A Road Warrior Returns Home

Home on the Cape (MA) for reading season. Craig wasn’t wearing a tie. He came from XC practice with an allergic dripping nose and asked me about our 3/2 engineering dual degree program with Cal Tech and Columbia. Great kid, an easy admit.

Turned in the Kia rental two weeks ago after 6600 New England fall miles. Watched the landscape go from jungle green to fall splendor to plowed corn fields dusted with snow: The frost is on the pumpkin. Enterprise didn’t notice the little dent on the trunk, compliments of a mailbox I backed into. Ended up doing a total of 80 school visits/college fairs and about the same number of interviews. A personal record (PR to those of you who are jocks): Didn’t get stood up once for an interview appointment!

It gets weird on the road—highs and lows of meeting great kids and interested counselors followed by school visits with no kids and counselors too busy or uninterested to be bothered. Willy Loman territory. Meals ranging from Mickey D’s to local sandwich shops where everyone knows your name (mine apparently is “Hon”), to plastic chains, to wonderful little Thai and Chinese places that cost almost nothing. And dependable Hampton Inns with their compact exercise rooms and gross but filling breakfasts.

Admission officers follow the seasons: Fall is travel season, winter is reading season. As a regional officer working from my home, I’ll pull on my winter sweats and read over 1,000 apps in my basement dungeon. My neck and shoulders will complain, apps will bore me and make me cry. I’ll email the occasional kid whose essay knocks my socks off and later, when my wife comes home from work, I’ll read her the essay and start dripping tears again. A kid who comes alive in their app makes my day, my year. I love what I do.


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