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The "A HA" Moment We All Hope For

kschmidtkschmidt 103 replies19 threads Junior Member
edited January 2007 in University of Pittsburgh
Well, it happened to us, and it was an amazing thing! We visited UPITT over the weekend, and everything just seemed to fall into place. We had a great trip on a beautiful fall day, got to our hotel (Holiday Inn Select-right in the middle of everything, a great rate and free parking) and our room was actually ready early. Parked and explored the campus, ate at Fuel and Fuddle (I recommend it), wandered around. Went down to the SHadyside area and did a lot of window shopping and ate again, at a really wonderful Italian restaurant that I highly recommend (Girasole at 733 Copeland). D was already feeling great about Pitt.

Monday we had an info session, tour, honors college appointment, and engineering tour and info sessions. It was during the honors college session that things really fell into place. Dean Stewart of the Honors College came in and sat informally with about 10 students and their parents, and just started talking about this philosophy on education and "smart" students. It was when he said that he doesn't want smart kids, he wants smart and curious kids in his program that my D started sitting up a little straighter. He went on to talk about his Caltech PhD in Physics, and the fact that he still teaches Intro to Physics, and his theories on teaching in general. He is truly an engaging and interesting man. I said to myself as we listened that this was the place for my D. And sure enough, as soon as we left she said, Mom, this is the place for me, this is my new home, this is the rest of my life. And I had to hold the tears back because I know she's right, I felt it myself. It was truly an amazing day.

Now we just need an acceptance and some merit money and we'll be all set! If only that part was as easy.....
edited January 2007
37 replies
Post edited by kschmidt on
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Replies to: The "A HA" Moment We All Hope For

  • lkf725lkf725 4596 replies184 threads Senior Member
    Congrats! My son never really had the "A-HA" moment, but he is very happy and successful at Pitt. "Doc" (Dr. Stewart) is a very engaging individual and my son enjoyed his honors physics class last year. They get five days of Doc Stewart Physics every week, no "recitations" per se. I recommend it.

    Although most of the kids complain, the Freshman Engineering Conference is a great learning experience. I don't know if other colleges do this, but it is a second semester assignment that lets the students have pride in a long term project.

    I hope you daughter gets all of the good news she is hoping for! :)
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  • GinPAGinPA 728 replies75 threads Member
    I kinda experienced that same thing. I went on my visit to Pitt just to see it, and I wasn't expecting to enroll. But I really really loved it. Now I'm waiting on my acceptance
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  • mercymommercymom 1220 replies29 threads Senior Member
    kschmidt - just read your post on the "college visits" page. Thanks for posting in both places. Wow. Better than Cornell and Dartmouth? Lucky you. Just goes to show that a college visit is more than worth the cost of the airfare, gasoline, whatever. Our family had the exact same "aha!" moment last year - and I have a picture of D and H in front of the panther as my mouse pad to prove it! They are standing with an umbrella in the rain grinning from ear to ear, telling me our fate was sealed. Good luck on the rest of your college app journey.
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  • chrisdchrisd 474 replies23 threads Member
    So true about the college visit, mercymom!


    Kschmit, so glad to hear about your daughter's A-HA! This should make for a somewhat easier senior year.

    My daughter had the A-HA at Pitt also. She completed the application before we left!
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  • LBPLBP 400 replies13 threads Member
    Yes, we also had an A-HA! moment in August when D and I visited....She's already been accepted into the Honors College....I think when you visit Pitt, it just grows on you!!! :) We're OOS - and D prefers this school over "public Ivy" UVA.. (Reputation isn't everything; it has to be a "fit," as the say.)
    Good luck to everyone in his/her college search! Hope our kids are all awarded $$!
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  • lkf725lkf725 4596 replies184 threads Senior Member
    I think that happens often. Many kids I know, including my son, visited Pitt with no real intention of attending. But Pitt and Oakland really do grow on you. I remember how surprised I was when son chose Pitt. He said he just felt at home there, with good academics, plentiful opportunities and friendly people. Pitt really does a nice job with the visits and tours.
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  • iloveagoodbrewiloveagoodbrew 1666 replies15 threads Junior Member
    Pitt is a great place. Just take this one bit of advice. DO NOT TAKE HONORS COURSES
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  • kschmidtkschmidt 103 replies19 threads Junior Member
    iloveagoodbrew,

    You've commented several times on different threads about staying away from honors courses. What's the story? Your screenname provokes an element of skepticism....lol....
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  • iloveagoodbrewiloveagoodbrew 1666 replies15 threads Junior Member
    Honors courses are a lose-lose deal. You have to do much more work for no reward (i.e., no weight in transcript). You move at an incredible break neck pace and its pointless to do it (for me...freshman year engineering is loaded as it is, and Honors Eng., Honors Chem. just suck me dry). If you can believe it, I gave up drinking 3 weeks ago (gets in the way of my training).

