Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Great College T-Shirt Project Day 17

College T-Shirts and GearWell! Every day I receive more items in the mail. Here’s what I got over the last several days:

On the 13th Howard University in Washington DC sent a pennant, a pen, and a lanyard, The University of Utah in Salt Lake City sent a pennant and a pen, and The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston sent a t-shirt and two pencils.

College T-Shirts and GearOn the 14th Wesley College in Delaware sent a shirt and Oakland University in Michigan sent a nice “Golden Grizzlies” shirt.

On the 15th American University in Washington DC sent a shirt and two pens. My collection of pens sure I piling up!

College T-Shirts and GearAnd yesterday I got shirts from Mansfield College, Mercyhurst College, and Point park College, all in Pennsylvania. I also got a shirt and 3 pens from Penn State’s Hazelton campus and a pennant from Umass in Boston. And finally, American International College in Massachusetts sent a shirt and a neat pair of sunglasses covered in AIC Yellowjackets. A busy day for the mailman.

The tally so far is 580 emails sent, 13 t-shirts received.

I also wanted to note one school in particular. A representative from Saint Francis University in Pennsylvania said that he couldn’t send me a t-shirt unless I went through the application process, something I’ve heard from many schools. What I liked about this one however was that in a postscript he added “Should you wish to send me a Minden, Nebraska shirt, my size is L. I’ll fill out whatever application you need.” Ha! I might just do that.



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Great College T-Shirt Project Day 12

Well, here it is Day 12 of the Great College T-Shirt Project and the oversized envelopes continue to arrive in the mail.

College gear from day 12Yesterday I received envelopes from five different schools. The University of Alaska – Fairbanks sent a lot of literature about their fine school. Westminster College of Salt Lake City, Utah sent two pennants, a pen, and a car window sticker. Cayuga Community College of Auburn, New York sent a pen, a hook thing, and a sticker with the school logo. The College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York sent a t-shirt and a pen. A very huge shirt, I’ll probably give that one to Joni to wear as a nightgown. And the University of Maine – Augusta sent a very nice looking dark blue t-shirt with the school logo. Pens seem to be a very popular item. I should have anticipated that since they’re cheap and easy to mail. I don’t mind though because I like to have lots of different pens and it’s something you can always use. I think I’ve gotten about 9 pens so far but it’s hard to tell because they keep disappearing.

Snow College t-shirtAnd today I received one more. This shirt and lanyard are from Snow College in Ephraim, Utah. If that town sounds familiar you may be remembering it from the Old Testament of the Bible, where it is mentioned quite a few times.

So far the project is going pretty well, maybe even a little better than I expected. I’ve sent 460 emails and have another 491 on my list.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Great College T-Shirt Project Day 10

Well, today is Sunday so there’s no mail of course, but yesterday I got three more envelopes in the mail.

Mount Ida College in Newton, Massachussetts sent me a pennant. Clark University, also in MA, sent a neat looking pennant and five pens. One of those pens seems to have disappeared, hmmm. And the big hit of the day was this really cool looking shirt from Western Michigan University. Even though brown is my least favorite color, this is an awesome shirt.College stuff I received on day 10

As of today I have sent emails to 340 colleges and my list still has another 534 schools on it, with more being added every day. I’m not even halfway across the country yet. I’m having fun with this!

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Great College T-Shirt Project Day 8

Success! In today’s mail I had parcels from three different colleges.

Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut sent me kind of an odd little drawstring bag. I see now that I didn’t include that bag in the picture. What happened to that bag anyway? I think Joni confiscated it. Anyway, even though it wasn’t a t-shirt it was exciting to get something from them.

College goodies from day 8Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut sent me that neat little red pennant that you see in the picture. I actually like that. T-shirts are cool but they always wear out eventually and that little pennant is something that won’t wear out and doesn’t take up a lot of space. I also got some literature from Fairfield about their school. I’m expecting to get a lot of college literature even from schools that don’t send me any goodies.

The big hit of the day was from the University of Maine at their Machias, Maine campus. Yes, I got my first t-shirt from the great state of Maine. Not only that, they also sent me a lanyard and a pen, both in the school color of green. And yes, literature! A good deal of literature in fact. They have a beautiful campus on the coast of Maine. I think I actually would like to go school there.

