Dec

11

Let the sound of tubas inspire you this week.

category icon Posted in General

It’s true: there are many times when I miss being in college. Today, the Sunday before Finals Week, is not one of them. It’s 3:00 p.m. and I’m still in my pajamas (as I’m sure many of you diligent scholars are as well), but I don’t have a paper or an exam looming over me. It’s a wonderful feeling. I do sympathize with all of you students though. I’ve been there, and I’ve survived. Don’t forget to take regular study breaks to increase the capacity of your brain. This will all be over soon and you’ll have a lovely 4-week break to spend relaxing.

Napping was always my favorite type of study break.

Speaking of a study break, did any of you stop by the Old Capitol steps on Friday afternoon? It was the campus tradition of Holiday Tubas! The weather was absolutely frigid, but there was still a decently-sized crowd gathered on the Pentacrest to hear some Christmas carols and other winter tunes.

It's "tu-bad" if you missed out on this....get it? Too bad. Tuba. Ha. Ok sorry, that was awful.

Here’s an excerpt of the joyous Christmas hymn “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” for you to enjoy: TUBAS. You will notice in the video the fierce winds raging, but despite the cold we still ran into several friends in the crowd. One of the great things about Iowa is that even though it’s a large school, sometimes it feels like one big family. There are so many events and places that really bring people together.

[Stars of the video (in order of appearance): Eric Rossow, Student Org-estrator for the Center for Student Involvement & LeadershipAaron Parker, former Admission Counselor (and blogger) turned Children’s Medicine Moneymaker for the UI Foundation; Sheila Schechinger, Admissions Guru; Tara “Had a Little” Lamb, another former Admission Counselor turned Advisor Extraordinaire for the College of Nursing; and Betsy Winter, former Tuba Virtuoso and current Admission Counselor (and in case you were wondering, winter is her least favorite season, I asked her the other day.]

So good luck to all of you students on your finals! Remember that these tests and papers are but a sentence in the grand book of your life. They may, however, partially dictate how the next chapter unfolds, so study hard and do your best!

Just in case I don’t write anything again before the sun sets on 2011, I hope everyone makes the most of time spent with family and friends this holiday season, and I will see you all back here in 2012!

Taken on a drive through those beautiful Iowa cornfields.

[Facebook] [Twitter]

Nov

14

Who doesn’t love free stuff?

category icon Posted in General

Buenas noches, mis amigos. I know it’s been a while since I wrote a blog, but hopefully my truly loyal readers (i.e. my parents) haven’t given up hope.

Tonight I went to Zumba at the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center. I did not intend to go to Zumba, but that is what happened. I thought the 6 o’clock class was going to be Total Body Workout. It wasn’t. It was Zumba. I decided to give it a try anyway. For those of you who don’t know, Zumba is basically a Latin hip hop dance workout/torture session.

The description on the CRWC website says: “Even if you have never danced before, you will have fun and feel successful in Zumba! The dance movements are simple and easy to follow.” WRONG. So totally opposite of the truth. I felt like a loser in Zumba. They should at least say: “You need to be coordinated enough to move your arms and legs at the same time to have fun and feel successful in Zumba. The dance movements are simple and easy to follow…unless you often get left and right confused and you look like you’re having a full body spasm when you try to gyrate your hips.”

I even wore that exact same outfit but I still failed miserably.

But that is not the point of this blog post. The point is that the CRWC is now offering a BINGO card, and in each square there is a different workout class. If you fill up all the squares in a row, you win a PRIZE! I think the prize is something like a lanyard or a drawstring bag or a water bottle. If you fill up the whole card, you get a session with a personal trainer. Who doesn’t love FREE STUFF?!

Once you become a freshman in college you will learn that you cannot say no to free stuff. Even if it’s a bandaid–you take it. You never know when that might come in handy. Most free stuff will be food. Most free food will be pizza. That’s ok, just take it. You can go to the dining hall for dinner and save that pizza for midnight when you’re studying and need brain fuel.

Exception to the rule: free puppies. DO NOT TAKE. You can't have pets in the residence halls.

Here is your first opportunity to score some freebies. I’m curious to see how many prospective students read these blogs. I wouldn’t be surprised if you don’t read mine…I write about irrelevant things like cheeseburgers and chocolate chip cookies. For that I apologize. However, our current students do a great job of sharing what life is like as a Hawkeye.

