Some Sage(hen) Advice on College Applications

Let’s be honest, college applications are kind of the worst. There is so much pressure to be perfect in those two 650-word essays and three recommendations. I know, it seems impossible.

…wow, that got off to a dark start. Let me try again. My name is Katie and I work in the Pitzer Admission Office as an admission counselor. I’ve been here for about four months. I often get mistaken for a student on campus because I recently graduated from Harvey Mudd College. It’s ok; when people ask me what I study, I can just say “Your application”. Too much? Yep, too much.

In all honesty, working in this office has been incredible so far, and it has already taught me so much. Like, make sure you ask Santiago to replace the water jug, he really enjoys that task. And, there is such a thing as an envelope sealant; you don’t have to use your tongue. And another really important lesson: Creating labels requires two people, each with a work phone, and a functional printer. That last component is especially important – even if you’ve used it before, there is absolutely no guarantee it will print anything remotely like what you want.

And then there’s the application process. I was a senior in high school five years ago, bugging teachers to finish their recommendations, fidgeting over my personal statement. I recall the stress that came with that process. But now, as I stand among the receiving end of the applications very much like the one I filled out by hand (yes, even just five years ago), there are some words of wisdom that I think should be shared. These words come from much more experienced people than myself (well except for the ones that are coming from me). You can take them or leave them, adjust your mindset or not, nod your head and smile or make a pshhhh sound. It’s up to you. But I personally think there is some very worthwhile advice that the Pitzer admission counselors have posted on our social media sites over the past couple months. So before you read them, be sure to follow us here:

Facebook: Pitzer College Office of Admission (

Instagram: @PitzerAdmission (

Twitter: @PitzerAdmission (


“College life is exhilarating. It’s a time to question everything, figure out who you are – or more importantly, who you want to become. The process of applying to college is the beginning of your journey towards self-discovery. As you put the finishing touches on those applications, don’t forget that THIS is what it’s all about.”

— Angel Perez, VP and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid


“Remember to take time for yourself while finishing up your essays and keeping track of application deadlines. Take a break, read a good book, spend time with friends and most importantly, take time to appreciate your senior year of high school and all of your accomplishments!”

— Jamila Everett, Director of Admission


“The admission decision is not the finish line. You still have to attend, participate, explore, and enjoy your college experience. Wherever you end up you will have so many opportunities to grow and be challenged. Don’t think that an acceptance letter means you’re set for life, and don’t let that other letter keep you from pursuing those goals.”

— Santiago Ybarra, Associate Director of Admission


“Create memories. Yes, the college search process is stressful, but if you let it, the process will teach you quite a bit about yourself. Applying to college teaches you what and who you value. Plus, there are lots of opportunities to have new experiences, visit new places and make new friends. The application process goes by pretty fast. As Ferris Bueller once said, ‘If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.’ Don’t miss it!”

— Owen Wolf, Associate Director of Admission


“As a student, social responsibility was an integral part of my Pitzer experience. Now, as I read Pitzer applications, I am not only interested in learning how a student has sparked change in their community, but how they will continue to do so.”

— Mattie Ross ’12, Assistant Director of Admission


“When it comes to your application, don’t overthink it! Let your application be a true reflection of yourself and your personality. If you tailor your application to what you think admission counselors want to see, it will be harder for us to tell if you are a good fit for our institution. Enjoy this process and let it be 100% YOU!”

— Sarah Fischer, Admission Counselor


“The best way to learn about a place is to talk to its people: Admission counselors and staff love the schools they work for, and we won’t be shy about telling you why. To gather a more complete perspective, a fuller understanding of a school, talk to the resident experts – our students! Walk around campus and ask questions; the answers you receive will help you make the most informed decision.”

— Nolan Ellis, Admission Counselor


“Applying to college is like lying in a hammock; it requires a lot of effort to get there, but once you’re in it feels like paradise.”

— Katie Shepherd, Admission Counselor

Sure, the eight of us read all the applications Pitzer College receives. We make the tough decisions to create the kind of community that will thrive at Pitzer. But we are always here to help in the application process. If you ever have any questions, send us an email or call. And if you’re trying to decide if you should apply…just do it! Nike. You’ll never know unless you click submit.

Posted by Katie Shepherd, Admission Counselor


…and then it was March!

