Monday, January 5, 2015

Alex's Exam And Interview In San Francisco



Song:  California Dreamin

Group:  The Mammas & The Papas







I filled up with gas just before getting on the Highway.

The temperature was below freezing...
just my kind of temperature.


We started early in the morning for our trip to San Francisco.

Alex had an exam to take...
and we all had interviews.

Although I cannot say exactly what it was for...
I can say that it was for possible entrance into a unique educational institution...
of which is heavily involved in Math and Science...
and of which is yet to be built in San Francisco.

They are interviewing candidates with a love of Math and Science
(just the math portion alone will involve 2.5 hours a day...
and all of the instructors will be former Professors from famous Universities...
such as Harvard and Stanford, among others.  
They have already resigned their positions at these...
and other Universities, to become part of this project).

The only drawback would be the heavy expense involved.

Unless we can get a break on the tuition...
we will have to pass on this great educational opportunity
(although, there are really good ones where we are now).

Besides the tuition...
there would be a great increase in the cost of living anywhere near San Francisco...
along with the daily transportation costs.

While I make a comfortable living in retirement...
we are also saving for Alex's future University costs...
which we expect to be formidable.

Were we to expend a lot of it now...
we could run short before Alex completes his Ph. D. ...
at what we must expect to be, a very expensive University.

Even though we will move near whichever University Alex eventually
goes to full time...and he will live at home...we must expect to spend 
several hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of his University education.



As we had arrived in San Francisco early...
we stopped in at the Japan Center.


We had lunch at one of the restaurants.


My wife had the beef udon sukiyaki...
and she and Alex shared some fried oysters.


I had a beef bowl and cold soba noodle dish.


Alex had the Unagi bowl and cold soba noodle dish.


On our way back to the garage...
and off to the University of San Francisco
for his testing and our interviews.



We arrived with plenty of time to spare.

Although the temperature was in the low 50s in San Francisco...
it felt almost tropical compared to Reno...
and as a result...I felt over heated. 
 I was actually sweating.

Of course...
my flannel shirt had a lot to do with it  :)

Give me high altitude and freezing weather anytime.

As a high altitude mountain man at heart...
I greatly suffer in the heat  :)





The building where the testing and interviews took place.


Alex going in for his interview.
The man in the picture is the head of the mathematics department in the project
(which will be located somewhere in downtown San Francisco.
The University of San Francisco was just the location of the exam and interview...
it won't be the location of the project).

Besides having competed in many prestigious math contests...
the head of the mathematics department had also won his 
State Mathcounts competition and had gone to the Nationals when he was in the 8th grade
(just as Alex had).

He is also an author of a highly regarded math book (of which Alex has been reading).
He had designed the math test which Alex would take after the interview.

He is also a founding member of a famous international math contest...
and he is a designer of the competition's test questions
(The Mandelbrot Competition - along with fellow founders 
Sandor Lehoczky and Richard Rusczyk).

After the interview and exam...
Alex had remarked how similar their interests are...
and how Alex wishes to be someone like him.

He is a University Math Professor...
he was a successful international math competitor...
and he is also an author.

These are three of Alex's goals.


As it was even warmer inside the building...
after our interviews...
we waited outside...
where I mostly stayed in the shade after walking around 
and taking some photos.






 Alex after his math exam.


We are leaving the campus to go back to the Japan Center...
where my wife and Alex did some grocery shopping...
and where I just relaxed in the car  :)


On our drive home...
Alex said he was pleased with his performance...
and, as he was used to writing mathematical proofs...
he had greatly enjoyed the exam.

Alex had enjoyed our day here...
and he is excited at the prospect of being with other highly gifted mathematicians.

We, however...
have also told him that due to the financial burden it may present...
we may have to pass on it.

Alex understands...
and he also knows that he may continue to advance himself
at the University of Nevada Reno in case we cannot do it...
and that we also have other contingencies to look into.

Either way...
Alex will continue to strive for his dreams...
and we will continually research and plan for educational opportunities for Alex.


I had retired early...
just so we could move at a moments notice...
to anywhere in the world that has the best educational opportunity for Alex.

Alex is a young man of such drive...
with such a love of learning...
and of such a pure heart.

Our mission in life
is to ensure Alex gets the best opportunities...
so he may experience success, great happiness...
and a deeply meaningful and satisfying life.

It is not just a mission of duty as parents...
it is a mission of pure pleasure for us.


Alex's pain...is our pain.
Alex's happiness...is our happiness.

It is our mission to mitigate and lessen, or to completely eliminate...
unnecessary frustration and pain...
anything which would hold him back from...
 or slow him down in his striving for...
the achievement of his dreams.


It is also our mission to maximize any and all opportunities
which would further his advancement towards his dreams.


As I have told Alex before...
I am living for the day when:

Alex earns his Ph.D.

Alex becomes a University Professor

I see Alex's name published on his first major book


Were I to die once these are completed...
I could do so, without regret...
and do so...happily.


Ah...
the life of a helicopter parent...
there is nothing like it.  :)















2 comments:

  1. Sounds like a fantastic program that would be wonderful for Alex. I am guessing that the founders understand that many of the best candidates would not be able to afford a major financial outlay, though they may not have secured enough funding to cover all of the worthy families. Best to you and Alex on this, but regardless, I'm sure you will find other ways to keep Alex's growth on an upward trajectory.

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  2. They have financial assistance...but I really don't qualify. I make too much to be considered, and with Alex's projected University costs for a Ph.D....we cannot sacrifice his future at a University for such a program now...now matter how good it is. We still, however, put in for it to see if we can get a much reduced tuition fee. I don't think we will though.

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