So in an effort to appeal to you high schoolers, I have a proposition: If you write a comment on this entry about why you’re interested in The University of Iowa, then you could receive a FREE PRIZE! The prize is yet to be determined, but it will be something Hawkeye-related and easily mailed.

Not this kind of prize. Sorry.

There will be TWO (2) prizes awarded: both the first comment and the “best” comment (as determined by a committee of judges, a.k.a. me). In order to potentially receive the prize, you need to include your actual email address when filling out the comment form. This will not be published on the website; only I will be able to see it. I’ll then email you to find out your address so I know where to send the AWESOME prize.

To help you brainstorm, I’ll share my reason for becoming a Hawkeye: I wanted to go to a school that was big enough that there would always be new people to meet and new things to do (like Zumba…ugh), but small enough that it had a tight-knit community and a compact campus. And the rest is history…

So let’s hear it: WHY IOWA?

[Facebook] [Twitter]

Oct

05

Should you visit campus?

category icon Posted in General

Last week was a nice change of pace as I got to stay put in the Admission Visitors Center every day. Now I’m up in Minneapolis, staying at my parents’ house, helping with the Minnesota National College Fair, and visiting my own former high school (GO COUGARS), but we’ll save that for a future blog.

This is where the magic happens.

I really like my office. I recently brought in a nice little lamp, because I have an extreme aversion to overheard fluorescent lighting, and this lamp has made a huge difference. It really sets the mood in my workspace. Not only do I feel more relaxed, content, and productive, but I like to think it puts the campus visitors at ease too. The warm glow from the lamp signifies that my office is a friendly, welcoming space. If you want to talk about The University of Iowa, that’s great, let’s do that. But if you’re also looking for somebody to open up to about your fear of whales or your infatuation with your math teacher, that’s ok too. I’m here for you. The lamp is here for you. [Disclaimer: while I do have a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, I am in no way certified to diagnose your mental health issues.]

Feeling stressed about college? Just stare into the lamp and take deep breaths.

This brings me to my next point. Perhaps you’re still trying to figure out if you should visit campus at all? If that’s the case, please take this simple quiz I have created for you.

Should I Schedule a Campus Visit?

1. What grade are you in?

A. Just a freshman. I’m not really thinking about college yet. I’m just wondering what’s for dinner.

B. I’m a junior, but my mom keeps pestering me to not procrastinate when it comes to college.

C. CLASS OF 2012 ALL THE WAY!!! The past four years at Samuel L. Jackson Community High School have been great, but I’m soooo ready to move on.

2. How much do you know about The University of Iowa already?

A. Not much. In fact, I’m not even completely sure what state it’s in.

B. A bit. My neighbor’s cousin went there and he told me a lot about it. Mostly that it’s awesome.

C. Everything. I’ve wanted to go there since I got out of the womb. I have a tattoo of the Old Capitol on my bicep, and after I workout the golden dome looks like it’s shimmering in the sunlight.

3. Are you interested in attending The University of Iowa?

A. No, not really. I probably want to go to a super small school where the whole student body holds hands and sings lullabies every night. 

B. Maybe, but first I need to find out if your school has a linguistics major, water polo club, and soy milk in the cafeteria. [Author’s note: Yes, yes, and yes.]

C. Definitely. I can’t imagine myself going anywhere else.

Answer Key:

If you answered mostly A’s, then you should think about scheduling a campus visit. Even if you are “just a freshman,” you can learn a lot by visiting colleges, and you won’t feel any pressure to make a decision soon. Whether you have already started thinking about your dream school or not, you might be surprised with some of the things you realize you like about different schools when you visit campus. Unfortunately we don’t have campus-wide sing-a-longs (…yet), but we definitely have a very tight-knit community of Hawkeyes. By the way, we are located in Iowa City, IA, but don’t worry, you are not the only one who gets confused sometimes.

If you answered mostly B’s, then you should probably schedule a campus visit. Your mom is a wise lady; don’t put off the college search process until you feel rushed. Hopefully you have an idea of what you’d like to find in a school, but if not, campus visits can be a great way to determine that. You might have heard a lot about a school already–through pamphlets, friends & family, BLOGS–but you can get a true glimpse into life as a student by stepping foot on campus. That way you can sit down with a linguistics professor, check out the new Campus Rec & Wellness Center pool, and chug a glass of soy milk in the dining hall.