Woosh! Was that the month of February I just saw go by my window? I hardly noticed! I must have spent the whole month hunched over my desk reading applications!

If you’re a returning reader, welcome back! If this is your first glance at the blog, thanks for your interest in Pitzer! We’re approaching the light at the end of a very long and rewarding tunnel. We’re only a week or so away from finishing all of your applications! At this time, everyone’s application has been read at least once by the Admission Counselor responsible for your territory and is now circulating to a “second reader.” We use this system to ensure that the first person who sees your application has the best chance of being familiar with your high school (and may have even met you while we were traveling). Second readers give each application a fresh perspective and help us get a more holistic picture of our applicant pool. It’s been an absolute honor and joy to see your essays, recommendation letters, interview notes, MyCollegeI videos, art supplements etc.

So what’s next? Next week our whole team will come back together for an intense week-long summit that most schools simply call “committee.” We basically lock ourselves in the conference room and discuss what we’ve read so that we can build a well-rounded class. Committee is fun, emotional, exhausting, and rewarding. It is also the most poignant reminder that we innevitably receive far more excellent applications than we have the possibility of offering admission to. More on committee in the weeks ahead.

I’ll leave you with this fun piece of news. Our very own Angel Perez, Director of Admission, has been asked by the Washington Post to write about the college search and admission processes. His first article is a great checklist for any high school student who is pondering the college question.

That’s it for now. See you soon!

Posted by Adam Rosenzweig, Admission Counselor


First Week of Reading

Hello everyone. This was the first week that the counseling staff was able to take files home to read. The veterans in the office are shaking a bit of rust off their reading glasses, and cozying back up to their favorite home work-space. As the rookie in the office, I’m still getting used to this part of the job, but so far it’s been a pleasure to read your applications!

After all the travel, the silliness, the promotion, the interviews, the tours, the school visits…this is the real “meat and potatoes” of our year. Each one of us takes this season very seriously. Students often articulate the most personal, sensitive, and formative subjects of their lives in college applications. Admission counselors are strangers to you. We are not your family members, your best friends, your mentors. We are not the people one might expect to be privy to the kind of emotional investment that many of you put into your applications. But here we are, reading about your personal triumphs, family tragedies, sports injuries, paradigm shifts, “a-hah!” moments, and bold aspirations. The day we forget how meaningful this exchange is, will be the day we quit our jobs.

I’ll be writing more about reading season in the weeks ahead. I hope that the second half of your senior years are materializing in memorable, happy, and productive ways. Have fun!

Posted by Adam Rosenzweig, Admission Counselor


January Interviews

I hope everyone had a relaxing and meaningful Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend! The rest of the admission staff and I spent the weekend scattered across the country holding the last interviews of the year. We had counselors and/or Admission Fellows in San Francisco, Emeryville, Seattle, Washington D.C., and Chicago. (We’ll be wrapping up in Portland this coming weekend). All added up, we did approximately 300 interviews in one weekend! Thanks as well to all of our prospective students who took time and energy to schedule an interview with us on the road. We love meeting you and hearing your stories!

We worked and traveled over a long weekend which, for most people is a holiday, because we really value the opportunity to interview as many of our applicants as we can.

Returning to the office today, we saw the parking lots and dining halls full of students who returned from winter break while we were away. The campus has energy and life again, despite the rain. Yes! Rain! Do not adjust your screen, you’re reading correctly. It’s been pouring, by our standards, for a couple of days now. Rain in the desert is often bewildering, and many of us are joking about the “awful weather.” The truth is, however, that the rain is also a critical part of the ecosystem that we inhabit and so it’s nice to see the plants and animals soaking up the much anticipated water.

While I was in Chicago for interviews I got to check in with some Pitzer College alumni!


From left: Caitlin Pierce ’09 is a first-year corps member of Teach For America in Saint Louis, MO; Yael Berenson ’08 lives in Chicago and works for Youth Outreach Services; Ben White ’08 also lives in Chicago and works at Easter Seals Therapeutic Day School; I am me; and Kevin Garvey ’08 just moved to Chicago after teaching English in South Korea for a year and a half.

What a great opportunity for some Pitzer propaganda! But really, it was fantastic to see the good work that Pitzer alumni are doing in the world. Keep it up!

