Beyond Buzzwords, Part 2

Hi, readers! For those of you who have been following along for a while, welcome back! If this is your first time reading Admission Unpeeled, welcome! We created this blog over a year ago to provide behind-the-scenes insights into the Pitzer College Office of Admission, and to discuss the admission process in general. Last week we began a four-part series designed to demystify and move beyond the “buzzwords” that we use to define Pitzer’s values. We started with Social Responsibility. This week we’ll be talking about Intercultural Understanding. But first, as usual, some numbers from my travels this week:

  • The Roo (my 1999 Subaru Outback) had the week off, since I spent the whole week in Chicago with a rental car (a Hyundai Elantra named “Ellie”). Ellie gets better mileage than the Roo, so the approximate number of gallons of unleaded fuel consumed: 22.
  • Number of BLT sandwiches I ate: 3.
  • Slices of “Chicago-style” pizza I ate: 0.
  • Days in a row that “Balloon Boy” beat out Health Care as the leading news story: 3.

The importance we place on Intercultural Understanding stems from a strong belief that our world, and the ways that we hope to make it better, require us to see things from perspectives that might not come naturally to us. Few people reading this blog will honestly disagree that this is a good thing. But what does it mean specifically? Are we talking about diversity?What kinds of diversity? What kinds of cultures are we referring to, and how does this idea play out in our admission process as well as at Pitzer on a daily basis?

For prospective students, this means two things: one, we’re looking for students who contribute in some way to the diversity of our community; and two, that students value the diversity around them. We want an intellectually diverse student body in which you can find friends interested in Neuroscience, Environmentalism, Literature, Art, etc. We want an ethnically diverse student body in which your relationships with your peers become genuine learning opportunities every day. We want a geographically diverse student body from which you can know a good place to get a home cooked meal anywhere in the world. We want a racially diverse student body that reflects the world we live in. Diversity comes in many forms and part of your job in the application is to explain how you contribute to, and value, our diverse community.

Significantly, we want this same diversity from the faculty who guide our education. Pitzer already has one of the most diverse faculties of any liberal arts college in the country, and the administration has made it clear that continuing to diversify our faculty is a real institutional priority.

Aside from who you (the prospective student) already are, we want to see that you crave a diverse environment. Maybe you grew up in the middle of Manhattan with a cacophony of languages and cultures all around you. Or maybe you’re from a small town where almost everyone around you knows your first, middle, and last name. Either way, we want to bring students to Pitzer who can articulate what they’re excited to contribute to the community, as well as their desire to learn from others in it.

The journey only begins once students arrive at Pitzer on move-in day! All of our academic programs require students to incorporate some cultural study that takes them outside of their own community. The major you select or create will need to include at least one course on a non-Western or non-American subject.

Moving beyond the classroom, more than 70% of Pitzer students study abroad before they graduate! Our students go abroad more than those from almost any other school for a number of reasons. First, we actively look for prospective students who are excited to take this opportunity. Second, we think of studying abroad as an integral part of a progressive liberal arts education, not an optional luxury. As a result, all of our Financial Aid packages apply to studying abroad. If students are admitted to Pitzer, then they can study abroad through Pitzer. Finally, our students are encouraged to study abroad by their faculty and peers because we know the value of a community that is enriched by other cultures. When at least three out of four people around a table have spent a significant chunk of time in a foreign country, it changes the kinds of conversations one can have. It will also change what you and your peers do after you leave Pitzer.

Since 2002, Pitzer has been awarded more Fulbright Fellowships than any other school in America per capita. After graduation you can find Pitzer alumni scattered across the globe, literally. Many choose to return to countries in which they studied, others join organizations that allow them to serve a totally new community, and still others simply seem to throw a dart at a map and take off to explore themselves and their world. As a community, we believe that the world would be a better place if more people shared this attitude!

I hope that this gives you a better idea of what we mean when we talk about Intercultural Understanding. If you have any questions or comments we would love to hear from you. Before you go though, take a minute to check out where Cecil the Sagehen has been this week! While everyone in the office is running around the country meeting students this season, we snap shots of Cecil in various locations. If you can figure out where Cecil has been in these pictures, then we’ll send you a prize. Honest! We’ve already had two winners: congratulations to Katie Kecso of West Des Moines, Iowa and Benjamin Levine of Providence, Rhode Island. Keep up the good work!