If you answered mostly C’s, then you should just go directly to this website: http://www.uiowa.edu/admissions/undergrad/visit/first-year-options.htm. That’s great to hear that you’re a fan of The University of Iowa, but there are still important things to know about the admissions process! As a senior, you’ll definitely want to be aware of upcoming deadlines and opportunities. Even if you think you’ve already made up your mind, it’s still a good idea to visit campus–and not just IOWA. Check out a few other campuses too; that way you can guarantee you’ve found the best fit for you.

So either visit the above link or call toll-free at 800-553-4692 to set up your campus visit!

If you’re still not convinced, hopefully this will entice you. While you’re in Iowa City, you can stop by Cookies & More for a Crunchy Chocolate Chip cookie! The name is deceiving; they are actually chewy. The “crunchy” comes from oatmeal, coconut, and sliced almonds. I think. I don’t know for sure. But they are aaaaaaamazing.

Chewy + crunchy = CHOONCHY!

[Facebook] [Twitter]

Sep

21

I’m baaaaaaack!

category icon Posted in General

I’m finally back in Iowa City after ten days of traveling. I have driven a total of about 2,500 miles in the past two weeks. That is equal to the distance of driving down to Disney World and back–and just as much fun too! Actually the past fortnight (incredibly underused word) has contained some exciting times, such as my brother’s wedding, but it has also been so incredibly busy. I had good intentions of updating the blog while on the road, but then I remembered how exhausting 12-hour work days can be.

I passed the World's Largest Truck Stop seven times in the past two weeks. I stopped zero times.

In case you were wondering what a typical day on the road as an admission counselor is like, I’ll outline it for you. Then again, every day is full of surprises. Take this morning, for instance. At the first high school I went to, my visit was interrupted by an intruder alert and the school went into lockdown mode. It was not a drill. The guidance counselors seemed relatively relaxed, but I was going into action mode. “Are all the doors locked? Should we shut the lights off? Where are all the exits? Who is in charge and what is our plan?!” Finally somebody had the decency to tell me that all the phones in the school have an intruder button, and somebody probably hit it accidentally. That helped calm me down a little, but I still wanted to know where the exits were…and a bathroom, because that fight or flight instinct really gets your intestines moving.

Anyway, here is a “typical” day…

7:00 a.m.: Wake up and look around the room in a confused fashion.

7:02 a.m.: Finally remember you are in a hotel. Get out of bed, shower, and try to look professional enough that people will not mistake me for a pubescent teenager when walking through the halls of a high school.

7:30 a.m.: Take advantage of the hotel’s continental breakfast. Avoid the waffle maker! Yes, they are delicious, but you will burn through those empty calories before you can say, “Mmmm, more syruuuuupppp…”

7:45 a.m.: Start driving to the first high school. This could take 5 minutes, it could take 50. I never know what to expect with traffic, GPS malfunction, geese crossing, etc. Usually it takes less time than I expected, so I end up sitting in my car in the school parking lot for a solid 20 minutes trying not to look like a creep.

8:30 a.m.: Meet with students in the Guidance Office. This part of the day varies drastically from school to school, but the gist of it is that we talk for a while and the students leave feeling informed and enthusiastic about The University of Iowa (if I’m doing my job well).

10:00 a.m.: High school visit #2.

11:30 a.m.: Get lunch. Sometimes I do a little research ahead of time so I can go somewhere local that gets good food reviews. Lunch is also a good time to catch up on emails, which never stop whether you’re in the office or on the road. I have recently invested in one of those brilliant devices you people call a “smart phone.” My dumb phone just wasn’t cutting it anymore. I think I was one of the last people between the ages of 10 and 30 in the US to get a smart phone. It’s pretty sad when you see a child with a nicer phone than you. Sad for them, not for me. Go use your imagination, young one!

1:00 p.m.: High school visit #3.

2:15 p.m.: High school visit #4.

3:30 p.m.: “Free” time where I drive around looking for a place that has wi-fi so I can actually get some work done on a full keyboard. Or try to find somewhere I can park the car for an hour or two without looking suspicious. One time I was parked in the lot next to a gas station reading a book and the guy who worked there actually asked me to leave. He must have noticed I was reading Idiot’s Guide to Robbing a Gas Station.