For the next month or so, the admission staff will be reading the applications that you have all put so much time and energy into. It is a labor of love. Though it may seem strange, I encourage you to take this time to relax as much as you can. Not so much that you start failing classes, but enough so that you can enjoy the second half of your senior year. The process is now truly out of your hands. Read fun books, ride a bike, stay up late with your friends, write songs, eat meals with your family.

…and let us know if you have any questions!

Posted by Adam Rosenzweig, Admission Counselor


Where’s My Application?!

“I submitted my application online, but my teachers mailed in my recommendation letters themselves…do you have everything!?”


“Did you get my Art Supplement!?”


“I took the SAT and/or ACT more than once, do you have all the correct scores!?”


“I heard there was a glitch with the Common App…is my application OK!?”


“My messenger pigeon came back without my college application, does that mean you received it!?” [True story.]


If you have any of these questions, or others like them, then Cecil the Sagehen has something to tell you. Click here!


Also, for those of you who miss the “Beyond Buzzwords” days, check out this article in the Chronicle of Higher Education and then my Letter to the Editor in response. Let me know what you think!

Posted by Adam Rosenzweig, Admission Counselor


Our Turn

Welcome back from a great break! The Office of Admission took a nice little vacation for the holidays and now we’re back to work. Most of you have already submitted your Regular Decision applications. Congratulations! Some of you may have had some trouble submitting online if you waited until the last minute. For this reason, if you began your application before the deadline, YOU MAY STILL SUBMIT before midnight Pacific Standard Time on Sunday, January 10. If you have any questions about the Common App glitch, give us a call at the office.

We’re really proud of all the hard work and energy that went into your applications.

Now it’s our turn! For the next couple of weeks we’ll just be opening mail, sorting, alphabetizing, and entering information into our computer database. Here’s some footage from our “back office” this morning where some of our staff are working alongside some dedicated student workers to sort all of your information!

(video could not be uploaded 🙁 )

Posted by Adam Rosenzweig, Admission Counselor


After Early Decision Committee

Yesterday the Admission Committee met all day to discuss our fantastic Early Decision applicants. We had more Early Decision applications than ever this year and it was a pleasure and an honor to read each one. After 6 intense hours around a table, which included much discussion and analysis, our committee reached consensus in order to admit the first students to the class of 2014! For the rest of the week we’ll be preparing and mailing our decision letters.

Some of you will be very happy to see a letter from Pitzer in the mail. Congratulations! Some of you will be disappointed. One of our policies as a committee is to make honest and fair decisions with our Early Decision applicants; we don’t defer or wait-list many students from the Early Decision pool. If we can’t make it happen for an applicant, then we want that person to fall in love with another school. We don’t make these decisions lightly. Each one of us appreciates the time, energy, and emotion that you put into your application.

Our current students are finishing their finals this week, and the Office of Admission is calm today. The sun is shining in Claremont, and the air is mercifully clear. We’ve even got some snow clinging to the peak of Mt. Baldy just north of campus! In true Pitzer fashion, I decided to make an “Orange-person” this morning, rather than a “snow-person.” The impressive results are pictured below.


For all of our Regular Decision applicants, I encourage you to finish and submit the applications by the January 1 deadline. Dramatically waiting for the clock to strike 11:59pm on New Year’s eve to click submit on the Common App will undoubtedly appear to be a terrible decision when your power goes out…your internet glitches…or you forget that you’re not in the Pacific Standard Time zone…or some other catastrophe befalls you, causing your laboriously constructed and manicured application to bounce back at you unceremoniously.
Get the picture? Those of you expecting to make a New Year’s resolution to stop procrastinating should begin that process sooner rather than later.
Done and done!

Posted by Adam Rosenzweig, Admission Counselor


Let the Reading Begin!

Welcome back from a nice, long Thanksgiving weekend! I hope this message finds you all well-rested and ready to make the last push during this application season. Here in the Office of Admission we’re about to begin reading Early Decision applications. The process for reading season goes something like this: After you submit your application, we “build your file.” Literally, we’re compiling all of the components of your application into a file folder that includes all your essays, letters of recommendation, transcripts, interview notes, supplemental materials, test scores etc. Once your file is built, we assign applications to the Admission team, and we start reading!

