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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

The real O.C. by Matt McGann '00

Travels in Southern California.

(…as opposed to other OCs)

I’m in Orange County California, in a hotel shouting distance from Knott’s Berry Farm. But it hasn’t been all fun & games; I’ve conducted 2 Central Meetings (CMs) already, with four more to go.

On Wednesday, after a couple school visits, I had the chance to have a picnic-style dinner with the Orange County Educational Counselors (OC ECs), coordinated by Regional Chair Joanna Tan, M.D.

A subset of the Orange County ECs, having a nice picnic dinner.

Directly following the dinner was a Central Meeting. We had a nice turnout for the meeting, despite the ubiquitous Southern California traffic. Halfway through the meeting, the ECs had the opportunity to address the audience.

At left, two ECs help the attending crowd check in. At right, EC Joanna Tan introduces the OC ECs.

I think all of the Admissions Officers were just a little jealous that Bryan got his name in lights at the Detroit/Ann Arbor CM. Yesterday, though, as I arrived at a school visit, I also had my name on a billboard. The school was Whitney High School in Cerritos, CA; long time blog readers may remember that last year around this time, I read a book about Whitney (they did not seem to be terribly pleased with the book). The school visit had a nice turnout and good conversation.

Today’s college visitors (left); a discussion with Whitney students, with EC Mark Milam facing the students (right).

Following my visit at Whitney, I headed down the street to another quality public school, Oxford Academy. Unfortunately, I was a little late for my visit (I apologize!). The life of an admissions officer on the road can be hectic, and sadly we do run late sometimes. However, when I arrived, I was greeted by a huge crowd of lively juniors and seniors in the school theater.

Friendly students at Oxford Academy.

Later yesterday, I made my way into Westwood (home of UCLA) for a quick email check and boba, followed by a sit-down dinner with some Los Angeles ECs. After quickly eating a salad (like I said, life on the road can be hectic), I hopped back in the car around the corner to our Westwood-area Central Meeting. The room was unpredictably hot (despite our best efforts with the A/C), and attendance was a little larger than predicted, but nevertheless I think the meeting went quite well.

The audience turns to their right to hear Regional Chair Tom Leo answer a question about MIT alumni helping MIT students get jobs.

I’ve also had some great meals. I love traveling to try the different foods and restaurants of different cities. Here’s a sample:

Ka-Ju Soft Tofu, a Korean restaurant in Garden Grove, had some delicious tofu. I tried the Kimchi Beef Tofu Soup, which was served bubbling over in a metal pot.

Banh Mi Cho Cu, a Vietnamese bakery/deli in Westminster, served some delicious and cheap subs (banh mi); mine was a breakfast version with eggs.

I stumbled upon Rose Market after the Westwood CM, which served some of the most delicious ice cream I’ve ever tasted. After sampling the different flavors, I chose the rosewater ice cream.

Today, I head down to San Diego; it will be my first trip there. I have some interesting things on my San Diego itinerary (stay tuned), so I’m looking forward to it. And later this weekend, big Central Meetings in San Diego (Saturday at 2pm) and Pomona (Sunday at 2pm). Should be fun!

4 responses to “The real O.C.”

  1. Leon Liu says:

    Thank you for having visited my school Matt! The information session was really helpful, and I got most of my questions about the various aspects of MIT answered.

  2. the real oc = laguna beach



  3. Valerie Wang says:

    oh gosh… you actually did post that horrible picture of our school theatre’s stairs matt… =p

    the best thing, well, one of the best things, about SoCal is the FOOD! i’m glad you found some nice food here (TOFU!!)

    I was just wondering, since it was not specified on the application, do you prefer the recommendation letters to be mailed by the instructors, or have the applicants put the sealed letters with their application and mail all together? which way would make you guys’ job easier? :D

  4. Julia says:

    I attended the Westwood-area Central Meeting, and you promissed to tell me more about the research in economics at MIT.