Monday, September 27, 2010

From Raleigh to Winston-Salem and Everywhere In-Between!

Well this week I did a lot of travel in the span of three days but if you look at a map it was all fairly close together but I felt like I was all over the place, all week!

On Sunday I started the second week of travel up in Raleigh, NC. I drove from Clemson that morning to get there so it was so it was a bit of a drive. Raleigh isn't quite in my territory but I was picking up a fair for one of the other counselors, and was I glad I did! It was the busiest fair I have ever been too!

I was swamped the entire time! My table was packed and I have never had to replenish my table as often as I had to that day! It was fantastic! I gave out so much information and I talked so much that I was hoarse by the end of the night! It made the fair very interesting and fast pace! I was just glad I didn't run out of materials! I also had a great location right at the entrace to the room so I was the first table people saw when they entered which also helped!

Just to prove how much of a dork I am...and so you can see my table lol Here is my set-up!
 After the fair I headed to Winston-Salem for the night to get ready for a full day of high school visits in the morning. They went very well and I got introduced to some fine schools. After having some cancellations the previous week and not being able to see as many schools as I would have liked I was really looking forward to meeting with more students. In the first day alone I matched the amount of students that I saw last week and it only went up from there! There was one school that had about 20 students ready to meet with me! I was thrilled!

After the visits on Monday, I headed to my last fair of the week which was less than impressive. The polar opposite from the fair the night before! I was very disappointed in the turn out but they can't always be good, right? The one good thing about the trip to the fair was the hotel I stayed in! Being a Hilton Honors member, there are lots of perks and that night I got my first room upgrade!!! Seriously I thought I was a queen! Sky scrapping ceilings with grand curtains, a huge sofa, with a business center, a wet bar (no alcohol, lol), a huge walk in closet with mirrored doors, and what seemed like a larger than life king sized bed! Not to mention they had complimentary popcorn! It really doesn't take much for me!

The rest of the week continued to be a success making my way through Elon and Greensboro. I did take some time for myself by stopping by the huge discount store called "JR's". If you have ever traveled anywhere in North Carolina you have seen the many, oversized signs for JRs. When I was growing up and my family would vacation in Myrtle Beach, we always had to stop by JRs on the way to and from the beach! For some reason it became tradition for us and we always looked forward to it! We would always check out the perfume, procelain dolls and all the other crazy things you can find there. My dad would always stop by the cigar store and pick out the perfect beach cigar to enjoy over vacation.

So when I was close by I just had to stop by and relive all those times! I went and checked out the porcelain dolls, perfume and all the ends and outs. I ended up getting some discount books on CD that I can enjoy on my long drives and I also stopped by the cigar shop just to pick up something special for my dad. I had no idea what I was looking for but luckily the manager was able to help me and turns out the cigars I got are from one of my dad's favorite brands! ...I did well!

I did have to make my way home early in the week because I had to get back to the office to prepare for the first Open House of the year! I was very excited to get back and get all my ducks in a row and I think it turned out to be a very successful Open House! Not to mention it was Family Weekend on campus and the R-MC football team won once again against Frostburg State University, so we are still undefeated with the final score being 48-14!!! Go yellow Jackets!

After the weekend I am back on the road recruiting future yellow jackets!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sweet South Carolina!

So I decided since I was in Charlotte on Friday and had to be back in Raleigh, NC on Sunday afternoon, it would be too much to go all the way home, so I took advantage of that and went to visit Madeleine at Clemson for the weekend! It was so nice to see her and see where she is living now!

When I first got there I literally think we were talking a mile a minute! We had so much to catch up on that we couldn't even stop talking long enough to get out the door to grab something to eat. :) Madeleine took me to this cute little area of town with some really cute shops and nice places to eat. The whole time I was in Clemson I was so overwhelmed by how much of a college town it is! I'm pretty sure I was seeing orange for the next three days! It was really neat to see so much school spirit from not just the people walking around but all the buildings, streets, and decorations everywhere! Madeleine did mention that Friday is "Orange Day" haha could be why I'm still seeing orange! We went to this bar called TD's (I think that's what it was called) and they had fabulous burgers! Also, another way I could tell it was a college town was because the drinks were so extremely cheap!

The next day we slept in and Madeleine made us chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast and frenchpress coffee! Props to the Chef! After breakfast we couldn't think of anything better to do than go shopping of course! We went to the mall that was outside of town and had some great finds! So nice to have a leisurely Saturday spending time with a close friend shopping! It really was a perfect Sat and we were totally stoked about our purchases!