As part of our holistic approach to admission, each application is read at least twice. The “first reader” is likely the Admission official responsible for your geographic region. In many cases this person has visited your school in the past and may know your guidance/college counselor. This helps us to keep students “in context,” by allowing us to review your application with more knowledge about where you’re coming from. The “second reader” is simply another member of the Admission team. All of our reading decisions are confirmed in “committee,” when the entire team gets together around a table to discuss the applicant pool as a whole. Early Decision notification letters will be mailed by December 22.

Once we’re done with Early Decision, we repeat the same process with our Regular Decision applicants. It’s a long reading season, folks! Please be patient with us while we build your files. Regarding the completeness of your application, no news is good news. If you do hear from us regarding a missing document in your application, don’t panic. We know that sometimes things get lost. We appreciate your patience and cooperation if we have to ask you to re-submit a piece of your application. We also may not know if your application is complete immediately following the deadline. Check out these pictures below of what a small batch of mail looks like around here! We’ll get some pictures of this year’s mail coming in so you can follow your application through the office as we build your file.

mail boxesJasmin w mail

So what are we looking for when we read these applications?

Good question! Taking a holistic approach to admission means that we want to know more about our applicants than traditional, quantitative analysis usually provides. Pitzer was one of the first colleges in the country to become “testing optional,” no longer requiring standardized test scores from applicants. This decision reflects years of research as well as our own institutional experience that, quite simply, standardized test scores are not consistent predictors of student success at Pitzer College. Some students test well, others don’t. For that reason, we welcome test scores from anyone who chooses to submit them, but we don’t require them. Further, even for students who do choose to submit test scores, they will only comprise one portion of your overall application.

We want to see that students have challenged themselves academically in high school. If your high school offers dozens of Honors and AP courses, we’re going to expect our applicants to have taken some. This is one of the reasons why we “read by region,” so that we have a better chance of knowing the environment that you’re coming from. Once students choose to challenge themselves, we want to know how they’ve faired. We don’t necessarily expect a spotless transcript; but we do expect that students who have struggled academically can point to an “upward trend” of success. If you have a story to tell, tell it!

Beyond academic variables, we want to see that students are a good match for Pitzer College. Do your values resonate with ours, and vice versa? If yes, have youdemonstrated so throughout high school? Have you articulated why you believe that you’re a good fit with the Pitzer community at every stage your application? Have you shown a committed interest in Pitzer by researching our school, taking the time to interview in person or over the phone, or submitting a MyCollegei video-interview? These are just some of the things that we think about when making these difficult decisions.

But you have some decisions to make, too! How do you know if you’re a good “match” for a particular school?

It’s impossible to find the right college if you don’t know yourself. I asked a couple of college counselors to describe some of the questions they ask of their students to assist in the college search process. Below is a list of questions that you might use to reflect on the kind of person and student that you are. The results of this self-reflection process might be surprising. I encourage you to be honest and creative. Scribble furious notes if you must! Your answers to these questions should produce an interesting composite of your interests and goals, against which you can compare the offerings of different schools.

Many thanks to Stuart Oremus (Director of College Counseling at the Wellington School in Columbus, OH), Moira McKinnon (Director of College Counseling at Berwick Academy in South Berwick, ME), and Maureen Ferrell (Director of College Counseling at The Summit Country Day School in Cincinnati, OH) for taking the time to share your valuable experience and insights.

Thinking about high school…

  • Which course or courses have you enjoyed the most? Why?
  • Which course or courses have you enjoyed the least? Why?
  • What do you choose to learn when you learn on your own? Consider interests pursued beyond class assignments: topics you choose to study for projects, independent reading, jobs or volunteer work, activity period choices, etc. What do your choices say about your interests and learning styles?
  • Have you worked up to your potential in high school? Is your transcript as it stands now an accurate reflection of your abilities and intellect? If not, why not? And if not, what is the best measure of your potential success in college?
  • How have you changed and grown throughout high school? What would you change about your high school years thus far? What do see as goals left to accomplish before graduation?

Thinking about your other interests…

  • What activities do you enjoy most outside the academic day?
  • How would describe your role in your community and school? What do you consider your most important contribution?
  • Has any summer experience, work, travel, study, etc. been of special significance to you? Have you lived in other places? How did these experiences effect you? Is traveling abroad a “must” for your college experience?

