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MIT staff blogger Ben Jones

Fall Travel Days 2+3: Westchester County by Ben Jones

Part 2 of my Fall Travelogue.

When you have a 2.5-year-old and a 3-month-old, anything after 6AM is considered “sleeping in.” I got to sleep in yesterday. :-)

Woke up around 8AM, got coffee in the lobby, and checked out of the Hyatt (still no sign of Paris or Nicky). Headed to Loomis Chaffee for a school visit. Didn’t get to see any students (apparently a bunch of them had come to my Hartford info session the night before and it was so amazing that they didn’t need to come see me today – heh) but I did have a great conversation with Alison Burr, the GC at Loomis.

I did my best to explain our selection process to her, and she told me that this really helped her to understand why certain kids get in when others do not. This is a big goal of ours during fall travel – helping GC’s to understand what kind of applicant we’re looking for. So this was a great school visit, despite the lack of student attendance. Alison was a wonderful host and gave me a great tour of the entire campus – Loomis is a beautiful place.

Loomis Chaffee has somewhat of a sad history. Back in the day, Mr. Loomis married Ms. Chaffee and they had some kids, and then those kids had some kids, but they all died in childhood. So they took all of the money that they would have spent on the kids’ educations and created the school. There’s a private dining room off the main dining room with portraits of all of the family members. The portraits of the children (painted to reflect the ages they were when they died) are haunting.

After Loomis, I headed down the various parkways towards New York (always take things like the Hutch instead of 95, trust me) and ended up in New Rochelle where the Westchester County central meeting was to be held at Iona Prep.

With some time to kill (I’d left CT early to avoid rush hour traffic), I picked a direction randomly and ended up in Scarsdale, where I got a table at a Chinese restaurant called Seven Woks. If you’re ever in Scarsdale, Seven Woks makes some great Moo Shu.

I’ll pause here to note that for some reason I only ever end up eating one meal per day on the road. It’s sortof a lunch/dinner combo thing in the late afternoon. I thought this was weird until asking my colleagues about their eating habits on the road and discovering that most of them share this habit. Part of it is the timing of the night meetings; another part is probably related to the fact that we need to be “on” all day/night during these trips, which likely affects our appetities. Maybe I’ll lose a couple of pounds out here; that’d be cool. :-)

After dinner I headed to Iona Prep to set up for the meeting. There were a bunch of EC’s there including the regional chair, Arthur Katz, who was great and quite helpful. Arthur gets to travel a lot for work, including a recent trip to Nigeria.

The meeting went well – lots of questions at the end, so we were there pretty late. I was thinking of coming back to Boston today (Wednesday), but decided to grin and bear the 3.5 hour drive back to Boston last night so I could get woken up by my babies.

They were glad to see me. :-)


Today: tons of email catchup and prep for the rest of travel.
Tomorrow: a 7AM flight to Tampa for the NACAC conference.

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