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The College Preparatory School
Parents' Association

Celebrating 50 years of Excellence! The College Preparatory School is an independent coeducational day school, grades 9-12, for intellectual risk-takers who want to pursue a serious, purposeful education with others who feel the same way. Founded in 1960, our community today includes approximately 350 students from communities throughout the San Francisco East Bay region.


The College Preparatory School
Buttner Auditorium
6100 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94618 

Driving Directions

LiveTalk, College Preparatory School's evening lecture series, is open to the entire community.  We hope you will join us. 

To ensure seating for each of these wonderful events, we strongly suggest purchasing a subscription to the entire series of lectures for the 2011/2012 season.  Subscriptions are $55 each. 

To subscribe, click “Register Now" at the bottom of this page. You'll receive guaranteed seating for each of these engaging, thought-provoking lectures. 

Tickets for individual lectures are available at the door.  Individual tickets are $15 and are available on a first come, first serve basis. 

Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Events begin at 7:30 p.m. and end at 9:00 p.m. We recommend you arrive 20 minutes ahead to ensure the best seating.


2011-12 LiveTalk Lecture Series


October 6, 2011
Solar Power: Myth vs. Fact

with Tom Dinwoodie, CTO, SunPower in Conversation with Quentin Hardy, New York Times

Bringing alternative sources of energy online quickly and efficiently is a critical need in today’s energy hungry world.  Join Tom Dinwoodie in conversation with Quentin Hardy of the New York Times as they demystify solar power, sorting fact from fiction.  Learn how solar has grown into a scalable, cost effective solution that can offer a powerful alternative to both new natural gas and nuclear in California.    However, numerous challenges remain for this promising technology.  Come armed with your questions and concerns. About Tom Dinwoodie: 

Mr. Dinwoodie founded PowerLight Corporation (now SunPower Corporation, Systems) and served as its CEO and Chairman of the Board from 1995 – 2007, during which time PowerLight was inducted into the INC 500 Hall of Fame as one of the country’s fastest growing companies for five years running. He currently is CTO of SunPower, a trustee of the Rocky Mountain Institute, and serves on the Sierra Club’s Climate Cabinet and Scientific Advisory Panel. Mr. Dinwoodie holds numerous patents on PV and related products.


November 3, 2011
Buzz:  A Year of Paying Attention
with author Katherine Ellison

 When Katherine Ellison’s son, Buzz, was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Ellison was already familiar with its symptoms -- she soon learned that she had ADHD as well.  Struggling with her own diagnosis while trying to be an effective parent was proving an uphill battle.  As Ellison and Buzz's mutual frustration mounted, the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist decided to spend a year doing what came naturally: investigating.  The result is an engaging and humorous account of life with a high-spirited child, combined with a scrupulously reported journalist’s overview of the controversies surrounding Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and how best to manage it.
About Katherine Ellison:  Ms. Ellison is a Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative journalist, former foreign correspondent, writing consultant, author of four books, and mother of two sons. Ellison has written widely on recent developments with ADHD, now estimated to affect at least 10 million adults and nearly 5 million children, for national media including The New York Times and The Washington Post.  Ellison’s previous books include “The Mommy Brain: How Motherhood Makes You Smarter,” “The New Economy of Nature: The Quest to Make Conservation Profitable,” and “Imelda: Steel Butterfly of the Philippines.” From 1987-99, she was chief of Knight Ridder Newspaper bureaus in Mexico and Rio de Janeiro.


January 12, 2012
The Challenges of Economic Policymaking:  A View from the Inside

with Christina Romer, former Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers and Professor of Economics, UC Berkeley

Designing and passing sensible economic policies is a process fraught with challenge, particularly in the current political climate in Washington DC.  Please join us as Dr. Romer unpacks this complex process in the context of the policy successes and failures of the Obama administration.  An extended question and answer session moderated by Maurice Obstfeld, Professor of Economics at UC Berkeley, will focus on current economic challenges and the needed policy response.

About Dr. Romer: 

Christina Romer is the Class of 1957-Garff B. Wilson Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley.  She is also co-director of the Program in Monetary Economics at the National Bureau of Economic Research.  From January 2009 until September 2010, Dr. Romer served as Chair of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers.  She is a specialist in economic history and macroeconomics, and is best known for her work on the causes of and the recovery from the Great Depression, and on the impact of monetary and fiscal policy.


February 23, 2012
Academy Awards Preview Night

with film historian Harry Chotiner  

Join us for one of the most entertaining and beloved evenings in the LiveTalk series.  Renowned film historian Harry Chotiner will guide us through an in-depth preview of Academy Awards 2012.  This annual College Prep tradition features New York University film history professor and former Twentieth Century Fox vice president Harry Chotiner.  Professor Chotiner’s informed perspective offers an inside look at the nominees, along with plenty of lively, interactive audience participation.  We add hot popcorn, soda, candies and door prizes!  Bring your opinions and get a copy of Harry’s picks for the best movies, actors, and directors of the year.


April 19th, 2012
Breaking Trail: Mountains, Molecules, and Motherhood 
with Arlene Blum, Scientist and Mountaineer

In her rich and varied career, Arlene Blum has broken a number of seemingly unrelated trails, each through her determination, passion and leadership.  She led the first all-woman ascent of Denali, the highest mountain in North America; the first American ascent of Annapurna I, the world’s tenth highest and possibly most dangerous peak; and was the first American woman to attempt Mt. Everest.  In her scientific work, Ms. Blum is currently breaking trails toward a healthier world by stopping the use of toxic chemicals in consumer products.  Join us for an engaging and insightful evening, featuring stunning images and unforgettable stories that will inspire each of us to break our own trails with passion and perseverance.   

About Arlene Blum:
Arlene Blum led historic mountaineering expeditions and carried her baby daughter Annalise (CPS 2005, Stanford 2010) across the European Alps.

As a biophysical chemist, Blum is has been breaking  new trails in protecting our health and environment from toxic chemicals since her work in the 1970’s removing cancer-causing Tris flame-retardants from children's sleepwear. Blum founded the Green Science Policy Institute which has stopped the use of millions of pounds of toxic chemicals in children's products, furniture, bed coverings and electronics.