I went out one night in Chicago and Cecil was unable to join me (past Cecil’s bedtime). I was able to capture some video from the night before a security guard asked me not to film inside the club (sheesh!). If you can figure out who’s singing on stage, then you’ll not only get a prize from Pitzer, but a special nod of approval from me. And we all know how satisfying a nod of approval can be. Until next week, my friends!

Carter Presidential Library Atlanta GASanta Oxnard CA


Posted by Adam Rosenzweig, Admission Counselor

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Beyond Buzzwords, Part 1

Hello readers! I’m writing to you from Wallingford, Connecticut. I’m sitting at a place called Half Moon Coffee and Grille Café. This place serves up a perfect combination of hearty, Italian-inspired meals alongside genuine Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee; and if you know me at all, you know how happy I am!

Now that we are fully engulfed in the crisp autumn air of October, many more of you are beginning to get your first real looks at college applications. You’re reading brochures, navigating websites, talking to counselors, and imagining yourself in different schools around the country. Throughout your literal and figurative journey, you will “try different colleges on for size,” see how you look in their colors, listen to how the names of different schools sound in your voice, and increasingly notice places where the fit is too loose, too tight, or just right. You will hear and read about how schools define themselves, and you will wait to feel a resonation between their values and yours. I call the values by which schools define themselves, for this reason, buzzwords.

Pitzer’s buzzwords include Social Responsibility, Student Autonomy, Intercultural Understanding, and Intercultural Learning. They are alternatively known as our core values.

Over the next weeks I will write about each one of these values, providing real life examples, to help us get beyond buzzwords. Our goal is to clear the air of static and really get down to the way that these values play out in our day-to-day lives at Pitzer. Hopefully, you’ll find something that resonates with you!

But first, some quick numbers from this week’s travels:
•Miles on The Roo (see last week’s post if you’re not familiar with The Roo): 960.
•Approximate number of gallons of unleaded fuel consumed by The Roo: 48.
•Approximate number of gallons of coffee (good…and bad) consumed by me: 2.5.
•Number of live deer observed from the road: 2.
•Number of deceased deer observed from the road: 5.

But I digress…

This week I want to talk about Social Responsibility. When students ask me to talk about the “typical” Pitzer student, this is often the first thing I think of. Our definition of Social Responsibility is intentionally broad (think of it as inclusive rather than ambiguous). Quite simply, Social Responsibility at Pitzer is the shared agreement that knowledge has ethical implications. The opportunity to live and learn at Pitzer imbues us with a responsibility to help a larger community, and empowers us to do so.

Everyone at Pitzer has a fire burning inside them about something in the world. It may be environmental justice, education, national politics, international development, human rights, gender equality, sexual liberation, medicine… Not everyone is passionate about the same thing, but everyone is passionate about something. Learning about the issues that are meaningful to other students is an important part of the intellectual diversity that we love at Pitzer.

In the admission process we are looking for students who have already demonstrated their commitment to something outside of themselves: a community service placement, an independent project, responsibility within one’s own family, activism and leadership in a community organization, the list goes on indefinitely; our understanding of social responsibility is as diverse as our student body.

As a Pitzer student, one is expected to continue learning and working on behalf of a larger community. The Center for California Cultural and Social Issues (CCCSI) is one of the best places in Claremont to get connected to a local organization that is doing valuable community work. Funding, transportation, and guidance is always available for students to pursue a totally unique social engagement project. All Pitzer study abroad programs include a community service component. Pitzer students are required to complete at least one semester’s worth of a community commitment, which can be fulfilled by any of the opportunities listed above, or by working in one of several positions on campus to strengthen and support our immediate community.

It is no surprise that most Pitzer graduates go on to jobs, activities and careers after college that reflect the value of Social Responsibility. Many alumni can be found teaching, working, and volunteering around the country and abroad with an organization they discovered during their time at Pitzer. Others are working for socially oriented law firms, NGOs, or private companies. The ways that Pitzer students choose to make the world a better place, again, are as diverse as the students themselves.

