Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Why do you want to come here?

For me, the average day in the office consists of a few phone calls, some hotel research, and roughly fifteen random emails to my friend Keri, who (thankfully) is just as bored as I am. Sure I'll write to random people throughout the day, but it's nice getting an immediate response sometimes. And apparently I'm fairly quick to reply considering the following message, sent to my inbox at 1:33 p.m.:

i haven't heard from you in 4 minutes. are you okay?

For the record, I was okay. I think she might have caught me on one of my two or three trips to the bathroom (read: excuses to stand up and walk around rather than gluing myself to the less-than-blissful desk chair) between 1 and 4.

I was fortunate enough to break up my day with two interviews. When I return to the office after my roadrunning, I'll be assisting the counselors by interviewing prospective students. For now I'm sitting in on interviews with experienced counselors and occasionally chiming in. The first interview of the day was... memorable.

For the sake of discretion, let's call this girl Megan. After reviewing the questionnaire that Megan filled out in our waiting room, we learn that she is interested in English, creative writing, and anthropology, and was extremely involved with her school's theater program. Megan quickly made an impression on our receptionist when she struggled with one of the questions on the form. We ask all students the following questions, in this order:

High school:
Counselor's name:
College (if applicable):

Most people don't have too many issues with this. We want to know where you go to high school, the name of your guidance counselor, and, if you are a transfer student, where you attend(ed) college. Megan, however, approaches our reception area and asks, "Do you want to know where my counselor attended college?" And that, my friends, was the first clue.

When the counselor and I took Megan back, the counselor explained that I was going to sit in to learn the ropes of the interview. As Megan sat down and the counselor started to ask her a question, Megan turned to me and boomed, "And, Allison, if you have any questions or comments or anything feel free to ask! I love talking to new people!" Needless to say, this was an interview who came in with a list of questions written out in her notebook. Questions about our senior thesis requirement which, to be honest, I barely thought about before spring of my junior year. It was a difficult interview to evaluate because it seemed to us that Megan had something Asperger-esque going on. Academically, she was a good candidate who shouldn't have problems getting in, but there were some concerns about her social adjustment. We recently graduated a student with Asperger's whose story did not end very well, but her personality was completely different than Megan's. Megan was friendly and cheerful and clearly wanted to be social
, we just couldn't be sure how she would be received. To be honest, I think she would be welcome among the creative writing kids on campus. They are... how do I phrase this? They are willing to take in strays. But Megan was talking about sororities and things that might be less accepting. We'll see. In the end she got a decent grade and, like I said, she really shouldn't have problems getting in.

Second interview of the day was far more nondescript. This time I shadowed with my favorite counselor in the office. (I don't know if I should have favorites... but if I did, it would be her and it wouldn't even be a contest.) The kid wasn't ridiculously responsive during the interview and really wanted to walk around and get a feel for the campus. You would think we were strapping him to the chair and forcing him to confess his deep, dark, secrets.

So, yeah. Hopefully you've enjoyed this intimate look into my day. Join me tomorrow as I attempt to make eight phone calls last the entire morning! I think there should be an Olympic event based on pretending to be busy at the office. I'll have to think of a name for this new sport...

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