Sunday, September 20, 2009

No, we don't offer speech pathology

The only reason I'm not writing from the comfort of my hotel room right now is because it will take me over an hour to get there and I need to pump enough caffeine into my body so I don't fall asleep at the wheel and die. Have I mentioned lately how much I love Panera? I think they should be the official sponsor for college admissions recruiting.

Today I dropped the boyfriend off at the train station (well, technically he dropped himself off since I still refuse to drive in Philadelphia) and headed to New Jersey for a college fair. Time usually flies at college fairs, but I still find myself constantly wanting it to be over so I can sit down and chug a gallon of water. This fair was huge. I ran out of supplies, not that it's particularly hard to do when people keep stealing your table copies. Seriously, guys? If there's only one brochure on a table, why would you assume you should grab it and walk away? And it's always the people who do walk-bys because they don't want to talk to anyone, so they just grab whatever information they can find. Especially for athletics brochures. It still boggles my mind that sports are the main motivator for a lot of prospective students. I especially loved one conversation today:

Girl: Do you have crew?
Me: Yes! Our crew team is really great, they got to NCAAs this year.
Girl: And you're D-I?
Me: No, D-III.
Girl: (walks away without saying anything)

Are you really going to be that picky about crew? Do you plan on rowing professionally? What are the odds of that happening? Besides, it's crew for god's sake. You don't need any experience to join the team so long as you're willing to abandon your social life and smooth hands.That's the beauty of the sport. That and the fact that small people get to yell at everyone.

I also had one of those dads who barked questions at me like a drill sergeant: "How many kids? Tuition? What division?" I practically responded, "Sir, 1300, $42,000 with room and board, D-III, sir!" I don't think I could handle that kind of pressure on a daily basis.

So basically college fair people fall into either of those two extremes: people who don't want to say anything to you, or people who want you to give them every fact and figure about your school in under a minute while juggling flaming batons. Although I also had one girl ask me whether she should go for a program associated with a med school or go to a normal school and study biology because she wants to be a doctor but isn't entirely sure and isn't that great at bio anyway and doesn't know if she'd be able to get into med school but also doesn't want to be stuck with the decision... She was very nice, but why would you expect a random admissions rep to tell you the best academic/career track for you? I also had one parent who is new to the process ask me what they should do for applying to college. As in, tell her everything for any school her kid might be looking at. I talked a bit about liberal arts versus non-liberal arts and the pre-med program that we have. But she didn't fill out a card because she, "wouldn't even know what to do with the information." *blink. blink.* I love my job.

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