5:30 p.m.: Head to the site of the college fair. Sometimes they have dinner available beforehand, sometimes they don’t. I’ve found it’s best to eat something ahead of time, just in case. You are going to be really bummed if you were expecting spaghetti and this year they’re only doing a fruit tray. It also takes me a good chunk of time to unload the boxes from my car, haul it in on this little cart with dangerous bungee cord hooks, and set up all the pamphlets on my table so the whole display says, “Hey there, do you like neat stacks of beautiful brochures arranged in a perfectly symmetrical fashion? Then you will love The University of Iowa.” Most of the other schools’ admission counselors have these fancy rolling suitcases for all their materials instead of cardboard boxes. I’m not sure how they fit everything in there. High schoolers, BEWARE: If an admissions rep has a magical Mary Poppins bag, they are NOT to be trusted.

6:30 p.m.: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines. The college fair begins, and it is usually two hours of non-stop chatting, answering questions, and smiling. I do really enjoy a good college fair and the opportunity to help students and parents learn more about The University of Iowa. I loved being a student here and I love the thought of other young adults having such a fantastic college experience. My job is to help you decide whether The University of Iowa is the best fit for you, and if that means answering the same question for the fiftieth time that day, then I will do it with a passion.

8:30 p.m.: Head back to the hotel (or sometimes back to Iowa City, depending on the night) and do something to get my mind off work: channel surf, Facebook stalk, look at pictures of cute animals, or watch funny YouTube videos. Speaking of which, this is what my blogs would sound like if I wrote them at the end of a long work day.

So there you have it. Now all of the little kindergarteners reading my blog on their smart phones will want to be admission counselors when they grow up.

[Facebook] [Twitter]

Sep

12

On the road again…

category icon Posted in General

Good morning, loyal readers!

I’m just about to hit the road for a week full of travel, but just wanted to sneak a blog post in here before I do. I’m sure you guys were wondering what I’ve been up to. Well, we don’t have time to get into details, so I’ll just say “a lot.”

Last week I visited some high schools in the Quad Cities, and this week I’ll be going to Bloomington-Normal and Champaign, IL. After that, I’m stopping through Iowa City very briefly, and then making my way up to Minneapolis for my brother’s wedding. It will be quite the week. Then even MORE traveling next week. Since that’s about ten days I won’t be eating a meal in my apartment, I’ve tried to strategically finish off most of my food before my departure. Here’s the sorry state of my fridge:

I should probably get rid of that milk...

Things are going to be really depressing when I get back unless I just head straight to the grocery store.

I hope everyone has a great week! I’ll probably be blogging from the road (not while driving), and if you’re a high school student in Bloomington or Champaign then watch out, I’m coming your way…

[Facebook] [Twitter]

Sep

02

Are you ready?

category icon Posted in General

We have been patiently waiting month after agonizing month for tomorrow. A day where we will once again gather with friends, family and fellow fans for one of the most important days of the year: the kick-off of the next Hawkeye football season. My words cannot do this momentous day justice, so I’ve decided to let a few other important people speak to you instead.

QB Jimmy V is looking forward to annihilating opponents.

 

We'll miss you, Stanzi, but not your mullet.

 

Marvin McNutt makes a prediction for the season.

 

Whoaaa, Kirk. Don't get too crazy now.

Thanks for your input, guys. You’re going to dominate this weekend. ON IOWA, GO HAWKS!

[Facebook] [Twitter]

Aug

29

Where’s the beef…and the bat?

category icon Posted in General

Nobody has left any comments yet suggesting what I should write about…

OH WAIT! What’s this letter I just found in the mailbag? [Editor’s note: We don’t have a mailbag…] It’s from the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association!

Dear Anne,

Why don’t you write about how delicious burgers are, especially when they’re made with 100% corn-fed black Angus Iowa beef?

Peace, love, and cowpies,

Iowa Cattlemen

Great idea! In order to properly address this request, I decided to do a little research. Even though I have “researched” this topic many times before, I thought it would be wise to approach it with the blog in mind, so tonight I walked downtown to Short’s Burgers to meet up with some friends and investigate the deliciousness of a genuine Iowa burger. [For legal purposes I should specify that the University does not endorse one particular Iowa City burger over another but nobody can deny these ones are pretty dang good.] One of the beautiful things about Iowa City is that everything is in walking distance. On the way downtown I passed the Ped Mall fountain, which, as I mentioned in my previous post, is one of my favorite spots in the city. That is how you know when it’s truly summer, when they turn the fountain back on.

to me, this is the definition of summer.