Thinking about your world…

  • What do your parents expect of you? Have they expressed any ambitions/goals/plans for you? Are they realistic? How have their expectations influenced your goals and standards for yourself?
  • What two or three issues in the world concern you the most? Are you actively involved in dealing with these issues?
  • What qualities do you admire most in the adults with whom you relate?

Thinking about college…

  • How do you want college to be different from high school?
  • How do you want it to be the same?
  • Are there things you never had the opportunity to do in high school that you’re looking forward to doing in college (sports, writing for the newspaper, Greek life, art, etc)?

Questions to ask of colleges…

  • What are you most proud of about your school?
  • What is the best/your favorite part of your college?
  • How does your college embrace diversity?
  • What makes your college’s community unique?
  • What is the social life like at your school?
  • At the completion of a 4-year degree program at your school, what do you do to aid your graduating students?
  • What traditions do you have at your school?
  • Please describe the relationships between faculty and students.
  • What three/four adjectives best describe your institution?
  • What are the most well-known majors at your college?
  • What is you school’s philosophy?
  • What is the main focus of your school’s educational system? Is it predominantly undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate?
  • Please describe the school spirit at your college. How is the school spirit manifested on campus?
  • What stands out/is distinctive to you about an admissions application when you are reading it?
  • What are the advantages of attending a private/independent high school before college?
  • What is your retention rate following freshman year?
  • At your college, do the majority of students live on campus? Do most students stay on campus on the weekends?
  • Is there a large city near your school and do many students take advantage of this while in college?
  • Who are some of your distinguished alumni?
  • What safety precautions are taken at your school?
  • In general, how would you describe the student body?
  • Please describe the relationships between students and their advisors.
  • What financial aid is available at your school? Is money given predominantly through grants, loans, or work study programs?

So in the days and weeks ahead, we hope that the enthusiasm, anxiety, and perspiration that you put into the college application process will yield a diversity of results. Not only in the form of thick and thin envelopes, but in terms of your own personal growth. Be honest with yourself. Be enthusiastic! Forget about brand names and rankings. You will always be pleasantly surprised if you remain open to the adventures that you haven’t imagined yet. Let the reading begin!

Posted by Adam Rosezweig, Admission Counselor


Stop biting those nails!

Your wait has come to an end. After 3 months of reading, filing and processing paperwork, we have made our decisions!!! At 2:14 PM PST March 26 we mailed our letters.

Regardless of the decision you will be receiving in the next few days, you should be proud of yourselves! Since we are so small we are only able to admit 822 applicants and since we had 4079 applicants these were very difficult decisions. This puts us at a 20% accept rate and believe me we wanted to admit more than 20% of you.

Before you get too wrapped up in the emotional roller coaster the maelstrom of admission letters causes, make sure to thank the people that made this possible. First thank your high school counselor. Whether or not you got into your first choice school, your counselors work pretty darn hard to get you accepted. They work late nights, over their December holiday vacation and send our more copies of your transcript than you could even imagine! So no matter what news you get put on a smile, go to your counselor, give them a big hug and thank them for all their hard work.

Next go to all those teachers that wrote those letters of recommendation. They are often the most neglected in this cycle. They want to share in your joy as well. So tell them where you were accepted and where you were denied and let them share in this emotional time. And don’t forget to give them a big thank you.

The one that many other people forget is your parents. I know most of you are rolling your eyes about that comment, but whether your parents were not involved in the process, were helicopter parents or gave you just the right amount of help, you must remember you wouldn’t be the person you are today if it wasn’t for them. So put the months of bickering aside and thank them for the help they gave you with your application. Don’t forget, the day when they will be dropping you off at your new dorm room is right around the corner, and they will be the ones heading back to an empty nest.

So to everyone who reads this blog, I send you my congratulations or my sympathy and hope you can mange to wait another few more days for that envelope (So please please PLEASE don’t call us yet.)

That aside, here are some pictures of our process.

group committee
All of us in committee.
angel committee2
Angel in committee.
And signing all those letters.
Jasmin and Constance stuffing envelopes.
The tray of letters (believe me, this is only a fraction).
Cecil envelope
Here is what the outside of the acceptance envelope looks like. Cecil is happy to get his.
This is what the inside looks like.
Here is Alex looking happy, as always, stuffing those envelopes.

We have a tradition here at Pitzer. Every year Arnaldo and Angel loads his car up with acceptance letters and takes it to the post office.

