Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Crisp apple streudel and warm woolen mittens

Day 12 of high schools visits. Today's road music: Johnny Cash and Janis Joplin. Number of Panera visits: 2. All in all, a pretty standard day.

I'm in PA right now, bobbing back and forth between Gettysburg and Lancaster. Yesterday was Yom Kippur, which means the only schools I visited were Christian. (No, seriously.) I only met with one student all day. The meeting lasted about 45 minutes, which was about 43 minutes longer than I would have liked. This girl is a junior in high school and told me she's been doing college research since she was eight. She wasn't using hyperbole. Plus, she kept calling me "ma'am," which I know is a term of respect, but it freaks me out when kids call me that. I'm six years older than you, give it a rest. But this girl naturally had a sheet of looseleaf paper filled with questions gleaned from years of reading ridiculous "How to Get Into College" websites. When she exhausted those, she said, "I feel like I'm getting a mental picture of campus, but I'm still not getting a reading on the students. What about them?" ...*facepalm*

Now, those of you who know me know that I don't have a typical "admissions" personality. I'm not outgoing. I'm shy and awkward as hell. All I really have going for me is a genuine love for my alma mater, and the ability to be kind of adorable sometimes. It's a cheap gimick, but it usually works. Except when you're talking to someone who sucks the soul out of anyone they encounter. I'm pretty sure this girl could kill a puppy with a well-aimed stare. I would tell her something about our school and get really excited about it (I can't help it, it just happens), and she would stare at me coolly like I was wasting her time. Sorry for telling you something that isn't a straight statistic... next time I'll stick to the average scores of pre-law students on the LSATs. (Obviously I didn't know that, but would anyone at the school actually have that information? Seriously?) I doubt she'll be an applicant. I hope not.

Fortunately I bounced back quickly from that episode with a trip to Gettysburg! I explored the museum and the battleground. I'm going to try not to get too gushy here, but it was absolutely gorgeous outside and the light on the field was spectacular. I wish I could capture it well on my camera, but I failed. (In case you haven't noticed this theme yet, I'm very big on sunlight. Perhaps the fascination comes from my utter inability to tan.) The fabulous part is that I left my normal-person shoes at my parents' house, which meant that instead of wandering around in sneakers or flipflops like a normal person, I stomped around Gettysburg in a pencil skirt and heels. And then I absentmindedly threw on a jacket when I got to the battlefield, which I realized after fifty or so strange looks was my suit jacket. I like to pretend that other tourists assumed I was there in some official capacity. Aside from the funny looks, it wasn't that bad... although there were some shots I wanted to get, but they would require me to flash half of Pennsylvania. Alas, we'll just never know how they turned out.

Today has been low-key thus far... I'm off to my last school visit in a few minutes, and then I have a college fair tonight.

***Disclaimer: Do not read this unless you want to be sad for the rest of the day***

My last visit was with a kid who had a skateboard accident at the end of last school year and is suffering from a traumatic brain injury. He's actually doing really well considering, but he's still adjusting to everything. He's starting his senior year next week, and on top of all his other issues is playing six weeks worth of catch-up. He used to be an athlete, captain of three different teams, but he can't do sports anymore, which I think is the biggest shock for him. He didn't do too much outside of athletics, so hopefully he'll find some other things to get involved in. His counselor doubts he will be an applicant, but we'll see how things progress over the next year or so. Fortunately he's at a small, nurturing school where they can give him the support he needs, and he has a positive attitude about everything. Maybe a gap year will be all he needs? I hope?

Off to my next visit... Please offset the previous paragraph by thinking about puppies.

Also, sorry that you now have "My Favorite Things" stuck in your head. I thought it would help.

1 comment:

  1. which museum?? DID YOU SEE THE BED. (not a question, really).
    also i have a direct link to the picture of said bed if you would like, since clearly seeing a bed that Abraham Lincoln slept in will cheer most people up better than thinking of puppies. Let me know.