Short’s knows burgers and it knows them well. But not only that, Short’s is also an expert in fries. To keep this very vaguely admissions-related, if Short’s went to The University of Iowa, it double majored in Burgers & Fries. A Bachelor’s degree in DELICIOUS, if you will. They also offer chicken sandwiches or black bean burgers, but I always have my heart set on the beef. They have 20 different combinations of toppings for your burger, and all of the ones I’ve tried were outstanding, but tonight I was just in the mood for a good ole fashioned cheezboiger.

Let me just say, it did not disappoint. A home-baked bun, melty American cheese, crisp lettuce/tomato/pickle, the all-important ketchup & mustard…and the beef. That beef is Iowa perfected in meat form. Handcut fries that are not too crispy and not too floppy are the ultimate burger companion.

BEHOLD.

Oh, and did I mention that on Monday night the burgers (+fries) are just SIX DOLLARS?! Yeah, $6. Life is good.

They also have cheesecake on the menu, but after finishing that off, cheesecake will be the last thing on your mind. Standing up was not even really on my mind. So I walked to the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center, swiped my ID, and turned around and walked home. I had no intention of exercise post-burger, but I need to get up to 52 workouts this year to keep my staff discount, and just walking anywhere with that burger in my belly sounded like a workout to me.

As soon as I got home I started blogging, and all of the sudden, in swoops a BAT. In my living room. At my head. Needless to say, this was very unpleasant. There may or may not have been some shrieking and cowering in fear. That was soon followed by commando crawling through the apartment while aimlessly swatting with my tennis racket. This strategy was unsuccessful. I opened the door to the porch and as soon as he flew out there I trapped him. He’s still out there now. I’m realizing now that I should have caught this on video, because that would’ve been comedic gold and increased the hits to my blog to about 10.

The really bizarre thing is that this exact same thing happened last year at the end of August. I am therefore publicly apologizing for all the horrible things I’ve said about the “Twilight” series. Dear vampires of the world and your bat friends, please leave me alone now.

[Facebook] [Twitter]

Aug

25

Welcome!

category icon Posted in General

Hello to all students (both prospective and current) and parents (…probably just my own)! Welcome to my life in blog form.

It is an exciting time of year as school starts up again, and the campus is bustling with students once more! I love Iowa City in the summer, when it’s easy to find parking, the outdoor patios at my favorite restaurants are the perfect dining spots, joyous children (whether 2 years old or 20) frolic through the Ped Mall fountain, etc. But you can’t deny there is something invigorating about the start of the school year. Part of me really wishes I could be back in the classroom absorbing new information, but another, larger part of me doesn’t really miss taking tests and writing papers. I have moved on to bigger challenges…like writing a blog. YIKES.

This past week was pretty crazy as all of the first-year students moved in to the residence halls and took part in a new tradition called On Iowa!–an extravaganza for forty-five hundred freshmen with food, fireworks, fun, freebies, friends, and a bunch of other awesome things that start with other letters of the alphabet. You can check out the other bloggers’ posts for more details and some great pictures, too. Our admissions office got to be very involved with planning and organizing all the events, so it was fantastic to see it all come together. And I’m sure it will be even more amazing next year.

Herky + fireworks = AWESOME.

During On Iowa!, all of us in the admissions office worked extra long days running all across campus to help out with the various events, so it’s a little strange to be back in the office all day now. It’s certainly not slow here in the office, but much less crazy-exciting-go go go than last week.

IMPORTANT: Hopefully all of you who are seniors in high school know that the application is available NOW online! It’s not too soon to apply! The deadline isn’t until April 1, but why not just get it in now and cross that off your To-Do list? Then send us your transcripts and test scores and expect to hear back in about 4-6 weeks. As soon as you’re admitted to IOWA, you can move on to the next steps like Housing and Financial Aid.

So, what do you think? What do you want to know about the University of Iowa? Any suggestions for blog posts would be appreciated. Otherwise I’ll just talk a lot about snacks, my favorite subject.

[Facebook] [Twitter]