I thought that since the first month of 2007 is about to end it was about time to log-on and update the blog. I hope 2007 has started well for all of you. For me, odd years have typically been quite eventful and so I am expecting 2007 to keep with the trend. It is after all my 10 year college reunion and also the anniversary that I stopped officially being a New Yorker (both very sad memories now that I think of it). 31 days into 2007 and it is already shaping up to be one crazy, hectic year.
So you wonder where have I been these past few weeks. Well, some of you speculated another complication with the blog, but nope that is not the reason. As I sat in the eye doctor’s office today, more on that later, I jotted down a list of reasons (excuses?) of why I haven’t posted for over four weeks. Here is what I came up with:
Reasons for the absence of the Hopkins Insider:
#1: Heroes: Yes, I am completely enthralled in this best new show of the 2006-07 television season, in my humble opinion. First it was “Save the Cheerleader, Save the World” and now it is “Are you on the List?” All I know is that I want to be on that list. I have been a big fan of these type of super-hero type stories — first with the X-Men, then with the little known USA show The 4400, and now with Heroes. If you are not watching this show you are missing out on one of the few original shows to hit TV in a long time. And unlike my other obsession, LOST, the answer to the mysteries come fast, and are not drawn out over a long season. (Oh yeah, another reason I am addicted to Heroes is the character Hiro Nakamura played by the amazing Masi Oka — who by the way graduated from the same college I did and the same year as I did as well. That is just cool.)
#2: 24: To be honest, another television show has also delayed my postings. The return of 24 and Jack Bauer, for a 6th day of fast-paced, shocking action. The first four hours of Day 6 were some of the best episodes ever. But then the last few hours have me wondering if 24 has “jumped the shark.” (By the way, if you don’t understand that phrase, read this.) So why do I think this? Well, I was not a fan of the way Curtis was killed. Last year I was shocked with the death of Edgar, but it worked and had a truly dramatic effect (i.e. emotion from Chloe). But, Curtis’ death was played out in a very weird way and then almost ignored when the nuke went off. But that is minor to my concern of the potential downfall of the show with the introduction of Jack’s brother and father. The brother twist is cool but really, really out-of-left-field. Plus, meeting Jack’s family has never really compelled me to watch before. I despised his wife in Day 1 and was so happy she was killed, and then there is Kim. In the end though I am not that worried … if the series could survive Kim being chased by a mountain lion, and then her as CTU agent, and then her dating C. Thomas Howell … I think it can survive Jack’s Dad – Babe the pig’s mentor. Or at least I hope it can. (And what is with the Physics professor from Numbe2s and Ally McBeal lawyer (Peter MacNicol) channeling Karl Rowe?)
#3: American Idol: OK, one last television distraction of late too. A.I. Season 6 continues to be an addiction simply because of Simon. The “other door” gimmick is non-stop hilarity too. And then there is the true talent that is found. This year so far I am a huge fan of both Sundance Head and Chris Sligh.
#4: Oscars: Beyond the tube, I actually have also been side-tracked from posting by the start of Oscar season. As much as I am a fan of TV shows, my true pop culture passion lies with films. I am a Netflix addict and the build up to Oscar season is truly one of my favorite times of year. First the Golden Globes, then the SAG Awards, then nomination day, then the great Entertainment Weekly issue dedicated to the nominees — I absorb it all while trying to also watch all the nominees. I’ll post my picks in a couple of weeks, and you will see how far my addiction truly extends.
#5: Work: To be really honest, the last month I have been super busy with work. As I mentioned in a previous entry I have this over-organizing disease. The term “anal retentive” doesn’t even begin to describe it. This debilitating illness becomes all consuming at the start of a new year as I must organize my calendar. Oops, sorry I meant calendars. Yes, that is plural – I have two wall calendars (24 & Lilly), two day calendars (Labradors and Mind Benders), two work calendars, a journal, two electronic calendars, and I make “to do lists” each day. Don’t believe me, check out the proof in these pictures. With so many calendars to organize, it takes about a month of my time.
#6: Reading: As you go through this list, most of you are thinking why isn’t he reading. Isn’t that his job. Well, you are right. I have been reading as well. Just this month I have completed three books. (1) Nelson Demille’s amazing, yet scary Wild Fire. John Corey rocks, but think I need to build a fall-out shelter now. (2) Daniel Golden’s The Price of Admission. I am really not a fan of privilege, and I am glad I work for JHU. (3) Gary Troup’s Bad Twin. I have to get ready for the return of LOST next week.
#7: The Truth: OK, though 1-6 are all true they are just distractions from what I have really been doing this past month. The reason for the delay is obvious to anyone who knows anything about college admissions — IT IS READING SEASON. My mornings, late mornings, noons, early afternoons, late afternoons, evenings, late evenings, even my dreams are filled with one thing right now — reading admissions files. Each day I need to read about 40 files … on average it takes 15-20 minutes for each file … you do the math … there is not much time left for other things.
I’m not complaining, it is just a fact of my job. Thankfully in my 9th year of reading I still have the passion for it, so even though it is difficult, I am able to give up my winter and early spring for this task. I feared that I may have also given up my vision to this process, but thankfully I passed my vision test yesterday with a perfect score, still 20/20. (See I told you that the visit to the eye doctor would return.)
As myself and my colleagues deal with the inundation of files to evaluate, there is another equally impressive operation taking place. For the past two months and continuing until the end of February, a team of professionals, temps, and amazing student workers will process tons and tons of paper. This massive operation is stunning to imagine as thousands of applications will be completed and tens of thousands of pieces of paper compiled. From the mail room, to the printing of online materials, to the sorting of documents, to the alphabetizing, to the filing, to the arranging of completed folders — the operations of an admissions office is a sight to behold. Enjoy these pictures as a small window into the world of application processing.
I hope you enjoyed this post and agree that the Hopkins Insider blog is back and better than ever. (Thanks Greeny!) I hope to be able to post more frequently in February, but if not at least you know what I will be doing — watching LOST!!!
P.S. Contest Time: Wondering what the title of this entry refers to? It is the count … the rising count of the total number of applications we will process for the Class of 2011. As we continue to get to that final number, the challenge for you all is to guess what the final count will be. Use the comments section of this entry to post your guess for the total number of applications Hopkins received for freshman admission to the Fall 2007 term. I will post the answer some time in March, so you have all of February to post your guess.
The Prize? Clearly we are offering a scholarship to the person who comes the closest. NOT!!! (Respect to Wayne’s World and Borat.) Simply, the prize will be bragging rights. Happy guessing.