That evening Madeleine took me on campus to show me where she spends her the History Building! I got to see her office and desk area with the other history graduate students. I also got to see a lecture hall where she TA's. It seriously took my breath was so huge!!!!!! I can't imagine having to take a class in that room, especially coming from the R-MC classrooms lol. The room was so big that the professor has to use a microphone for students to be able to hear him. Of course we played around with that! Madeleine also walked me around to show me the library and some of the other undergrad buildings. While there I had a classic R-MC moment...I was very naive about the size of the campus. Madeleine told me she wanted to show me the football field and pointed in the direction of the stadium. Of course I immediately started walking in the direction where she pointed and she quickly stopped me and said, "Haha, no we will have to drive there...this isn't Randolph-Macon's Campus!" I just started laughing! So out of my element!

Once we got to the stadium I was blown away! It was huge! It literally looked like it was touching the sky! She explained to me that the stadium is called "Death Valley" and why Clemson is known for the "Fastest 20 seconds in College Football." That is when the Clemson football team rolls up in the buses (even when its a home game) outside the stadium, right before the game starts, and they all rush the field touching the "Howard Rock", from Death Valley, on their way down to the field. It happens so quickly and hypes up the fans so much that it explains why they call it the fastest 20 seconds in college football.

After Madeleine showed me around campus a bit we went to a history grad department welcome party! We went over to one of the guy's house and watched the Clemson v. Auburn game. It was so nice to meet all of Mad's new friends and the people who are in her department sharing her same passion and love of history. They were all so nice and the food was amazing! I had my first taste of shrimp creole and it was soo yummy! It officially felt like fall with the good food, friends, and football!

I had a wonderful weekend visiting Madeleine and getting to spend some quality time with her. I was really happy I took advantage of this time during travel season to meet up with her because who knows when the first time I would have been able to see her new world otherwise. I can't wait to get back! :) Thanks Madeleine!

This is a pic of the lecture hall. This is only half the room!

Mad infront of the History Building, which you can see used to be the Chemisry building!
Mad's home away from home! The History Building!
Picture of "Death Valley!"
The rock that all the football players touch on their way out to the field
Mad and I at her party!

The Wilmington Way!

Well today was my one day to be in Wilmington so I tried to pack in as much Wilmington excitement as I could.

On my drive down I took a picture of the leaves (just for you Darby) to show the progress. At this point we don't really have much change but I will keep you updated as I travel.

Very green still!

The drive down was a much smoother drive now that I have my new rental car with Illinois plates! Also, thanks to my friend Maggie I have named my car, Nala the Imapala! haha

I knew today was going to be a little busy but I also knew there were a couple things I wanted to get done while I was here. I had three visits in the morning, one visit in the afternoon and a College Fair at night. So if I was going to get everything on my list done I was going to have to work very strategically. You could probably guess my first thing on the list! Once I was done with my morning visits I had about 2 hours before the next visit so I opted to skip my lunch altogether and go straight to the BEACH!!! It was like a magnet pulling me and I just could not resist...didn't pass go, and I did not collect two hundred dollars and oh so worth it!

You know you have arrived at the beach when...

Beautiful day! Beautiful waves!

The water got it before I could snap the pic!

Travel Season 2010!

I would have stayed all day! A little piece of Heaven!

It was such a beautiful day and so nice to be out by the waves and the breeze! I could have probably stayed there all day except going to the beach in a suit and heels just aren't as fun as you would think! It's just a tease really! I really did have a lovely time though and the water was perfect! Unfortunately, my work break had to come to an end and then I rushed off to my last visit of the day. As I was leaving a couple was walking onto the beach and I would assume by looking at my attire she said, "Work break!" and I said, "Absolutely!" How nice would it be to work near the beach!

My last visit of the day was pretty interesting....I did my first and hopefully last lunch visit ever (A lunch visit is when you stand in the cafeteria during the students lunch). We usually try to avoid these types of visits because in the past they have turned out to be a huge waste of time. Well unfortunately I got tricked into this lunch visit because when I scheduled the visit I scheduled it as a private visit and it wasn't until the school counselor started walking me to the cafeteria that I realized what I was getting myself into. Never again! Not the best experience I have ever had...if you want details please feel free to ask ;)

After that visit I had one more thing on my list that I just absolutely had to do while I was in town, and that was to go to Paul's Place Famous Hot Dogs! If you have ever been before you know what I'm talking about and if you have never been haven't lived yet! haha Every summer when I have gone to the beach with Kevin's family we always stop at Paul's Place for lunch on the way down to the beach. They have the best Hotdogs ever and very renowned for their homemade relish! And when you go you have to get your hot dogs "Paul's Way...all the way!" Basically with their homemade relish and all the fixin's! I went there and sat down and had 3 all by myself! I really did "relish" that meal!

Here are the glorious Hot Dogs! And yes, if you were wondering that is Sundrop in my cup!
You know you have arrived in the south! 
 After that and on a super full stomach I went to prepare for my fair. One note about the fair for all you R-MC fans, as I was setting up my table a rep from Methodist came by and congratulated me on our incredible football team! We had played Methodist a couple weeks prior and in his own words he said, "You creamed us!" I was so proud so of course I walked right over to the H-SC table and was giving him a hard time. R-MC is currently undefeated and ranked #25, H-SC is also undefeated at this point so I think it is going to turn out to be quite the match up this November!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Day 3-4: Out of Town and Broke Down!

