Closing Time

By the time this post is live, I will be done with recruitment.  I have a weekend of interviews in Houston, where I will talk to 28 high school seniors over two days and pray that I don’t ask one of them the same question twice.  I say this every year, but I seriously do not know where fall went.  As massive of an undertaking every recruitment season feels like, it always seems to disappear before you realize it.  My ’work travel’ email folder only has three confirmations left in it--which is good considering what happened last week in San Luis Obispo: I locked myself out of my hotel room immediately after checking in and, when the front desk attendant asked me which room I was in, I stared at her blankly and admitted I had no idea. You might think that after three years of recruiting in the same territory I would no longer get lost and would know exactly where the front office of every school is.  I wish this were true.  I often find myself in the mental dilemma of not knowing … [Read more...]

Driving Down The 101

I'm currently sitting at Verve Coffee Roasters in Santa Cruz, CA after the start of my last week of high school visits.  My time here is very different from Texas and the whole trip has a different tone.  As I was ordering my coffee, the (very hip) cashier asked me if I needed a copy of my receipt because I look "very business-y" (I'm not even in a full suit).  Everything is more relaxed here and things move a little more slowly, including the freeways. (We can go the speed limit, people!  Come on!)  USC is more widely recognized but Los Angeles is a tougher location to make accessible to people who don't have to lock their doors at night and know everyone in town. I always end with my California territory because it is lower key and reminds me that although Texas has charm and cheap gas, I am a California girl at heart.  CA-12, the geomarket of the central coast, is pretty much the most beautiful part of California.  There are world famous beaches, bridges, golf courses and views. … [Read more...]

Visiting Home

I am in in the office for the first time all month!  I never thought I could miss my cubicle, but sometimes the predictability of two and a half partial walls is all I want.  My cold is subsiding, my bug bites are fading, and life almost feels normal for a week.  It’s great to see the few coworkers that are also in this office this week. We trade stories and marvel at not having seen each other for over a month. Time between trips can often be rushed (depending on how long you actually have), but I tend to leave myself enough time to get just the smallest bit bored before heading back out. (And yes, McKayla Marony is on my desktop and she is very unimpressed with most things I do). In the office, my first order of business is filing an expense report for my trip.  Since I hoard rewards points, all my travel is on my personal credit card--which means I watch for reimbursements like a hawk.  We also have to enter our visits into our system with notes that may be helpful for next year … [Read more...]

“Texas Was You”

Do you like country music? I like country music (please keep reading).  "Texas Was You" is a song by Jason Aldean about how certain objects or places are accompanied by specific memories.  Since many of my experiences on the road are new ones or routines, I don't have anywhere else I quickly form certain associations.  Most obviously, Fall means travel.  Football means hotel bars or a rare weekend home.  Texas means humidity and name tags upon name tags upon name tags that I’ll find on suit jackets for the next six months.  There were a few humid days in LA and I couldn't help but feel like my Fall had creeped into summer life.  Hearing "yes ma'am" and "y'all" without flinching is a cornerstone of my time in Texas.  These are all broad things, but specific memories will pop up that only happen while on the road. I file trips in my head according to the rental car I was driving for each trip.  The rental car I have dictates the music I listen to (XM radio, FM radio or do I hook up my … [Read more...]

The High School Environment: Mistaken Identities, Student Restrooms, and Short Shorts (And Wondering Why They Are So Short)

Have you seen the movie Never Been Kissed?  An adult Drew Barrymore pretends to be a high school student for a newspaper article she’s writing, when a domino effect of awkwardness, hilarity and an inevitable love story ensues?  I feel like my reentry into the high school environment went along those lines--except the awkwardness is being mistaken for a high school student trying to sneak off campus, hilarity is me getting lost in a sea of linebackers during passing period (seriously, when did high school students get so BIG?) and the love is what I have developed for ample visitor parking and a student to walk me where I’m going. If I’ve learned anything from being back in the high school environment, it’s that very little has changed from when I was in high school.  If you change the clothing and take away the cell phones, you find kids are talking about the same things and working through the same obstacles you were back in the day.  I recall my first day of high school and not … [Read more...]