amazing place.  I don't know how high grades need to be to get into Stanford, but I know it would be much higher than where Stephen is now.  It's definitely something to work towards.
At dinner that evening we talked about the favorites so far.  They all liked UCSB the best, with Stanford and Santa Clara right behind.  Next stop will be Cal and USF...

Monday, November 22, 2010

College Tour Road Trip

We hit the road!  Stephen doesn't get much time off throughout the year; a week at Thanksgiving, two weeks at Christmas and three weeks in the summer.  Since summer is usually reserved for a family vacation we figured we won't have much time left to visit colleges.  We decided to take a few days and see a few colleges in Northern California.  Our first stop was UCSB.  I had a feeling it was going to be like when you are shopping for an important occasion.  You try on a million dresses and end up buying the first one you saw.  UCSB is beautiful!  It was everything Stephen and Nikki both wanted in a school.  They were both completely sold.  We visited the rec center, the pools, I.V (the party housing) and the visitor center.  We then decided to scrap the visit to UCSC because the write up in my book wasn't very favorable.  We instead hit Cal Poly SLO.  The kids all thought it wasn't nearly the school that UCSB was and had no interest in hanging out too long.  We had lunch near the campus and they were all okay with that, but both Stephen and Nikki said it wasn't a school that would be high on their list.  I think the beauty of UCSB completely overpowered anything else they would have seen that same day.  Next stop...Santa Clara University and Stanford.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I certainly had someone looking out for me today.  I took Stephen out of school to get his permit to drive.  We got to the DMV in Fontana about 20 minutes early.  We went straight to the counter and were promptly helped.  After reviewing his forms, she stated the only thing missing was an original birth certificate.  OMG!  I didn't have that in the file.  I asked her if I ran home and got it could we still get our appointment today (as the line for walk ins was around the building).  She said possibly.  So off we ran.  Our appointment was scheduled for 10:10 and I walked in our front door at 10:10, great!  Stephen was already a little stressed about the test, I'm sure this was helping.  On the way back I told him we'd just stand in line if they cancelled his appointment and we'd make it work.  So as I'm speeding along at about 85 mph, I pull up next to a CHP car, that might I say looked NOTHING like a CHP car!  I hit the brakes, but alas she pulled right behind me and hit her lights.  I pulled off and grabbed my purse, hoping to get this over with as quickly as possible.  I was only a 1/2 mile from our exit!!  She asked me what my hurry was, and I explained our situation.  She started laughing and said I certainly wasn't a good example to my son.  I told her that's what the DMV will do to a person.  She blessedly let me off with a warning, the first time in my life that's ever happened!  So off we went to the DMV and miraculously the DMV lady took his birth certificate and moved us along without so much a word.  At that point we were 35 minutes past his appointment time.  And after all of that, Stephen only missed 3 questions on his test and now has his permit!  Whew!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Banana Bread

I know I said I've come to embrace cooking a good meal for my family, but alas I still LOVE to bake.  I just wish I didn't LOVE to eat the fruits of my labor.  I just pulled two loaves of banana bread out of the oven.  Within 5 minutes the first loaf was just about gone.  There's about two slices left.  And no I didn't eat it all myself.  My three little munchkins helped me.  Next on my list to make is an apple pie.  I'm going to attempt to make the crust by scratch.  We'll see how it ends up.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My poor baby

Who knew that darned front tooth of Stephen's would continue to haunt him?  He had it pulled in September when we found out it was being re-absorbed by his body & disappearing.  Then we found out some of the bone had been absorbed as well.  So we went for a consult on bone grafting.  The 3 options aren't fabulous.  1) He can have two separate surgeries.  One to remove bone from somewhere else in his body and the second to place it. 2) He can use a cadaver bone 3) He can use a new treatment that uses stem cells to regenerate your own bone.  I know this sounds like the obvious answer, but the failure rate is really high...we have a year to decide on this.
Next after tiring of the flipper, we decided to let him be a guinea pig and try Dr. Tracey's TTR implant.  It's like a temporary, permanent tooth.  He uses a mini screw in the bone and attaches a tooth to that.  The mini screw doesn't permanently implant in the bone.  So he had the screw inserted yesterday and Dr. T said he wasn't thrilled with how easily the screw went in.  He said it means the bone may be more gone than they'd realized, and the screw may not hold.  We just have to wait to see.  Great!  Next Thursday he's supposed to have the tooth put in.  Let's hope it lasts at least a year.  Then we can move forward.  I'm tired of this waiting to see what is going to happen, and I'm sure Stephen is tired too.