So as you think about Pitzer, and think about yourself, we hope you find your values matching ours. We’re excited for you to teach us about social responsibility in your life! While you strut your stuff in front of the metaphorical mirror, enrobed in Pitzer orange, take a moment to see if you can spot where Cecil has been this week. You may notice a certain theme between this week’s pictures and this article! Email me at [email protected] if you think you know where Cecil is in the pictures below, or if you have any questions about social responsibility, or any other part of the application. Thanks for reading, see you soon!

Stowe centerNat'l Underground Freedom Center


Posted by Adam Rosenzweig, Admission Counselor

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On The Road

Goodbye, September! Hello, October! Goodbye, summer; hello autumn. Goodbye flip-flops, hello flannels (except in Claremont, where we never say goodbye to flip-flops). This week found me moving farther away from Boston. In fact, I visited a school in Bethel, Maine that is about as far away from Pitzer as any of the admission staff will travel this year. I have to say, despite my California blood, that I am completely in love with New England! The leaves are fully in transition out here and the process is awesome. I drove through White Mountains National Park in New Hampshire and a number of times I almost pulled over and wandered up into the enticing hills. It looked like what an ant would see from inside a bowl of Fruity Pebbles. Amazing. Consequently, this week I want to talk about the lives that we live while we’re “on the road.”

First, for perspective, some numbers from this week:

  • Miles I drove in my 1999 Subaru Outback (affectionately known as Roo, or The Roo): 801.
  • Approximate number of gallons of regular unleaded fuel The Roo consumed: 40.
  • Approximate number of fluid ounces of coffee I consumed: 200.
  • Average number of hours slept each night: 6.

As you can see, I spend a lot of time in my car. I was thinking about why my colleagues and I do this. Why we wake up with the sun and drive for hours to visit students and schools in locations that are seemingly designed to befuddle our precious GPS devices. Why we say goodbye to friends and family in exchange for hotel rooms and toll booths. I decided to ask my colleagues what are their favorite and least favorite parts of travel season, as well as what music they’ve been listening to on the road.

Assistant Director of Admission, Constance Perez’s favorite part of traveling is meeting students, though she knows it’s cheesy, and going to Sadie’s (the restaurant, not the dance) in New Mexico. Her least favorite part is flying. This week Constance’s playlist includes Stevie Wonder, Prince, and the 500 Days of Summer soundtrack.

Admission Counselor Danny Irving’s favorite part of traveling is getting to start his day as late as ten o’clock in the morning sometimes. That happens on the “almost never” side of “sometimes,” but you can’t blame a man for dreaming. His least favorite is visiting five schools in a day and then having to catch a flight. He also hates white Tic-Tacs (he knows that hate is a strong word). Danny forgot his iPod at home this week, so he has been listening to the distant but familiar memory of his mother nagging him as a child to double check that he’s packed everything before he leaves the house.

Associate Director of Admission Justin Voss’ favorite part of traveling is meeting students, finding good food, and experiencing different weather.His least favorite part is being away from his family. Justin’s playlist this week includes Monsters of Folk and 7 Worlds Collide, as well as Ryan Bingham and the Dead Horses.

Director of Admission Angel Perez’s favorite part of traveling is seeing students in their own elements and environments. He also loves eating regional food! Angel’s least favorite part is airport delays. This week, Angel has been digging Camisa Negra by Juanes, a Colombian artist.

My least favorite part of traveling is the food. I refuse to eat another Hampton Inn breakfast sandwich. I simply refuse. I did, however, find an excellent cup of coffee at a café called The Met in North Conway, New Hampshire! Songs on heavy rotation in my car this week include “I Lost It,” by Lucinda Williams and “No Rest for the Weary,” by the Blue Scholars. I love finding beautiful places in nature, as well as experiencing new and often bizarre scenes of American life. Ultimately, like my colleagues, my favorite part of traveling is getting to meet students and talk about college.It’s the fundamental reason why we deal with late flights, long days, homesickness and headaches. We really believe that Pitzer is an amazing place and we love hitting the road to find the next class of amazing people who will make it their own!

Last but certainly not least, Cecil the Sagehen loves traveling! The proof will be here every week for the next couple of months. Below are some more candid shots of Cecil on the road. Email me at [email protected] if you think you know where Cecil’s been this week and we’ll send you a prize! Cecil’s favorite part of traveling is escaping from predators (which include just about everything) and collecting travel-size shampoo bottles from hotels. Cecil’s least favorite part of travel is all the flying (go figure). Cecil’s favorite band this week is Ryan Adams and the Cardinals (Cecil has a thing for redheads, but who doesn’t?).

Atlanta fish market Pat's Steaks Philadelphia


Posted by Adam Rosenzweig, Admission Counselor

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Announcements! Announcements!

This week we’re excited to announce the return of our “Where in the World is Cecil the Sagehen” competition! You’ve been reading about some of the travel that we’ve been doing around the country, and some of you may have already seen a Pitzer representative in your hometown. When we travel, we take Cecil with us, and Cecil loves taking pictures! If you can identify where Cecil is in one of each weeks’ pictures, then we’ll send you a prize in the mail! Honest! You can email me your answers by emailing me directly at [email protected] Good luck with these pictures here, and keep an eye out for Cecil!

Galloway School with studentsKermit the Frog and Cecil Smithsonian Washington DCSun Studios Memphis TNWe are also very excited to announce that the application for our Fall Diversity Program is now available online! This program is designed specifically for students from underrepresented racial and cultural backgrounds from across the continental United States. Students selected for this program will have the opportunity to experience life at Pitzer College by staying in a residence hall, eating in the dining hall, and interacting with current students. If you are selected for the program, you will have your travel and expenses funded. There’s a lot more information about the program on the Admission website, so check it out!

Coming up this week we’ll be meeting students in Texas, Philadelphia, Greater Boston, Los Angeles, and elsewhere. Find out if a Pitzer representative is coming to your school sometime this Fall (your guidance/college counselor will know). If we can’t meet you in person this season, then you can still schedule a phone interview with someone in the office. Now is the time to start thinking about these things because our schedule does fill up! We will also be holding alumni interviews in some major cities across the country during the month of January, so keep your eyes open for those opportunities by checking back here every week.

Enjoy the new season, keep up the hard work, and have fun!


Posted by Adam Rosenzweig, Admission Counselor

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I have lost my voice, but not my mind

As the title implies, I have lost a bit of my voice today after conducting close to 30 interviews last weekend. This was the last chance to interview for regular decision. We conducted interviews in; Seattle, Portland, Santa Clara, Emeryville and Chicago, totaling 181 interviews. Go us! Most of my interviews were pretty good and it was a pleasure to meet all of you, but as I said, it is going to be tea for me for the next few days.

After conducting my 30 interviews, I realized that one questions kept coming up. Why did you choose Pitzer? So I figured I should tell my college search story. It is a perfect example of how a college visit can make or break a school, but might not always be a perfect representation of the school.

The first time I visited Pitzer I actually disliked the school because of the visit. In one day I visited Pomona, Claremont McKenna and Pitzer all in one day, in that order, doing tours and interviews at all three. Now that 5 years has past I can honestly admit that I was cranky by the time I got to Pitzer.

Once April 1 rolled around, I found out that I was accepted to my first choice school, which will remain nameless, and I was absolutely ecstatic. I went back and visited, for a second time, and completely changed my mind. The funny thing was that my first visit was what made me fall in love with the school and my second visit showed me that the school had everything I wanted, but wasn’t the right personality fit.

Since I then had no idea where I wanted to go, I started my search over again and came back to Pitzer for another visit. This time I saw everything I missed in my first visit. My second visit was on a gorgeous sunny day during the spring. It was right before finals, but students were still around campus and it felt like I had stepped onto the cover of a college guidebook.

I can still remember the exact moment I changed my mind about Pitzer. I was sitting on the mounds, the grassy area in the middle of campus, with three Pitzer students. One girl was outside tanning with a textbook almost as big as her head and two guys playing Frisbee. I jokingly turned to the girl and asked her why she had so much more work than the two guys. Before the girl could answer, one of the guys stopped and said, “No, I am in the middle of working on my thesis, but I just had to come outside and play 15 minutes of Frisbee.” Needless to say 15 minutes turned into half an hour, but then he went back inside, presumably to work on his thesis. After seeing this balance of work life and social life I stopped and looked around and realized that, without exception, every single person I could see was smiling. I figured if all these people can find a balance between work life and social life here and be this happy right before finals maybe I could be happy here too.

Once I got home, I started thinking about my visit and realized that I had floated between a number of different social groups and all of them were open. They all wanted to know my name, although some still called me prospie for convenience sake, don’t worry it is a term of endearment, they all wanted to know why I was interested in Pitzer and they all wanted to tell me about the school. No one was cliquey and everyone had positive things to say.

I was still nervous when I sent in my enrollment response card, this is the card you fill out saying what school you will attend, but from the moment I set foot on campus I knew I had made the right choice. I loved my college experience, obviously since I chose to remain at Pitzer after I graduated, and didn’t consider transferring once.

I hope my story is interesting. I know it sounds like something out of college book, but it really does happen from time to time. The message I want you to gain from this story, besides how awesome Pitzer is, is that sometimes you step onto a college campus and get that feeling that this place is home, but then you can still change your mind and other times you visit a school and since your timing is off you don’t get that feeling. Some people never get that feeling, but that doesn’t mean that the college you choose isn’t just as good a fit for you. So when you visit a college campus or are thinking back on your previous visits keep an objective frame of mind and know that there is more than one school that you would be happy at.

Now on to the winners of the Where in the World is Cecil the Sagehen. Drum roll please.

The winners are
Laura R
Micaela
Jacey
Janelle
J Rice
JustDeb

Congratulations!

If you guys could all email me your addresses, do not post them on the blog, I can get your prizes in the mail.


Posted by Danny Irving, Admission Counselor

Danny Leaps for joy

My Vacation Part 2

So I am very impressed by Laura’s reasoning skills. I was surprised that she figured out that I traveled to Belize over the holidays and climbed the high temple at Lamanai. It started pouring when we reached the temple so I had to climb it in the rain, but the view was well worth it.

DSCN1647 DSCN1649 DSCN1650 DSCN1651

By coincidence I even ended up wearing my Pitzer tee-shirt while climbing the ruins.

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On top of climbing ruins (haha what a pun) I also did some fishing. Check out the three foot barracuda I caught. (The hand belongs to my Dad).

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He was a nasty looking guy, but boy did he taste great.

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The view was amazing while I ate him.
Overall it was am amazing vacation and got me ready to go through all that mail I showed you earlier this week. (And by the way, we are still going through it)
Since I am still shocked that someone figured out my last picture so quickly, I am going to add one final round of Where in the World is Cecil the Sagehen?
Angel 2 copy
As you can probably tell, Cecil had to stay in Angel’s hotel room that day. It was a little bit cold for sagehens to be out, but I photoshopped him in for your pleasure. Can anyone guess where Angel and Cecil went for the holidays?

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.

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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.

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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.
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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]
08fellow-Emma
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]
Ben
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

AND THE WINNER IS…

The winner of the Haiku Contest is……Justin Voss.

This means he gets to publish his back up haiku. (and will forever lord this victory over me) [That’s right Daniel! My superior haiku truly encapsulated the essence of Pitzer through the experience of the Grove House. I would like to thank all the little people that made this victory happen. Namely, myself for creating such a wonderful haiku.- JV]
(As one of Justin’s many rewards for winning the contest, I am letting him hijack my blog all week and add whatever creative comments he wants. Note creative comments, not constructive *sigh*)

Blue bird of the night
Show me all your sagehen might
Best run out of sight.

Justin won with 2 votes, followed by a tie for second place between Jasmin and Angel, who both got 1 vote, and in last place me, with 0 votes. [Wait, only 2 people voted for me? Well, a win is a win. – JV]

The order of the haikus was:

Haiku #1: Jasmin
Haiku #2: Danny
Haiku #3: Justin
Haiku #4: Angel

This means that Jacey guessed the order correctly. Very very impressive Jacey, I guess you know us too well.
I also liked the haiku you posted to the blog [me too, we may have to steal this for something- JV].

An education
of art, dance, music, and thought
breeds the culture sought
-by Jacey

What I am confused about, is how everyone single person guessed which haiku was mine, and yet no one voted for it. What’s up guys?????? [Danny, did you read yours? –JV]

All bitterness aside, we are holding our committee for Early Decision this week. Committee is a very misleading title. It sounds so soft and friendly, but after discussing files for 5 hours the title takes on a whole new sinister meaning. On the plus side we get to come to work in casual dress. YAY!

Take a look at us putting together the acceptance packets:

Filing 1 Filing 3 Justin Filing 2 D and A[How come I have to do all the hard work?- JV]

So remember boys and girls, when you get those letters in the mail, it was the Admission Counselors who shed blood, sweat and tears (and suffered many paper cuts) to get you that nice acceptance packet. The letters will be in the mail by this Friday, December 19th, so don’t start checking those mailboxes quite yet.
Since we are rapidly running out of time for Where in the World is Cecil the Sagehen, I decided to go with the trickier to two photos. So where is Cecil today? [Let the record show that most of these pictures have been mine. If only Ansel Adams took pictures of Sagehens across the country, imagine how famous he could be- JV]
Where is Cecil
Stay tuned for more posts later this week.

Posted by Danny Irving, Admission Counselor

Danny Leaps for joy

 

Happy Turkey Day

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!!!!

So it is official! Mark your calendars! November 26!
Winter has begun in Southern California
(Isn’t life grand)

Today was our first heavy day of rain. I am a little confused though. It was pouring when we came back from lunch, but now it is sunny, lightly showering and about 72 degrees outside.

Weather be damned, our tour still left on time. Chris, our tour guide, was loving the rain and started off without using his umbrella. Isn’t he great?

Chris 1 Chris 3

So to sweeten your Thanksgiving feast, we in the Pitzer Admission Office have decided to hold a competition. This competition was Justin’s idea, so we let him write the introduction.

Cecil the Sagehen
Haiku contest on the blog
Best counselor winsThat’s right boys and girls we are having a haiku competition.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the art of haiku, a haiku is a form of Japanese poetry consisting of seventeen syllables in three metric phrases of 5, 7 then 5. In Japanese they are written in a single vertical line, while in English they are broken down into three sentences.
For example:Haikus are super
Five, seven, five syllables
Danny is the best

And since I don’t want Justin to become the center of the blog…. I figured I would include another haiku of my own and this time it’s seasonal.

Turkeys taste good
Cecil is not a turkey
Don’t eat the Sagehens

So next week each counselor will write their own haiku and I will anonymously post them to the blog. The winner will be decided by you, the students, and whichever haiku receives the most votes wins bragging rights and the ultimate respect of the office. (we might have to make a crown)

Now that I have given you something to look forward to, here are some pictures from the second Preview Pitzer Day on Nov 14.

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z

Well before you go enjoying your turkey, lets play another round of…

Where in the World is Cecil the Sagehen?

This week is extra hard so double points if you get it correct.

Cecil in Space
Where is Cecil this Week?

Posted by Danny Irving, Admission Counselor

Danny Leaps for joy

I’m Back (and Preview Pitzer Days!)

Hello again! So I know I haven’t posted in a while, life has been super hectic, but I have a long post to make up for it. The last time you heard from me I was off to Miami and it great. Unfortunately the weather didn’t seem to follow me from California and it was a bit rainy and humid, but Cecil and I didn’t let that spoil our adventures.

cecil in the car
Bienvenidos a Miami Cecil

I went to a number of college fairs while in Miami and Cecil got front row seats for all of them.

cecil cf

Really what has been keeping me busy was Preview Pitzer Days. These events both went extremely well and I just want to say thank you to everyone that worked hard to put these events together. Every prospective student I talked enjoyed the events thoroughly.

The first Preview Pitzer Day coincided with our fall Diversity Program, which was also a smashing hit if I do say so myself.

The arrival time was a little bit crazy, as you can see.

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Say hello to some of the students from the program.
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And we can’t forget out fabulous overnight hosts.

Unfortunately, these are all the pictures I have from the program at the moment, but if anyone from the program has pictures please email them to me.

We did have one snag in the program though. On Friday night we went out to Universal City Walk, outside of Universal Studios. It seemed like everyone was having a great time, the three interns, Constance and I went out for dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp, I watched some break dancing, and went shopping, when I got a phone call from one of the students about curfew. Now excuse my ignorant San Diegan background because in SD our curfew basically means as a minor you can’t be loitering or hanging out at the beach after a certain time. Apparently in LA it means that after 10:00pm you can’t be out at all. So as I ran out of City Walk trying to find all of the prospective students I figured out that at City Walk 5 Curfew Squad officers walk shoulder to shoulder and kick out anyone under 18 who wasn’t with a guardian. Fortunately there weren’t any issues with the Curfew Squad and it turned out our bus had shown up early so everything worked out, but I nearly had a heart attack when I got that phone call.

The November 7th Preview Pitzer Day was also a smashing hit. For those of you who don’t know, Preview Pitzer Days are special days for students to come check out campus.

Here are some highlights of the day…

Faculty Panel
Faculty panels
Faculty panel 2
Students watching the faculty panel

Student panel 1

Student panel 2
Parents questioning the students
Student panel 3
Prospective students questioning the student panel.
refreshments 1
Brunch
Refreshments
Lunch with the parents, faculty, and staff.

Cecil 11-7 1

Cecil 11-7 2

Cecil 11-7 3

Cecil 11-7 4

Cecil 11-7 5

Cecil 11-7 6

Cecil 11-7 7
And Cecil even got some refreshments.

Cecil 11-7 8

Cecil 11-7 9

If you didn’t have a chance to check out the Preview Pitzer Days we also do two days during the spring for admitted students, so you still have a second chance!
In terms of my life I am down to my last two days of school visits, Whooohoooo, one in the Inland Empire and the other in Long Beach. Even though it makes me sad that I won’t be visiting your high schools for another year, we still have a number of saved up pictures so we can keep playing…
Where in the World is Cecil the Sagehen?
Cecil in portland
Where is Cecil this time?

Posted by Danny Irving, Admission Counselor

Danny Leaps for joy

Home Sweet Home

It’s hard to believe, but I have actually stayed in the same city for the past two weeks! Now I know this doesn’t sound like a huge achievement, but just to give you an idea of what my life was like, for the past month I haven’t slept in my own bed for more than two nights in a row. So this was a nice relaxing break. I am sure the travel season of an admission counselor sounds exciting, staying in hotels, eating out every night and getting to see a ton of new places. To be honest, it is exciting and I still love my job, but every admission counselor I have met agrees, by the end of travel season eating out or ordering in isn’t appealing in the slightest and all you want is to cook your own meal, even if it is as simple as a salad.

Although it was nice to be home, it did get a little lonely since last weekend was fall break, so students weren’t on campus on Monday or Tuesday. This break is perfectly placed mid semester and gives students a chance to take a trip or just unwind after midterms. Fall break is also when a lot of outdoor trips take place.

This is a perfect chance for me to talk about one of my favorite clubs on campus, POA Pitzer Outdoor Adventures. This club has to do with any outdoor activity. Such as, beach trips, surfing, camping, hiking, kayaking and skiing and snowboarding. POA has a weekly meeting where students can propose trips or listen for trips. As long as two Pitzer students sign up and it is open for other Pitzer students they will reimburse the cost of gas. This last break there were trips to Kings Canyon/Sequoia National Park CA (this trip had 3 different groups totaling about 40 students), Big Sur CA, Point Reyes, CA (I heard they saw a ton of whales), Bryce Canyon, UT and San Onofre, CA. If you can’t tell I am a bit jealous and am trying to live vicariously through the students in the office.

Tomorrow I am off to Miami and will be attending the Miami International College Fair and the Palmer Trinity College Fair, so if you are going to be attending either of those events please stop by and say hello.

Just a quick reminder before I let you go, the early decision deadline and the Preview Pitzer Days are fast approaching. So if you are planning on applying ED, make sure to give that essay one last spell check before you send it in by Nov 15. Our Preview Pitzer days are on November 7 and 14. You can register for those events by going to our website https://www.pitzer.edu/admission/ and clicking on the link on the right hand side of the page.

And now the newest installment of WHERE IN THE WORLD IS CECIL THE SAGEHEN:

Cecil soldier field
Where is Cecil this week?

Posted by Danny Irving, Admission Counselor

Danny Leaps for joy