Update--Videos finally came.


<p>I'd just like to let you know that the college videos came via 2nd Day Air on Friday. I was glad I finally recieved them, but was a little disappointed with two of the videos.</p>

<p>Perhaps, I expected too much, but the Amherst College video was horrible. It seemed more like a flirt session than a tour, with the camera person speaking up alot more than in the other videos. It seemed that the camera man was a bit biased towards Amherst, while the two tour guides turned into giggling girls as the video progressed (with the help from the person filming). Definately, not something I was expecting, especially after seeing the other college videos first.</p>

<p>Amherst (my ED school) sank to the bottom of my list, even though I tried not to judge it by season or tour guide(s) and camera person. I could get beyond the dark bricks, the grey skies, the bare trees, the dirty dorms...but I believe the person filming and the two guides will stay with me forever. What a shock. Hopefully, the kids are not too much like the tour guides. Or, I'm in big trouble. Haverford & Middlebury videos were far better at capturing "feel". While even the Colby video, the other video I was indifferent too, was more informative and insightful.</p>

<p>Anyway, just my 2 cents. :)</p>

<p>Blaineko, deep breath. Remember why Amherst was at the top of your list. Which dorm did they show you? If this video was from last spring, 2 of the old frosh (fairly ratty from what I understood) dorms have been razed, and all frosh housing is either new or newly renovated. Even the characterless "Waldorf", sort of temp housing was not dirty. Amherst has a rep for being a preppy place, if that equals to giggling girls.
I recall from prior exchanges that you are far away, can't easily visit, are male, interested in dance and a year or two older, but entering as a freshman. Because of the strong academics plus strong opportunities in dance, Amherst should stay higher on your list.
It does occur to me though, because you are a little older, you might want to consider the impact of housing that is mixed classes, not freshman exclusive. I think some of the rah-rah aspects of freshman life are muted when upperclassmen are around, I don't mean drinking per se, more pranks, antics and "bonding"</p>

<p>My daughter is doing an overnight at Amherst and Dartmouth next week, I'll give you an update. There is no more fierce critic.</p>

<p>Blaineko, First, I'm so glad that the video's FINALLY arrived for you.</p>

<p>My daughter had the same reaction to several school video's that you did - immediate yuck! based on the way the tour guides in the video's interacted and some of the things caught on tape. I think you have to treat the video's just like a "regular" college visit - they present a snapshot, not the full picture. Useful information for sure, but if questions are raised, try to get a confirming source elsewhere. </p>

<p>My daughter has found that doing a search on livejournal.com under interests for various school names has helped confirm or refute some of her impressions from the collegiate choice videos (and real world visits). Getting a chance to ask actual questions of actual students can make a difference. You might want to give it a try.</p>

<p>Hey there Cangel & Carolyn...</p>

<p>The college videos were a bit of a shock to me.</p>

<p>I was fortunate enough to visit Amherst and my other school choices at least once before. It was a bit difficult to seperate my reaction to the the interplay between tour guides and the camera person. For the rest of the videos, I did okay with keeping the facts and trying to get a "feel" for the campus in order.</p>

<p>Maybe, I'm a little tweaked by the Amherst video because it seemed...ummmm...a little intimate, as there was a break in station between leading a tour, and filming and asking questions. The tour started out professional and then took a dive. I thought that maybe I was too tired or cranky, so I watched it again...and it was worse.</p>

<p>Oh well. I still know why I decided to ED at Amherst, but it shook me a little. I was prepared to see a less than idea season, a jumpy camera, an okay tour, and indifferent production values, but the Amherst video seemed to go beyond that. Even though I intellectually understand the video was probably not indicative of the school, it gave me pause.</p>

<p>Livejournal did help, as did remembering why I like Amherst College. But, I can't help but think how many other prospective students were/would be put off by the video. The other college videos were assuridly better than the one of Amherst. </p>

<p>I guess I should be thankful that the videos did get here, right? </p>

<p>Thank you for the help and the support. Mahalo! :)</p>

<p>Blaineko, If it helps any, my daughter and I have noticed definite bias on the part of the camera man for various schools. Some he really skips over, some he obviously likes less than others. By the way, some of the video's are at least several years old. We figured this out because we noticed that in some of them new buildings touted on the web site are discussed as being just in the planning stages in the videos.</p>

<p>So, just take it as another data point.</p>

<p>What video are you guys talking about?</p>

<p>collegiatechoice.com - they have video's of many colleges admissions walking tours. Nothing super professional - just a hand held camera following the tour guide. Good overview of most campuses.</p>

<p>Blainko -</p>

<p>I am assuming you already found the link on the Amherst website, under People, that takes you student home pages. Some of the home pages are still active, others not. Some have photos. One homepage has a very interesting section "Prospective Students Only" (<a href="http://www.amherst.edu/%7Erespeer/%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.amherst.edu/~respeer/&lt;/a&gt;). Others have what seems to be current contact information. Maybe you can find a way to get in touch with real students that way. I will say that the campus can be really lovely, don't know about the dorms.</p>

<p>woah.. that's dear. Thanks a lot.</p>

<p>Hey All...</p>

<p>Just wanted to say that the other videos were worth the money, but the Amherst one was a bit dear for the tour itself.</p>

<p>Fiske's Guide, The Insider's Guide to Colleges, Princeton Review, etc...were better able to capture Amherst. It's strange, really. At this point, I think I'm better off by forgetting the video for Amherst.</p>

