Educational Update.

Educational Update. Liz and I had a great college tour this week. We started at the UW visiting their honors program, where Liz was able to sit in on an ecology class. The honors staff was super nice and accomodating and the UW is a great hometown choice.

Then down to Southern Cal for a whirlwind tour through Oxy, Pomona and the rest of the Claremont schools, Pepperdine, and Cal Tech.

Liz liked Pomona. We had a great tour led by a young man in the freshman class — we saw all the dorms, the dining areas, some of the classrooms. Very small classes, nice dorms, beautiful Mission+Georgian architecture (my analysis — I am sure real architects would describe differently), a strong sciences program, an extensive outdoors program. And a small school but with the facilities of a larger university since it is part of the Claremont consortium. And Claremont is a pleasant suburban setting and very close to Ontario airport.

Caltech is also a beautiful campus but we didn’t have a chance to visit classes. But worth applying to, obviously a great sciences tradition.

Pepperdine and Oxy are also both great schools. Beautiful albeit very different settings — Pepperdine in Malibu has just a stupendous view. Oxy may be a little weaker on the sciences, though it has a good program and all the people we met were great. Pepperdine has some great new science facilities including a really cool marine biology lab. We met the Natural Sciences department head while at Pepperdine and she was very nice, setting us up with a lab tour with one of the biology professors. All these schools were super friendly and accomodating.

Liz did very well on her SATs, particularly her math, so she feels like she has a great chance of getting in most of these schools, so we feel very good about her choices. We are going to try to slip down and see classes and dorms at Reed in a couple weeks as a point of comparison. That will give Liz all the data she needs to decide over the summer the set of schools to which she applies (I am clearly not an English major, I am sure I could have structured that sentence better).

John has his own exciting academic news. His teachers recommended last week that he skip ahead next year to 8th grade math along with 4 other of his classmates. He is very excited about this, this means he will take Algebra next year, Geometry in 8th grade, and then move into Honors/AP Algebra II, Precal, Calculus, etc in high school. Liz also skipped ahead a year in math during high school and it has helped her a lot in terms of SAT scores, etc. So this seems like a great move (and much better than trying to skip an entire grade which we think can put certain kids at a social disadvantage sometimes).

This week John is not in school but is on what is called “Project Week”. His project this year is Filipino Culture and he is spending the week at various locations around Seattle learning about the subject. This wasn’t his first choice of project! But one of his friends is on the team with him, and they get to eat lots of good food, so I am sure they will have fun. The weather is beautiful here today so being out and about in the city won’t be a burden.