Swamped … Overwhelmed … Engrossed

Take a look at these pictures:



That is the state of the Admissions Office right now. Actually it is our Committee Room as of Saturday morning (March 15). It may not look like much, but this is just one of many scenes of the hard work going on right now. We are swamped … we are overwhelmed … we are engrossed … we are any other descriptive word that symbolizes a state of busyness at the highest level. Oh yeah, and we are inundated with files, rosters, and extremely difficult decisions.

Committee time is upon us, and as I mentioned last week this process is more daunting and difficult than it ever has been. From now until the end of the month, my colleagues and I are spending 7 days a week in the office, working way past the normal 8 hours a day, and are feeling all the weight of this incredibly difficult process. Thankfully, there is the slightest light at the end of the tunnel … or is that just the glare of my alarm clock red light telling me it is time to wake up and get back to the office.

Here are some more pictures that I think display the mayhem:



Anyone who knows me, or has read this blog for a while, knows that I am a very, very, very organized person and keep a very tidy office. Well that was the state of my office on Friday. Files, papers, rosters … EVERYWHERE. I actually walked in after a staff meeting and almost fainted. Having an office this messy is not conducive to my mental health … so after taking the pictures I attempted to organize as best as possible and then move on to my next project.

Speaking of my mental health, I am really not sure how I am still standing after the weak I have had. As I right this blog at 1:00am on Saturday evening / Sunday morning, I just looked back at my daily to do lists for the past week.

Monday: In the office at 6:45am … Responding to emails, work on planning some Engineering events, meet with some students about communicating with admitted students in April, Counseling Team meeting, Meet with Dean of Admissions John Latting to discuss Engineering numbers and BME selection, Web site work … home by 7:00pm … in bed at 12:15am.

Tuesday: In the office at 5:30am … Responding to emails, some more Engineering work, some video work, Committee work for 5 hours, Senior Staff meeting, 7 phone calls with New England college counselors, meeting with students interested in helping with Engineering projects, more Committee work for a couple of hours … home by 8:00pm … in bed at 11:45pm.

Wednesday: In the office at 6:00am … Committee work throughout the whole morning / early afternoon, Westgate scholarship selection until 5pm, weekly meeting with Student Advisory Board … home by 8:00pm … in bed at 1:15am.

Thursday: In the office at 7:00am … More Westgate scholarship selection and even more Committee work, lots of emails to respond to, 14 more phone calls with New England college counselors, some spring travel planning, more Web site design work, endless roster work … home by 7:00pm … LOST at 9:00pm … in bed at 10:30pm. (Easy day???)

Friday: In the office at 3:30am (NO JOKE) … emails, phone calls, rosters, committee work, Web site work, Engineering work, meetings with the Director, final scholarship selections, etc. etc. etc. Honestly, the day was one of the most difficult in my time in Admissions and I think I have blocked it out of my mind … home by 8:15pm … bed at 9:30pm (actually I feel asleep on the couch).

So in the end I hope this entry reveals that we are working hard, and we do not take our jobs lightly. In fact, this afternoon I was able to step away from the Committee Room for a couple of hours to watch the Hopkins Men’s Lacrosse team play Syracuse:



Unfortunately, the team lost in OT, our second straight OT loss. The weather was beautiful though and it was nice to get some fresh air.

It is now 1:30am and I plan to be in the office around 7:00am on Sunday morning. So it is bed time for me … and hopefully some pleasant dreams that have nothing to do with college admissions.

10 thoughts on “Swamped … Overwhelmed … Engrossed

  1. “As I right this blog at 1:00am on Saturday evening”
    lol “right,” eh? Poor Daniel, you really are exhausted!
    What’s behind that black box in the very first photo of the Committee Room?
    I will be sitting here–anxiously waiting for my verdict, while you guys work like crazy!
    Best of luck to the entire Admissions Staff with making decisions! =)

  2. Kaitlin: Good job … a very perceptive reader you are. Actually I interchanged “right” and “write” on purpose to see how in-depth people read the blog. There is actually another similar “mistake” in that same paragraph. At 1:00am in the morning your mind goes a bit crazy, and you think such twists are funny. In retrospect, they just make me look like an idiot.
    As far as what is behind the black box … unfortunately I can not tell. There has to be some secrecy to this whole process. (((OK, I will spill the beans … it is J.J. Abrams plan for the final episodes of LOST.)))

  3. after the ‘weak’ i have had :D
    best of luck with all those works :)i can’t wait to hear the decision!

  4. Wow, seemed like a pretty tough week. I’ve had several weeks like those (especially before the different INTEL Science competitions) but nothing quite as extreme as 3:30 in the morning. Its never fun to work on Sundays either.
    I want to also thank you for posting the New York state representative, John Birney on the blog. I’ve been kind of busy the past two weeks so I had to do a little bit of catching up. As you might have remembered, I was really looking forward to reading that post.
    I have my own pet theory on what’s behind the photoshopped black box. I think it might be a dry erase board that gives away a few admissions secrets. Either way, the idea was great. For the next two weeks, all we will be thinking about is what is behind that black box and before we know it, we will receive our admissions decisions. I guess that black box serves a psychological purpose as well. :-)

  5. The black box is actually a magic black box, which randomly sorts files into accept, reject and waitlist piles. The admissions committee uses this for the applications they are on the fence about. The box speeds the process and helps to arrive at the magic admit numbers which results in the perfect number of incoming freshmen. LOL, I couldn’t resist.

  6. Very interesting theories. Actually it was just our lunch order for that day. We didn’t want to show you all how unhealthy we eat at this time of year.

  7. In some really bizzarre (any potential typos intended) way, this post made me excited for college. Fresh air sounds like a fantastic commodity.

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