    If you have a good counselor when you sign up for freshman classes, he will tell you to stay away from them. Of course, I had the worst possible counselor who didn't tell me what I was facing.
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  • lkf725lkf725 4596 replies184 threads Senior Member
    I am not the student, but I might disagree somewhat. It probably depends on the particular class, the particular professor and the individual student. My son really enjoyed the honors physics and the honors engineering classes. He had a poor chemistry background, so he didn't take honors chem. And, I think anybody who takes two semesters of college calc in one semester is either really advanced or just plain nuts!

    BTW, with regard to your comment that honors classes get no additional weight, that is true. Here is my question. Why does Pitt give extra weight to "plus" grades for B or C, but not for A? Apparently, an A+ only counts for 4.0! Not fair!
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  • stowmomstowmom 215 replies7 threads Junior Member
    My D just had the A-HA moment this weekend. We went to a Pitt Pathfinder Day and she just loved it. Everyone was so friendly and willing to answer questions. I was highly impressed with the nursing program there and the facilities. Had her application in before we even went for the visit. Now just waiting for the acceptance.
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  • waterpoloplaya88waterpoloplaya88 26 replies0 threads New Member
    In response to the Honors Courses (I wrote this in another post but in case no one looks at it)I am loving my experience with Honors classes. Of course they are more work but that is why they have the designation as honors...they are designed for students who want to explore further into a topic. If you are no looking to put in the extra effort I would not recomend honors classes. Also if you are solely concerned about your G.P.A then I can see how honors courses might be viewed as a lose lose deal....they are focused on exploring into topics rather than giving you an easy A. I enjoy the smaller class sizes of my Honors classes and although there is no weighted grade point for taking them, graduate schools do take the honors courses into consideration when evaluating your application (since the honors designation shows up on your transcript)
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  • nurse123nurse123 147 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Stowmom
    I am glad your d had the "aha" moment at Pitt. We felt the same way about Pitt. The nursing program is outstanding and very impressive. Good luck!
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  • chrisdchrisd 474 replies23 threads Member
    Stowmom,

    So good to hear that your daughter had an AH-A moment!

    Elsewhere you posted that your daughter wasn't too impressed w/ local university where she did post-secondary. My middle daughter did some post-secondary at the U off Rt. 8. . . kids sleeping in the 8 a.m. Spanish class, sure didn't make her want to go there for four years! Daughter at Pitt did some post-secondary at Kent. Pitt gave her full credit for everything from there, even 4 credit hours for oceanography, which Pitt doesn't offer!

    Good luck on the rest of the application road!
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  • stowmomstowmom 215 replies7 threads Junior Member
    chrisd,
    My D is doing post-secondary at that same "U off Rt 8". Not impressed that freshman are wanting to copy off her (a 16 year old) worksheets in psych class, they are only getting 70s or worse on their tests and that TAs can't pronounce medical words or know what simple words like altruism means. Glad to hear Pitt is willing to give full credit for classes taken here. Only thing I didn't like about Pitt is the crazy highways. Got lost using GPS because of goofy highway system and too many mountains, tunnels and tall buildings for GPS to work right. But I guess we can learn to get there easy if we have to keep going back!
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  • stowmomstowmom 215 replies7 threads Junior Member
    chrisd,
    My D is doing post-secondary at that same "U off Rt 8". Not impressed that freshman are wanting to copy off her (a 16 year old) worksheets in psych class, they are only getting 70s or worse on their tests and that TAs can't pronounce medical words or know what simple words like altruism means. Glad to hear Pitt is willing to give full credit for classes taken here. Only thing I didn't like about Pitt is the crazy highways. Got lost using GPS because of goofy highway system and too many mountains, tunnels and tall buildings for GPS to work right. But I guess we can learn to get there easy if we have to keep going back!
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  • stowmomstowmom 215 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Oops! Sorry for the double post. Computer is acting up again.
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  • chrisdchrisd 474 replies23 threads Member
    Yes, the highways there confuse the heck out of me. . . . did you exit at "the small green sign" that says Forbes Ave? I am amazed that the highway folks there put up such a dinky sign for such a popular exit, with such a short sharp exit ramp. . . . way worse than Rt 8 before its renovation!

    Did you visit dorms? My daughter wanted to live in the Towers after her tour there, even though the rooms are quite small. She lives there now, and likes it quite a bit.
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  • iloveagoodbrewiloveagoodbrew 1666 replies15 threads Junior Member
    Yes I missed the small green sign the first time. Then I got confused on the exits 6A-3 because the roads in P-town truly suck. Towers rooms are indeed tiny. I am getting an apartment next year. I really need an open flame.
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  • stowmomstowmom 215 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Yes, we visited a dorm room in the towers. D isn't sure if she would like to live there where she could meet more people and everything is right there or in Lothrop where she would have easy access to nursing classes and hospital. Both have advantages and disadvantages. It would have been nice if we could have seen a room in Lothrop. Anybody out there live in Lothrop or know what it's like?
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