Sun, Freedom, and Taste of Reality

This spring term is hurtling forward at a feverish pitch. And now, I turn my thoughts to the outside world, and whatever exists beyond dodging Frisbees as they swoop low over the path near Sam Phil, and forgetting that the amount of light outside is no longer a solid indicator about how much homework time I have left. I must consider prospects for summer employment. This reflection is spurred on by the daily voice mails I receive from my parents listing anyone they know and anything they can think of that might help me rake in a few bucks. I usually respond in a purposefully untimely fashion, and when I do, it is always in a perturbed manner; I go on and on about how “busy” I am, and itemize my daily schedules, being sure to forget lunch, implying that you are facing starvation is a sure way to garner some sympathy. But then I start to think it over and realize that a job is probably in my best interest, as well as in the best interest of what extravagant plans I am sure to make for myself without consideration of their financial limitations. Theoretically speaking, getting a job in my town should not be that difficult. There are way too many restaurants, way too many cute little shops, and way too many summertime tourists; it should be brimming with employment prospects. