Reposted May 26, 2009
Greetings from the Hong Kong Airport where I've just landed after a 14 hour flight from Chicago! And welcome to my first ever blog!
The flight here was the second of 14 flights that I'll be taking over the next 17 days as I literally circle the world to spread the word about Oberlin College. I left Cleveland in a downpour yesterday at 10:39 am Cleveland time. We pulled away from the gate right on time, but then sat on the runway for more than half an hour before heading taking off for Chicago. Due to the delay in Cleveland, I only had an hour to change terminals, grab a Big Mac, and board the 747 for Hong Kong. For the second time, we left the gate on time but sat on the runway - this time for 40 minutes. But with a strong tailwind we managed to make up time and landed here right on schedule. To be honest I slept through most of the trip so didn't really take much notice as we crossed the North Pole.
As we prepared to land, the air staff welcomed us in English, Cantonese, and Mandarin. Not that I speak either of these dialects, but I'm pretty sure that is what they were. After the crisp late summer air of Cleveland and Chicago and the powerful airplane air conditioning, the moist heat of Hong Kong seems almost tropical.
In a few hours, I'll catch my flight to Singapore where my work talking to past, present, and future Obies begins. However, as I understand it, blogging is supposed to be a real-time sort of thing, so rather than take you ahead into the next few days, I think I'll take this time to catch you up.
I'm Charles (Chuck) Grim and I head up the international admissions efforts in Oberlin College's Arts & Sciences program. This is the start of my fourth travel season for the College and I'm having a great time. Prior to that, I spent 15 years as a college economics professor at Oberlin as well as at Colby, Denison, Hamilton, the American University in Bulgaria (AUBG), and the College of Wooster. I also served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at AUBG for five years.
I've been working on this particular trip for about 3 months. During that time, I've contacted about 50 different schools, spent hours on the phone with United Airlines, booked a dozen hotel rooms, and finally come up with a trip that gets me to 26 high schools and two universities in six countries before I return home on September 29th. If you don't want to wait for the itinerary to play itself out over the next couple weeks, you can check out the list of schools elsewhere on our website.
I think I've been sitting long enough and I'll stop now to stretch my legs before my next flight. Talk to you soon.
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