Monday, December 6, 2010

Costa Rican Universities

I have my results back for the Costa Rican universities.

I don't remember the exact score I received from the TEC admissions test, but it was around 685 (of 800), easily enough to let me study biotecnology, which was my first choice. I may have mentioned this, but once you establish your choices, there's no turning back, you're stuck with that major.

For the UCR, I got a 741 (out of 800), which gave me a comfortable 30 points of leeway, about that many over the highest cut-off point for any major. Medicine, the highest, hasn't risen over 706 in the last 5 years, and is unlikely to go much higher this year. I now have my choice of career path, at least at that university. My score is in the top 100, out of 31 042 that took the test. The full list of top 100 scores was in the Sunday paper, and my physics teacher was kind enough to point out that I'd made it.

Fun fact: The student who scored a perfect 800 is studying physics. Its cut-off score is in the low 500s. Funner fact: 4 years ago, the student with a perfect 800 chose to study ballet.

At the very best (read: prestigious), I can become a practicing doctor in 5 years, at the ripe old age of 22. I could also become a lawyer a year younger.

Shame I'm not interested.

My father is pushing for these options, despite my repeated protestations to the contrary. His argument is that it would be good to have a degree at 22 that in the US would require grad school. It would save me 3 years of study. My counter-argument is that it would be 5 years of my life wasted, since I really don't want to study that at all.

Well, not quite true. It would be cool to work in a hospital, I think, blood doesn't bother me (a person actively bleeding and in pain is something else, though). Meaningless anecdote: one of my biology teachers is also a nurse. He told us (the class) that medical professionals are under the obligation to help a wounded person, even if off duty. He also told us that no medical professional he knows would do so, for fear of a lawsuit. (Does this tell us more of the profession or the company he keeps?). Also, no nurse would administer any drug, none, under no circumstances, without a written prescription from the doctor ordering it. No matter how urgent.

Interesting to be a lawyer. However, a cousin of mine, attorney-at-law, spends most of his time signing documents and writing them and notarizing and certifying and putting his fancy little gold seal on official documents. He won't take cases that require him to defend or represent a client in court. He also refuses to handle marriages or divorces (despite the fact that the former could cause the latter, doubling his business). Just me, or doesn't that defeat the purpose of that law degree?

So, if I stayed in Costa Rica, what would I study? Well, the UCR also offers Mechanical Engineering, that's pretty similar (in some cases identical) to what I want to study in the US. On the other hand, I think I really am interested in medical school, but I truly need more time to decide. 17 is just too young. Another reason I would really want to study in the US.

Last option: I could join a circus. I'm learning how to juggle, and intend to ask for a unicycle for my birthday.

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