<p>I just showed the videos to friends and they had the same reaction, even those that have visited or attended schools in the Northeast. They said to tape over the Amherst video, but that the other schools filmed were decent. Oh well.</p>

<p>I've decided to stick to the guidebooks, and take what information I got from the college videos (except for Amherst) when deciding which schools to apply to during RD. I've already ED'd at Amherst, so the tapes will be used to figure out what order to put the rest of the colleges in.</p>

<p>Perhaps, I'm a little bit tired of the college search??? Or, maybe, I'm getting too old... :)</p>

<p>Don't know how high schoolers can drag admissions out over 7-8 months.</p>

<p>Blaineko. :)</p>

<p>Thank you everyone for all the help and support. If there is anything I can do to return the favor, just ask. Have a good day. :)</p>

<p>PS--Bowdoin's prospective student reception is on Monday, hopefully that will be telling.</p>

<p>Perhaps, I'm a little bit tired of the college search??? Or, maybe, I'm getting too old... </p>



<p>Or maybe the college search is making you prematurely old? :)
My daughter feels the same way about college brochures. Even the nicest ones seem useless to her at this point...and she's only a junior.</p>

<p>Do let us know how the Bowdoin meeting goes. That is one school I've never been able to get a feeling for one way or the other.</p>


<p>Will do about the Bowdoin reception. </p>

<p>The search is, no doubt, contributing to my quick down hill march--I'm getting forgetful, and have become an imperfect-perfectionist. I can't even remember when I was ever carefree...although, it has been only a few months. Feels like a year already.</p>

<p>By the time your D is a senior, she'll want to think of imaginative ways to mangle them. I swear, many of the colleges seem to use the same marketing people. It's not working. Heh, heh.</p>

<p>As for Bowdoin....I also have a hard time getting a good read from their website, mailings, and even the tour I took. I almost ordered the college video, but I'm afraid of the post office now. :)</p>

<p>I recieved this on October 17th:</p>

<p>I just came across your correspondence on the College Confidential website. Frankly, I am mystified. We do not have an Adrianna here (whom your note said you spoke with.) Except on very rare occasions, you would be speaking with me (Cliff Kramon) the one person who handles mail order customers. No one here would have said you would be charged extra if we were going to ship a tour late and if you ordered in early August, I would have been around, and it would not have been backordered.
Are you sure you ordered from Collegiate Choice? You called 201-871-0098?
Please give me your full name and address as I would like to research this. Every other responder to your note had a good experience because that is how we handle things. This doesn't make sense.
Cliff Kramon
Collegiate Choice Walking Tours Videos</p>

<p>Very interesting.</p>

<p>Then this on the 18th:</p>

<p>Dear Blaineko,
I write again to ask your name and address so I can follow up your order that you indicate was sent in early August and which you had not received by October 5th despite several contacts with our company. I don't know what number you were calling, but it obviously wasn't ours. If you read my previous email on Sunday, it gave the reasons.
There's a famous quote by Shakespeare that goes something like "He who steals my purse, steals trash, but he who steals my good name steals all that I have."
I await your response.
Cliff Kramon
Collegiate Choice Walking Tours Videos</p>

<p>More interesting. How could I have gotten the college videos 2nd day, if I did not speak with anyone in the office. Stranger and stranger. I suppose the cashed check in August as per my bank records was my imagination too.</p>

<p>I'm done with Colligiate Choice.</p>

<p>I was just upset by the quote...sounded more like he was egging me on. No more talk about the videos.</p>

<p>As for the Bowdoin reception in Seattle...I'll post here tomorrow. They have one tonight in Portland, OR. The Assistant Dean of Admissions encouraged me to attend this second reception. I'll let you know my impressions from both nights in the morning.</p>

<p>Have a good day.</p>


<p>Blaineko--that is a very strange e-mail you received. Don't blame you for feeling put out by it. I wouldn't respond to it either. Insulting your customers who have had problems is not the way to go about improving the company image! Try again, Collegiate Choice, and this time be professional about it! (If indeed the e-mail really came from collegiate choice!)</p>

<p>Oops--I realize that what I wrote above could be misinterpreted. I do not recommend that Collegiate Choice continue to e-mail Blaineko! I simply mean that in a case like this, the only professional thing to do is apologize, assure the customer that steps have been taken to improve service and perhaps offer a refund.</p>

<p>I agree, mstee: that email was very unprofessional; maybe it did indeed not come from them. If they knew he was discussing his problems on line, you'd think they'd take pains not to throw gasoline on the fire by blaming him.</p>

<p>I also received a rather...testy...email from Collegiate Choice regarding advice I gave Blaineko about getting his video's. To be honest, I was rather stunned by the way it was worded, especially as I have recommended their video's many, many times here and elsewhere and ordered over 30 video's from them. The email I received claimed that their email address appears on their order form and that I should have directed Blainko to email them. I was so confused by this as I have ordered from them at least 3 times and always thought it was odd that they DIDN'T have an email on their web site anywhere. I thought perhaps they had added it since I last looked at their web site, but unless I am blind or senile, it isn't there anywhere. </p>

<p>In any case, I certainly didn't like having my hands slapped as if I had done something wrong when I hadn't done anything at all and in fact had defended them when Blainko reported problems.</p>

<p>Since Collegiate Choice seems to be monitoring these boards, perhaps next time someone talks about a problem, they could speak up here and offer to help instead of sending such emails out, especially to people who were not even involved in the situation. And, if they are reading this, I sure hope I don't get another email from them bashing me for expressing my opinion on a public message board.</p>

<p>Very odd indeed.</p>