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MIT staff blogger Bryan G. Nance

Tales From The Nance Effect Road Show by Bryan G. Nance

My travel to the land of Boomer--Sooners, Miners. Wild Cats, Sun Devils and Rattlesnakes

Even as I write this I am en-route from the border town of El Paso, TX to Boston, MA. As the old joke goes: “I just flew in from El Paso and boy are my arms tired.” (rim shot) But seriously, I have been on the road visiting schools, meeting students and conducting MIT Central Meetings for the better part of September. Here is a quick update of what I saw and who I met.

Tucson, AZ (A.K.A. Wildcats & Mr. Rattlesnake)

“Dry heat” huh… You know what? 99 degrees is 99 degrees. End of conversation!

[SIDEBAR] Why did the flight attendant spend 10 minutes explaining that my seat could be used as a floatation device even though the entire route of the flight (Phoenix to Tucson) was over the desert? Just thought I’d throw that out there.

What a great town. I got a chance to be like Tiger on the links in Tucson. I now understand desert rules for golf. After marveling at a 240+ yard drive (just off the green) I encountered a Tucson native inhabitant; the rattlesnake. There I am in the middle of my back swing when I hear what can only be described as someone shaking beads in an empty soda can. I wish I could tell you what he/she/it looked like but I quickly vacated the area. It was at that moment that I realized why the entrance of the golf course suggested “Desert Rules” and “Beware of Rattlesnakes.” I wonder if the snake thought that I might taste like chicken.

The MIT Central Meeting was held at Catalina Foothills High School. I was treated to a pre-game show by the School Marching Band. All I can say is wow! If you happen to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, be sure to keep an eye out for The Catalina Foothills High School Marching Band. Overall I had a blast. There were great students and there was great southwestern food, but no fish tacos.

Phoenix, AZ (A.K.A Sun Devils)

“Dry heat” huh… You know what? 108 degrees is 108 degrees. End of conversation!

I had another spectacular Central Meeting that was held at Phoenix Country Day School. The crowds really turned out for my meeting. We had lots of great conversations and more than a few laughs at my expense. Sorry about the technical difficulties, Phoenix. I know, I’m from MIT so there should be no technology issues with my presentation. In my defense I’ll remind you that I only work at MIT.

Oklahoma City, OK (A.K.A. SOONER Country)

Beautiful weather and great students! During my visits in OKC I was able to meet students from Classen HS and Northeast Academy. The prize for the largest student turn-out goes to Oklahoma School for Science and Math who rolled into the library 50+ strong! Talk about a warm welcome!

Norman, OK (A.K.A. BOOMER – SOONER Epicenter)

Everyone who knows me is fully aware that when it comes to sports I L-O-V-E the University of Oklahoma football SOONERS. Hell, I probably would have named my daughter Boomer if I thought I could have gotten away with it. Less I digress. As I drove into Norman it was hard to see the road because of the tears in my eyes. (Yes I was happy, but I ran over a dead skunk on highway OK-77 South). Despite minor setbacks, I pressed on.

I first visited Norman High School where we talked and talked and talked. I left thinking, ” what a great group of students.” (I must admit that collectively the Norman students had a warped and twisted sense of humor…probably the reason that I enjoyed the visit so much.) They threw lots of tough question at me and hopefully I answered to their satisfaction. Norman HS, let me know how you’d rate The Nance Effect Road Show.

After you visit Norman H.S. there is only one place left to go… that’s right, Norman North H.S! This time I was ready. With no dead skunk aroma and a cup of Starbucks Venti Skinny Peppermint Mocha Late (no whipped) I was ready for the Norman North crowd. In a room designed to hold 12 we stuffed 25 students and a video camera for an extra long discussion about MIT. Did I mention that there was no AC in the room and the outside temperature was in the high 80’s? Still Norman North, you showed me mad love Sooner style.

After all of that activity, I thought that I would go to the OU bookstore, take a few pictures of the football stadium and call it a night. Ohhhhh no! Not the kid! I was reunited with the great Paul Rocha, Student Recruitment Specialist at OU. (Some years earlier we were a dynamic admissions duo at Cornell.) After an amazing Mexican feast we moved on to Edmond, OK where we conducted a joint college presentation at the Edmond Native American College Program. (Big shout-out to Ms. Baya Sanchez Crynes and Ms. Sydna Yellowfish for the warm welcome and cool Native American print t-shirt!) After a great few days with awesome students and friends – new and old – I was forced to bid farewell to Sooner State. (Still no fish tacos)

El Paso (A.K.A. Miners)

El Paso welcomed me with open arms and mercury readings in the high 90’s. Enough with the dry heat references!

Unfortunately, I was not able to make any high school visits, but I finally got my fish tacos! Life is so good to me! After a few hours of sleep and a great meal I was ready for the best and brightest that El Paso had to offer. True to form, I was not disappointed in the number of students and families that came to learn more about MIT. Great questions and conversations from a very knowledgeable crowd. It was a love-fest. I am disappointed that my schedule did not allow me to visit any schools in the El Paso area, but I did get to make my first trip to Mexico. I spent a grand total of 20 minutes south of the border. So much to do, so little time. Alas, there is always next year.

In the coming weeks the The Nance Effect Road Show is headed to New York City and Southern California. If you happened to catch it or you have questions about the application process, drop me a line and we’ll tawk.

25 responses to “Tales From The Nance Effect Road Show”

  1. Maddie C. says:

    Hey, I was at the one in OKC. Hoorah for the Sooner State!

    You did a really good job. It was cool to hear about MIT for myself, and not have to just read about it.

    Good luck in New York and California, and I hope your laptop’s battery doesn’t die again. smile

  2. Nils Schlupp says:

    This post leaves my wondering what our, and I quote, “warped and twisted sense of humor” is.
    ok, I admit that I know, but it is not too bad after all.
    I would say that all the questions got aswered (I got another year after all to ask) to everyones satisfaction.
    I only wanted to know if you would be coming again next year. Is that already planned?

    PS: I rate “The Nance Effect Road Show” with an A+, 110% or whatever the best rating is. It was great. Many thatnks for all the informations.

    Nils Schlupp

  3. It’s worth pointing out that, statistically speaking, in the case of an emergency water landing, you’re kind of screwed – I’m pretty sure nobody has ever survived the initial impact.

    Happy flying!

  4. I am so excited to learn more about MIT at the upcoming Los Angeles meeting!
    Can’t wait.
    -Anna Shcherbina (Hopeful class of ’12)

  5. Maddie,

    I am glad that you enjoyed the show as OSSM. Funny thing about batteries, if you don’t recharge batteries they will die on you!

    Thanks for the comment!

  6. Nils,

    Thank you for the 110% grade. Clearly you are using a weighted grading scale! :-D

    I am not sure if I’ll be back to Norman next year. I’m still trying to get through the rest of this year! I am hoping to return next year.

    Stay twisted and warped!

  7. Evan,

    It seems that you and I are thinking along the same lines. In fact, since I can’t swim, I’m not shure how good the “obligatory” flotation device would work for me anyhow. So I get on the flight, and go to sleep.

  8. Anna,

    I too am looking forward to the LA meeting. I assume that you are referring to the meeting in Westwood.

    Get ready,,, The Road Show is coming your way!

  9. Dan,

    Thank you for your warm invite to present in Bucharest. I don’t think I will be able to make it this year. maybe in the not to distant future.

    As for your 2nd question, send it all. We need to get a full picture of you to include your research etc.

  10. Dan says:

    A nice way to inform students about MIT ,crossing all over the country to participate on meetings and answering different questions. My self i had participated in a meeting like this ( in my country ) at Polytechnic University of Bucharest and it was nice ,if i will not be admitted to MIT then are big chances to join them. Anyway ,Nance when you come to my high school ? We have enough room for you too ( I checked on Google Earth : My high school is twice as MIT because of the football fields) and i promise that you will never forget this trip all your life. The distance is not so big ,only a few thousands of miles smile wink.
    About admission process:
    My school is prepared to send my recommendations, school report and transcript (with translation), but they asked me if they can also send some of my school projects (pictures, research) and stuff like this.

  11. Reyes Flete says:

    Looks like you prefer low heat with some humidity or no high heat at That is weird because my friends from Texas cannnot stand 80 degree heat with 70 percent humidity but they love the dry heat. I hope to see you when you come to New York. I have a lot of questions and it is too much to type.


  12. Is MIT not coming to Las Vegas this year because I see that it isn’t listed. I got a chance to speak to you during MITES. Will you be covering anything on the road that you have not already covered in our admissions dinners? ~Maria

  13. Max Ramos says:

    I’m excited to learn more about MIT at your San Diego stop. Have you heard of the National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP) or the National Hispanic Scholar? How much would they help in the application?

  14. Filiz Dolar says:


    It was a pleasure hearing you speak in Phoenix, and, well, you should experince our 120 degree summers =) I look forward to passing my application through your hands, and your response to my e-mails- lol, I know your busy. By the way, 20 minutes does not count as a visit to mexico! Unless it was at the beach eating authentic mexican food.


    PS- Next time try the Double Chocolate-Chip Frappuccino from Starbucks =)

  15. Max,

    We do look at NHRP favorably. Remember, reviewing an admissions application is like making soup… there are many ingredients that go into a great soup. Th same is true of your application. NHRP is good, but that alone won’t get you admitted or refused. See you in San Diego!

  16. Filiz,

    Yeap!!! 20 minuted does not a visit make! It is all about the authentic mexican food! Please send some! As for the 120….that’s what AC is for!

  17. Arya,
    Thank you for the kind words.

  18. Max Ramos says:

    Thanks for your response. I was inquiring as to whether NHRP was the broth of the soup or the pinch of salt added at the end?

  19. Arya says:

    Well, I guess you were serious when you said you’d blog about us. After being Nance’d on the Road Show, I’d have to give you a 9 out of Thursday. Well done!

  20. Zaira says:

    Hello, Bryan!
    I just wanted to share this with you. My friend took it the last day of MITES. I couldn’t leave MIT without that picture. =D

  21. zoogies says:

    Nance, nance, nance…a Sooners fan?! I never would have guessed. As a ‘Husker fan, I’m somewhat disappointed….but fear not, our respective teams shall meet on the field of battle ere long!

    Anyway. Just a ’10er from a certain school on the West Coast who applied last year, dropping by to say high.

  22. Rach says:

    Hey Bryan!
    Just got back from the info session in Long Beach. Great job! I feel a whole lot better about the application process and am as determined to get into MIT as ever. The classes and students and activities all look so awesome.
    Thank you! Have fun with all your other sessions (though it looks like you’re about done, after Socal).

  23. Gayshiel says:

    Hey Brian!!

    How did you leave Cornell without learning how to swim??

    – your trusted blog reader and your favorite Cornellian.

  24. lali says:

    Am a parent who attended the show in Long Beach – it was very simple and packed with info. Nice job! You really didn’t dig at your friends(?) in this part of town too much! Hope you have a great time at Whitney tomorrow. As PTA Pres, we love to brag about all the good things going on at Whitney. Help us keep our promise … just kidding. We know you’ll do a great job with and for our kids.

    P.S. Your ECs were very friendly too at LB.

  25. David says:

    As a triple Norman legacy, not only do I share your great love for OU, I actually have a family member named Boomer! Sure, he has 4 legs but he IS red.