Well the last couple days have been quite interesting to say the least....
I had my first day of high school visits on Monday, which went great! I only met with 2 students all day but I got to meet with all the counselors and it was great getting to tell them about all the new, fun things going on at R-MC! They all seemed very happy to meet with me and get some materials to pass on to their students. Not only were the visits good but all the timing was great! I didn't have to rush anywhere and I even had some time to schedule some more visits.

Then there's the part that gets interesting... I needed to leave Fayetteville and head to Charlotte on Mon. afternoon because I had visits in Charlotte Tues. morning. On my way to Charlotte I was hearing something wrong with my car and it was becoming harder and harder for me to brake. Basically long, long, long story short after having the car looked at I ended up having to stay in Fayetteville Mon. night and prepare to get back to school on Tues. It was funny too because I ended up booking a room in the hotel I had stayed at the previous night. I felt silly walking back in there; they recognized me and wondered why I hadn't left yet! Unfortunately, I had to cancel my visits in Charlotte for Tues. but thankfully I was able to reschedule all the visits before the day was out. The only bad part was driving the car back to was a little stressful to say the least. I did make it back in town and I only needed to stop once.

The school was able to work out getting a rental car for me on Wed. so I wouldn't have to miss anymore of my visits than I had to . I got my rental car, which is a very pretty dark blue, and I headed to Wilmington, NC. I was really happy to get back on the road and back on schedule, plus I had a lot of really fun things planned in Wilmington! Meet you all in Wilmington!

P.S. Unfortunately I forgot my cord to transfer my pictures to my computer at home, so I will have to wait to post my next entry and pictures until I get sorry for the delay but I will be sure to catch you all up on everything once I do get the cord!!! I will keep notes!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Day 1-2: On the Road Again!

Welcome to my blog! I have never done a blog before and I don't know how interesting this blog will be so bear with me! With this blog I will keep all my friends and family up to date with my travels. I hope to post some pictures from time to time as well!

Throughout travel season I will be going to both College Fairs and Private High School Visits so I will have a little of both. If you are not familiar with the Admissions Counselor position, basically my job during travel season is to promote R-MC and ultimately get prospective students to visit campus. Being that this is my first travel season I am sure it will be interesting, gaining great experiences and learning a lot! I have already learned so much about myself and what I can handle haha...being in a car by yourself for hours on end will do that to you! :)

Well my first stop was in Charlotte, NC for an Independent Schools Fair. The drive there wasn't bad only I drove straight through 5 1/2 hours because I was paranoid I was going to be late. I thought that I would at least stop for some coffee along the way...HUGE disappointment! I drove all the way from Richmond to Charlotte and there wasn't a single Starbucks on the way! I couldn't believe it! So I decided I should just drive straight through. Like I said the drive wasn't too bad and I made it to the Fair with plenty of time. It was at a beautiful hotel! The fair was huge, expecting somewhere around 2,000 students coming through! It was spread out among three floors of the hotel. I had a number of hits from students which was really positive!

For all those R-MC grads you will appreciate this... After I had finished setting up my table and was talking to some other counselors this guy came up and introduced himself to me...almost as if I should already know who he is. He introduced himself and then said he thought he would at least "be an adult" and "break the ice" It wasn't until he said, "I'm from Hampden Sydney" Then I realized what he was doing. I just started laughing! I appreciated his effort but I did have to turn my nose up at him a bit! He said he figured we'd be seeing a lot of each other over the next couple weeks so we might as well get it over with. I agreed! He was very nice. Gotta love that good ole southern rivalry!
So after the fair I drove to my first hotel, checked-in, and then prepared for my first meal by myself. Not that bad if you bring a book or enjoy people watching! Then I ended my first day of travel in a huge king sized bed!! Not too bad if I do say so myself!

Day 2 started off with another Charlotte College Fair, only this time it was the Charlotte Public Schools. Our school had never actually been to this fair before so I figured I would go out on a limb and see what kind of response we could get from it. I was pleasantly surprised! I actually had a fair amount of people coming up to my table asking questions. It was located at the UNC Charlotte campus in the basketball stadium which was pretty cool...we had tons of space!

My most interesting prospective student I had come up was actually an 8th grader!!! At first I was like, awe that's cute, but he actually started asking some great questions! He was just this little professional with a firm hand shake! It made me laugh a bit. After the fair I headed on my way to Fayetteville which was a bit of a long drive but very scenic! It's crazy that it is only the beginning of September and already things are changing! It was a really beautiful drive! Tomorrow starts my first day of private high school visits and then it’s back to Charlotte. I hope those go as well as the last two days!