Editor's Note: This entry is part two in the seven-part "On the Road" series. Read Part One here.
Hello once again from the suburbs of Boston. As we begin the "On the Road" with Admissions_Daniel series, I thought you would all enjoy reading about how I prepared for this trip and what the agenda for the week will be. As I write this, it is a blustery, but sunny Sunday morning and I have just returned from enjoying a free continental breakfast - one of the nice perks of staying at a Courtyard Marriott.
Speaking of hotel perks, I always thought my favorite perk was the free USA Today newspaper every morning. Now, I am not a fan of newspapers (long story) and I typically get my news from the Internet, but while on the road the USA Today is in my opinion wonderful. Who doesn't love a Cliff Notes version of a newspaper with color, pictures, graphs, charts, and useless stories. I personally love the purple Life section and the orange Sports section. But, times have changed and my new favorite hotel perk is by far, free wireless Internet. This has revolutionized my hotel stays. For instance, as I blog I get to sit at the desk, rest in bed, lie on the floor (don't do that), or even sit in the tub if I wanted (not going to do that). Sorry for the tangent - back to the topic at hand.
Preparation for this trip started back in February as I began to receive invitations to a variety of college fairs throughout my region. I am the New England regional representative for Hopkins so any college fair invites from schools in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Maine come directly to me. (Sorry Connecticut - Johns Hopkins does not consider you part of New England.) I go through the invites, decide which events we should attend, develop an agenda and proposal, and pass to my boss for approval. Now see, this is all pretty routine for me as I have recruited New England students going on seven years. Since I know what works and what doesn't work in terms of New England recruitment, I typically know in advance what events I will be attending and where and when I will be traveling in the spring and fall. I will occasionally tweak my schedule, but this year I am going with the traditional one week of events - a trip that is as familiar as the back of my hand (or how to re-calculate a student's GPA).
After my travel proposal is approved, I booked my hotels and arranged for a rental car. See I hate to fly, so New England is a perfect territory for me because it is in driving distance - if you don't mind a 7-8 hour drive along I-95. Having lived my whole life in the Mid-Atlantic and New England, I know pretty much every rest stop along I-95 from Washington, D.C. to Bangor, Maine. Also, one of the nice advantages of driving is you don't need to ship recruitment materials. And, since I am known to over-pack this works perfectly for me.
There is another side of travel preparation for me and that has to do with the days leading up to my trip. To prepare, I took Friday off as a vacation day (well earned after the mayhem of on-campus events in April), packed up and drove up to Southern New Jersey. My family lives in Voorhees, NJ and pretty much before any trip I visit with them. I have found a couple of days with family and I am prepared to tackle any recruitment trip.
This past weekend at home was quite enjoyable. I got to play two rounds of golf with my Dad, his best friend, and a few other of his golfing buddies. Though at two different courses, both rounds played out about the same way, horrible front nine and a respectable back nine. I hope to play a lot of golf this summer, and if so I hope I can improve my iron play.
Even more joyful, I got to spend some quality time with my sister and brother-in-law, and the most important person in my life right now -- my baby niece Lilly. Lilly was born this past January and due to my crazy work schedule I have not gotten to spend much time with her. That will change this summer and hopefully I will get over my fear of holding her. Just looking into her eyes makes me so happy - ain't she a cutie?
And I can't forget spending time with my Mom. My Mom and I are extremely close and share a lot of interests. She reads this blog frequently so, HI MOM! The best thing about visiting with my Mom is no matter what, when ever I leave she makes sure she leaves me a nice little note. Since bagged lunches in elementary schools my Mom has been leaving me notes and they always put a huge smile on my face.
The last great benefit of visiting home before heading up to New England is that I get to drop off my best friend and he gets to spend time with my family. See my best friend is my dog Sozë, yes named after Keyser Sozë from the greatest movie of all time, The Usual Suspects. (If you have to yet to see this movie, do make sure it is the next movie you see!!!) Sozë does travel with my on occasion, but we decided it would be best if he stayed with my family and kept them company while I was away. He loves it there because he gets a beautiful backyard to run around, a comfortable couch to sleep on, and he gets to visit with his cousin Saki, my sister's dog.
So after lunch with the family on Saturday, I packed up my rental car (more on the rental car later in the series) and drove the five and a half hours to Woburn. The drive was enjoyable as I got to listen to WFAN 660 AM radio (New York sports radio) and hear my N.Y. Mets beat the evil Atlanta Braves 1-0. Checked in around 10:30pm and hit the bed around 10:35pm.
Time to get ready for my first event this afternoon. I have college fairs Sunday Afternoon and Monday evening just outside of Boston, and then it is up to New Hampshire for fairs on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Check back to tomorrow for details about my the fair, which tends to be the busiest college fair I attend all year.
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