Alumni Update: Ali Bartsch, Aneesh Chandiramani, Leah Trotman


We love, love, love when our students come back to visit.  Today we had a visit from PGIA Class of 2017 graduates:  Ali, Aneesh and Leah.  What a treat!

They have all just finished their first semester at college.  Ali is in engineering at Stanford, Aneesh is focusing on sciences, with a specific interest in biology at Clark University and Leah is deciding whether to major in International Studies or Public Health (possibly both) at Agnes Scott College.

I tried to interview them with a few simple questions - What do you like best about college life - Were there any huge surprises - Did you feel prepared -  but honestly they were going a mile a minute with each other and me about their experiences and how amazing things are.  I was totally blown away by them and couldn't stop smiling.  So, I'm definitely giving the cliff notes version of their conversations and am sure I will not be able to convey their enthusiasm - so please assume all of the following is written in caps with tons of emojis and exclamation points.

"What do you like best?"  All three hit on the same theme.  The people they are engaging with.  Whether their peers, professors or guest lecturers they all say they are meeting very interesting, diverse and accomplished people.  Ali met the woman that discovered carbon dioxide contributes to global warming and has a chance to interact with the COO of SpaceX "soon come". She spoke of these ladies with such reverence and awe - I am just waiting for the day that some young woman feels the same way about her chance to meet the prominent Alison Bartsch.  Leah is involved with Campus government and continues her strong interest in service with a plethora of activities - I must admit I lost count.  In the wee hours of the Hurricane Irma's pounding of our island, this bold freshman wrote to the president of her college (and quite possibly the Danish government) to initiate a movement for relief efforts.  Aneesh (in a quieter very Aneesh-ish way) is also really excited about the people his is meeting - "They all have such great stories about how they came to be at this point in their lives".   

"Do you feel that you were well prepared?"  This was easy.  They all said "yes".  And they recognize that many of their peers are not nearly so well-prepared.  Writing and citations were a big topic.   Leah and Aneesh felt like the class experts and were a little bored with the basic reviews they had to sit through.  Apparently everyone at Stanford falls in the "very well prepared" category.  They all felt that the study habits they developed in high school are serving them well at this level.  Leah was able to credit out of three Spanish semesters and an Anthro semester based on her PGIA IB Transcript.  

So nice to see them.  I'm still beaming.  Our students are "glowing" up (Aneesh's term - I like it).