Thursday, September 22, 2011

On the Road...AGAIN! (Believing in the moment of connection, one visit at a time)

Well I'm back for another travel season! I hope you all had a wonderful winter, spring, and summer! I am back for another season and so ready to rock it. I am already finishing my second week of travel! Only 6 more to go!

Last year I really did have a blast on the road because, as you read, I was able to do a lot of fun things. Although, I'll be honest by the time it came to the end I was so over it and ready to be done. Because I was so over it, it made me dread this season a little bit.

But I can happily say that so far things have been great! I will bring you up to speed with my travel this year. This year my territory changed to ALL of North Carolina and I kept Southwest VA. I am really excited to be able to keep most of the same territory because I am familiar with it this year. It already feels different this year. I feel more comfortable and confident. I have been able to learn from things last year and take that info to improve this year. It has been going pretty well so far! Dare I say I am enjoying myself!?

Well, for the first two weeks I was mainly in Eastern North Carolina. I started out with a few fairs, two of which were in Charlotte, and then I headed back up to the Raleigh/Durham/Greenville area to start private school visits. This was the new, unfamiliar territory of the trip because I only covered Western NC last year. I was really excited though to go to some new places and see some new things. Jojo, who is another counselor in our office, and who some of you may know, used to cover Eastern, NC for the longest time, so it came as quite a shock to some of the high counselors when I showed up at their schools and they were expecting Jojo and they got me. I have gotten many comments asking where he is and what he is doing, I just hope I can fill his shoes! Haha

If you can recall from last year, my first week of my first travel season was very eventful! I had some major car problems that put a kink in my travel schedule. Well good news is...I didn't have to go back to school for a new car. Bad news is....I still had car troubles!!! Fortunately, after my first week of travel I had to head back to the office on Friday to prepare for our first Open House of the fall. While I was there somebody from the school was able to take a look at it. They also had good news and bad news...Good news: they were able to fix some of the problems, bad news: they couldn't fix everything. They said I would have to be in the office for a longer amount of time to fix it but they did say it drive. I CERTAINLY HOPE SO! It is still making a rather loud and rather annoying noise but hopefully it holds out until I can get back to the office mid-October.

Aside from that, things have been pretty uneventful! :) School visits have been going very well, I haven't run out of materials...yet, and we have so many news things happening on campus that I just get so excited talking to students about it.

Some of the highlights from my trip so far:

-          I got my first towel animal!

-          I have gotten a TON of goody bags/ care packages from schools and hotels that I have filled up my entire front seat with them and the floor.

-          Best question from a student so far: "How far away is the closest Bojangles to campus?" haha His dad responded by saying, "If you could just hook up an IV to him from Bojangles he will be okay"

-          I learned that Randolph-Macon used to be called Randolph-Spankin by other schools. The counselor for Roanoke College who graduated from W&L back when it was an all male school, told me that they used to call us this because W&L used to always get "spanked" by R-MC with athletics and that it was embarrassing for them. I’ll take it!

-          This past Tuesday was pay day and I also had some extra time between my last school visit and my night college fair, so what did I do!? Headed straight for the outlets! I must have some kind of radar! That was dangerous! I was eyeing a Coach bag pretty hard core but somehow I was able to use restraint and I put the bag down and walked away...can't promise I will be able to do the same next time. I did get some really great bargains though.

-          I also had the opportunity to go antiquing for a little bit and I got some great finds! I got this painting, which has a whole story of its own. But it's for the kitchen and I can't wait to put it up!

-          Okay, here's the story about the painting. It is rather large, so much so that I can’t fit it into the trunk while my luggage is in there so it’s pretty inconvenient to have it in the back seat while I am riding around with some many materials in my car. So for me to be able to do anything I have to take the painting in and out. Well the other night I was leaving a fair and I had to load up my materials and put them back in my car. To do that I had to take the painting out and I just leaned it up against the car while I put my travel bag and things into the car. WELL, I am sure you can see where this is going (as I am typing this I am laughing at myself and how silly this is) haha Needless to say I totally forgot about the painting leaning against the car (in my defense it was really dark out and my car is dark so it blended in) and I totally drove off without another thought about the painting. haha the embarrassing part is that there were people in the parking lot who probably saw me drive away and leave it hahaha. I was about 30 min into my hour drive when I realized, holy cow, I forgot the painting! I had to drive all the way back and luckily somebody had moved it out of the parking lot and had propped it up on the curb, and it was untouched! No damage down! lol just a funny story at this point I guess. At this point though I can't wait to get that home and put it up in the kitchen so I can get it out of my car! Haha

-          I have met some really awesome people so far on this trip! I have got to meet a lot of counselors from other schools and we have a really great time at our fairs! It has been really nice to meet some new people this year that can relate to this job and can swap stories. It's really nice to get to see them at all the fairs.

Highlights of my best fair so far which was the Chapel Hill Fair:

-          There were actually people there to direct parking and tell you where you need to go.

-          There was a student who actually met me at my car to help me carry all of my materials.

-          I had a personal guide to walk me to my table.

-          There was a really delicious dinner before the fair.

-          Since it was at UNC Chapel Hill the fair was held in the Dean Dome so I got to watch the Tarheels practice while I ate my dinner with my new friends. :)

-          It was such a busy fair for us that I actually had to replenish my materials multiple times and I had a LINE at my table...for NC that is a pretty big deal seeing as how we are a small, Virginia school.
Now that's an awesome fair!

These first two weeks have gone very well and have been successful for us. I have loaded up my car twice now with materials and I can honestly say it is a good thing I will be heading back to the office tomorrow because I have almost run out of all my materials!

Today and tomorrow are my first days covering Southwest, VA and that will continue to the first part of next week, and then I will be heading down to Charlotte for the end of next week.

After this weekend I will be on the road for 3 weeks straight so I am sure I will have some good stories to report!

And remember, NOW is the Time for Randolph-Macon! :)

Here are pictures from my trip so far!

My first towel animal! It's an elephant!

Do you notice anything about this sign?
How about now!? haha I had to pull over and take a pic of it!

Look who I found...AGAIN! Tow-mater is still there
and this year he has a new duckie friend!

The Dean Dome at UNC!

I got a picture of Michael Jordan's jersey! #23!

Some of my new counselor friends! Chrystal and Jessica from Randolph and Radford!