Arnaldo on his way to load up his car.
Ahhh all the letters lined up.
Angel loading up the car.
Arnaldo loading up the car.
And now your favorite counselor modeling with the acceptance letters.
Wow what a packed car.
And off they go!
Angel at the Claremont Post Office loading dock.
So long, farewell auf wiedersehen goodbye…acceptance letter.

By the way, we have started the Official Class of 2013 facebook page. So once you get your acceptance letters come check us out on facebook, ask any questions you might have, and get to know the other students who were accepted to the Pitzer class of 2013.


Posted by Danny Irving, Admission Counselor

Danny Leaps for joy

Reading Time

Hi everyone. I know it has been ages, but I had no idea what reading season actually entails and I have been busy. Allow me to fill you in. After we receive your wonderful applications and spend weeks on end putting them together, see previous pictures of piles of mail taller than I am, the Admission Counselors are finally ready to read. During reading season the admission counselors work from home, YAY!

At this point I must digress, and give a big thank you to our wonderful processing staff. While the counselors take off to read files, they are still here tackling those piles of credentials.

Now don’t get too jealous, just because I get to work from home doesn’t mean that life is easy. I have to read 135 files a week. That is a lot of reading. I must say, I have really enjoyed some of your essays. My name has even come up in a few of your supplements and it cheers me up every time.

To let you know, we do read everything in your application and we have a holistic approach to admission, so we have no formulas and every part of your application is considered. In fact, just to make sure you get your fair day in court, all the applications get read twice.

Then, every Thursday, our staff gets together and has a mini committee. This is where the two readers present your application and we make a final decision as a group.

As you can tell, I don’t have as much to write about these days. So to keep the blog lively, I am going to have some of our Admission Fellows write entries. For those of you who haven’t met the Admission Fellows, they are Seniors who conduct interviews, and information sessions and attend college fairs. Since this is their last semester of college, I figure I would allow them to tell you what is going on around campus and maybe share some of that knowledge they have gained over the last 4 years. You can check out their bios on our website/

Congratulations on reaching your final semester of high school. Enjoy it, but not too much, we do still look at those last semester grades 🙂

Posted by Danny Irving, Admission Counselor

Danny Leaps for joy

We love you all, but please don’t call

Happy New Year everyone!!!!! Welcome to 2009.

This means that all of your applications should be complete. We do know that a lot of people were having trouble with the common application, so we have decided to extend the deadline to Sunday, January 10th, at midnight PST. So if you haven’t finished that app, don’t despair, get working on it double time.

Now onto the title.

I know this is a stressful time of the year and you all want to know if we have received all of your application materials, but with how much mail we get, we won’t be able to check to see if we have received everything for at least two weeks. We were out of the office from December 24th through January 2nd. This means that we had 8 days worth of mail waiting for us upon our return. Take a look at how much mail that was for last Friday.

DSCN1716Here is Justin’s first trip to the mail room. It only took about 3-4 trips that morning.

DSCN1718Then the mail just starts to pile up.

DSCN1722And Cecil gets in the way making life more challenging.

DSCN1723So understand that we can’t possibly go through all that mail in one day. I mean even Arnaldo, Vice President of Admission and Financial Aid was in the back with a letter opener and date stamp.

DSCN1719He did an excellent job!

DSCN1724 DSCN1728

DSCN1726We were all working hard, even Cecil helped out.

Don’t forget even more mail came in during the afternoon.

DSCN1733After all the mail is opened it has to be alphabetized and entered into our computer system so that we can match it to your file.DSCN1736 DSCN1734The stack of credentials is huge!

DSCN1738So on behalf of myself and most other college admission counselors I know, please hold off on checking your application status for two weeks. If your teacher recommendations or school profile are running a little late, we aren’t going to blame you for that. As long as you have sent us your common app and supplement you don’t need to worry.

I also wanted to point out that the only city with available interview slots for January is Seattle, so if you want to be put on the waiting list for Emeryville, Santa Clara, Portland, DC or Chicago give us a call, but don’t be surprised if the list is long.

Now that the applications are due and we as counselors are no longer traveling, it is time to play the final round of where in the world is Cecil the Sagehen. This is the most difficult picture yet, so if you can get this perfectly I will automatically send you a Cecil. Be very specific. To be honest Cecil is actually not in this picture. He wouldn’t fit in my luggage, so we are really playing where in the world is Danny the Admission Counselor, but the principle is the same. (I was going to photoshop him in, but respect you guys too much to cheat.)

