SAN DIEGO – We flew from Phoenix to San Diego for the second leg of our “excellent adventure” this summer. The flight was packed. No surprise there. I often go to San Diego for the Del Mar horse races and notice lots of Arizona people escaping the heat at the beach or a hotel swimming pool.
This summer, we’re in San Diego because our son was accepted to a two-week Summer Medical Academy, hosted by Rady’s Children Hospital and the UCSD School of Medicine. I think he’s the first from our neck of the woods, but the administrators liked his application and essays. He will join a group about 30 other high-school students from throughout the state, a good experience.
“Our signature program, the Summer Medical Academy (SMA) is an educational summer program that provides high school age students with unique and exciting opportunities to explore the world of medical training and practice,” according to the program. “The program utilizes a mixture of lectures /interactive discussions, hands-on skills clinics, group projects, career panels, and team building/networking.”
This is a full day, five-day-a-week program with a syllabus filled with first-class learning experiences. My wife and I brought our laptops and we’re telecommuting from our apartment.
We are staying at The Village at Torrey Pines, an on-campus housing complex for UCSD students. It’s convenient, and we wanted our son to have a “college-like experience.”
But it was not the teachable moment I’d been hoping for in terms of “roughing it.”
This is four-star apartment, not a modest dorm like the one I stayed at when I was a freshman at Cal in 1978. Unlike our small room with two twin beds and facing desks at Priestley Hall at Cal, this is a fully equipped apartment for just $140 a night.
It has a full kitchen, dining area, two full baths, three bedrooms, flat-screen TV, high-speed internet access and other amenities. Some of the apartments have ocean views. No dishwasher, though. It is in a prime location. We can walk to an on-campus market, restaurant, swimming pool and more.
It’s obvious why UCSD is so popular with students, including a growing number from our neck of the woods. It sits on a bluff overlooking the ocean, and it is a popular campus for STEM students like our son. Irwin Jacobs, the co-founder of Qualcomm, a leading high-tech firm in San Diego, has been a generous donor to the engineering school. It is named after him.
I’m coming home later this week to coordinate the distribution of our magazine with our Sacramento and Reno distributors. I wish I could stay longer.