As anyone who knows me — friends, family, co-workers, recent plane neighbors — I love Tennessee. I love the accent. I love the music. I love the barbeque. Sometimes (read: all the time), I like to pretend I live here as I spend my week visiting Chattanooga, Nashville, and Memphis. So I figured, this trip is a great way to show what it’s like to be a Holy Cross admissions counselor on the road.
6:27 a.m. Begrudgingly pull myself out of bed. I am not much of a morning person.
7:35 a.m. Arrive at St. Cecilia Academy for their mini-fair. Not 12 hours before, I was standing in their foyer for the Catholic Colleges fair for students in Nashville, but it’s important for all the girls to get a chance to stop by.
9:10 a.m. Wrap up at St. Cecilia’s and head across the street — literally — to Montgomery Bell Academy for a similar setup.
10:30 a.m. A break from the mini-fair action comes in the form of a traditional visit to Ensworth School. In this format, we announce our visits to students and guidance counselors in hopes of having a conversation for 40 minutes about Holy Cross.
10:34 a.m. Whoa! My body finally realized I had had neither coffee nor breakfast today. That’s about to change…
10:45 a.m. Pull into Ensworth just in time for my scheduled visit. We admissions counselors get pretty good at maximizing these few minutes in between visits.
11:30 a.m. After a great conversation with Laura Stewart, Ensworth School’s Director of College Counseling, I plug Harpeth Hall into my handy-dandy GPS. Did you know there was a time when admissions counselors used maps to get from place to place? As in, a real road atlas. I would make it to a school visit 4% of the time.
11:56 a.m. With an hour before the Harpeth Hall mini-fair begins, I must invoke the unfortunately common parking lot lurk. It’s just me in my rental car, hopefully away from quizzical eyes, answering e-mails on my phone until I can head inside. There is such a thing as being too early.
1:45 p.m. With the end of a strong visit to Harpeth Hall, it’s time for lunch. Let my obsession with Yelp take over!
2:10 p.m. Today’s lunch spot has been found! (Thanks for a delicious salad and iced tea, Fido.)
3:30 p.m. To answer more e-mails, nap, or go for a run? Incredibly, I choose run this afternoon. It’s only a quick four-mile one, but I always enjoy the chance to jog around Centennial Park and catch a glimpse of the Parthenon replica. To be honest, I still don’t know why it’s in Nashville…
4:18 p.m. OK, OK, time to catch up on e-mail,: reply to inquiring students, continue planning Wednesday’s interview night, and keep all the on-campus commitments humming.
6:41 p.m. The best part about Nashville, of course, is the free live music EVERYWHERE. Hop the hotel shuttle to the main strip on Broadway and pick your destination. It sure beats watching TV or reading a magazine while eating dinner. Hey, this part of the job can get a little lonely!
10:01 p.m. Well, Father Ryan’s mini-fair begins at 7:15 tomorrow morning, so I better head back to the hotel and get some rest. Bless my heart, but I still need my eight hours!
For a list of where all 13 of us will be and when, check out our Visits to Your High School page