DSCN1672If no one gets it by Wednesday I will post a follow up picture, but it won’t be much easier.

Posted by Danny Irving, Admission Counselor

Danny Leaps for joy


Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful!

Time for random trivia about Danny! [I am still hijacking this blog and I am not sure that the following is really trivia. This is more of a random fact about Danny- JV] I am a big fan of Skiing and Snowboarding and there is finally snow on Mt Baldy. Baldy is the closest mountain to Pitzer’s campus, about a 20 minute drive to the peak. It is the pretty mountain you can see in the background on many Pitzer pictures. Don’t believe me? Check that road piece you got from us at a school visit or college fair.
Check it out. This picture, although low quality and taken under poor lighting conditions, was snapped from the walkway of our new residence halls.


Where else can you have 80 degree weather most of the year and still step outside and see snow for a few months? (P.S. Fri Morning it is still brisk, but the sun is out)

You can tell some students got excited about the snow because this is a sight you don’t usually see on campus.


Now if you replaced the sleds with surfboards, it is nothing new. See this is one of the many reasons that SO Cal is the best place to live. (haha take that NOR Cal)[Wow, a throwdown! –JV]
Well snow aside, let’s get back to the admission office.
Regular decision files are already piling up. We even started to read some of the complete ones. Notice the stacks and how mine is the biggest.
Go AZ, UT, NV, MI, FL, TX, Long Beach, San Fernando Valley and Inland Empire students! Way to get your files in early. [The stack two over to the left is my pile. Do we need to talk about my students here? PA, MD, DC, VA, GA, TN, OR, and Santa Barbara I am a bit disappointed. I appreciate that you are trying to keep my work load low near the holidays, but still, I need you to represent. I want the top 5 out of California states to be mine this coming year. Help me out! If I do, Danny will take me to lunch. –JV]
Besides the daunting piles of mail coming in everyday, life has been moving at a slightly slower pace. Early decision letters are in the mail, so they should be arriving soon. (And no, that does not mean you should call us to ask if you got in. I know it is exciting, but you will find out soon enough) In fact, I have a little surprise for you. We got done a little ahead of schedule, so the letters were mailed out on Wed. SURPRISE!
We have also finished conducting interviews and there are very few tours coming in, so the office is quiet and we are mainly putting your applications together and reading files. It is a little lonely because most student workers have time off to study for finals.
I just have to say. I LOVE OUR STUDENT WORKERS!! [Me too! –JV]
I though you would enjoy finding out about a new competition going on in my office. Apparently my digs have become the hot new place to study for finals and some of our student workers have been competing for its use. This is great because I came in after a long weekend of reading to find this amazing note, which cheered me up to no end.
Jenna's Note
Here is a picture of Jenna for reference. [Jenna is also one of the Overnight Coordinators. Ask her sometime about her work at a cult. She’ll have some great stories for you. –JV]
Jenna Picture
Then the next day I came in and found this note. (and cookies)
Emma's Note
In case you haven’t met Emma, she is one of our Admission Fellows and you can find her picture online. [I should have a pithy comment about Emma here, but I can’t think of one. –JV]
The next morning, Ben was feeling slightly jealous and wrote me this.
ben's note
Everyone say hi to Ben. [Nice picture Ben. Ben is one of the Overnight Coordinators that I supervise. –JV]
To top it all off this morning, Thrusday, I came across 2 notes!
Ben's note 2
[Ben gets a bonus point for a “Dark Knight” reference. –JV]
And finally,
Emma's note 2
So I officially declare Emma the winner of the annual random notes in Danny’s office competition.

[Student workers, we need to talk too. What is wrong with my office? It is colorful. It has an iPod dock. There is a cool poster from a Ryan Adams concert last year here in Claremont. I’ve got a lovely view of the parking lot. Don’t forget who hired you. –JV]

While we are on the topic of competition, let’s play another game of Where in the World is Cecil the Sagehen. Where is Cecil this week? (be very specific. Very Very specific).

Cecil and Mural
There may be one last post before I am off for the Holidays, so if you don’t hear from me before then. Have a happy holiday season.

Posted by Danny Irving, Admission Counselor
Danny Leaps for joy