I just wrapped up a week's worth of travel in Dallas, my first trip of the '09 travel season. It's definitely not going to be my last, either. As the counselor for the great state of Texas, I have a lot of ground to cover and I will soon be hitting the road again visiting Cincinnati (another of my territories) and Houston.
People often ask me what exactly I do when i travel for the office, and while I have answered that question in a few different ways, I think I now know that it can best be summed up with one word: talk.
I hit the road and spend my time talking to students, parents, guidance counselors, educational professionals, and even the random guy at the gas station who saw my name tag and asked about Oberlin. I talk to a lot of people, and I do a lot of it. For instance, I just came from a college fair where I pretty much spent two straight hours telling people why Oberlin is a great place and why they should consider applying. These fairs usually follow a day's worth of visits to high schools where I do a lot of talking.
So, needless to say, my throat is just about shot. By the end of this week of travel, there were definitely a few moments where my voice cracked like a pubescent boy's while trying to explain to a family how great our science programs are. And it didn't help that my allergies decided to act up a bit right before I flew down to Dallas, getting my throat nice and tender before all the aforementioned talking. Oh, and did I mention that all this talking does not occur at a normal volume level, but is usually in the midst of noisy gymnasiums filled with hundreds of people?
The result of all this is that my voice is usually about gone by the time I return to the office, and I have also usually ingested about ten gallons of water during the week trying to make that not be the case. However, it also results in my being able to meet lots of great new prospective students as well as learn more about the high schools our applicants are coming from. Hopefully it also means that great new students want to consider Oberlin for college, in which case I have done my job well. So, I guess if my voice deteriorating equals brighter horizons for Oberlin, I can live with that.
Want to know where I'll be next, or if a representative from Oberlin will be in your area? Check out our Oberlin on the Road page of the website.