As you may have guessed, I began my email campaign on the east coast of our nation and will be working more or less toward the west coast. So the materials I receive in the early stages will most likely all be from out east. The exceptions are Alaska and Hawaii, which I think were the first states I covered. Isn’t this exciting!?


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Great College T-Shirt Project Day 6

The Great College T-Shirt Project is moving along slowly but surely. Like I said last time, I had a few hundred email addresses in my list and decided to go ahead and start sending some out while I continued gathering more addresses. At this point I’ve emailed 240 colleges and my list still has another 460 schools on it. This is just the tip of the iceberg though, on that map of the US I’ve only covered about one-fourth of the states. Still lots of work to do.

So here are some initial observations: Most of the schools have not been responding to the emails. That’s okay, I actually didn’t expect to get many responses. Out of 240 emails sent, 34 have responded. Out of 34 responses, 30 have told me that they will not send a shirt, but 4 have responded favorably. But there’s still more than 200 schools that haven’t responded at all so there’s no way to tell if they’ll send anything or not. I’ll just have to wait and see.

Oh, I should mention that of the 4 schools that agreed to send something, only 1 actually promised a t-shirt. Two others said they would send me pennants, and the fourth said they would send a bag of some sort. That’s cool with me. I like t-shirts but really any kind of souvenir will be great.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Great College T-Shirt Project Day 2

In that blog post I mentioned yesterday, that guy said that he had found a website that listed about 1,700 colleges and each one had a link to click on to send them an email or something like that. In my own searches of the internet I found a similar website but instead of one long list it’s a map of the USA. You can click on each state and that brings up a list of colleges in that state so I’ve started going through those. But instead of clicking the email links, which some of them have and some do not, I was just copying the email addresses into a spreadsheet.

My plan was to create a long list in this spreadsheet and then find some way to get Microsoft Outlook (my email program) and Microsoft Excel (the spreadsheet) to work together and maybe send all those emails automatically. Of course I would also need to loop Microsoft Word in there as well because that’s where I would type up the email template.

So anyway, after a couple of days I now have a little over three hundred colleges in my spreadsheet along with the email addresses. Before going any further I thought I would try to figure out how to do the emailing. I searched the internet again and apparently it is possible to do all that in newer versions of the Microsoft Office programs, but my version is an old one from 2000 and it just won’t be as easy as I had hoped. I did, however, get the mail merge feature in Word working so I can create a personalized email body for each college but I think I’ll still have to email each one individually like that other guy did. He said it took him an entire summer to get through all 1,700 of them and that’s okay, I’ve got time. So now that I have some email addresses to work with I think I’ll start sending out a few emails each day while continuing to gather more addresses.

And that’s where the Great College T-Shirt Project stands right now.

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Great College T-Shirt Project

Often when I don’t have anything in particular to do I just kind of browse the internet at random. The other day I came across a blog entry from some guy where he explained how he had gotten a bunch of free t-shirts from different colleges and universities around the country. Basically he had come across a website that listed email addresses for about 1,700 schools and he emailed every single one of them and simply asked for a t-shirt, telling them that he would wear it around and give their school a little publicity. Can you imagine sending 1,700 emails? Well, if this guy is being honest, he got positive results from about half of them. According to his blog he ended up with 800-900 shirts along with other items like pens, coffee mugs, mousepads, etc. I think he said that one school actually sent him about 10 shirts for some reason.

Now, let me state for the record that I don’t need or want 800-900 t-shirts, although I could always give them away to people or to a charitable organization or something. However, this did sound like kind of a fun project. The guy I mentioned above said he spent an entire summer sending all those emails. I won’t spend that much time at it but I thought I would give it a try and see how it goes. It’s always fun to get free stuff. So I’ll take a crack at it. In his blog, this guy said that he had come across a website where it was very easy to get all those email addresses but that site doesn’t exist anymore so I’ll have to see what I can find on the web. Going to individual school websites to find an address would be way too time consuming.

So this is the beginning of my College T-Shirt Project of 2014. If this works out and if you’re related to me, I guess you know what you’re getting for Christmas this year.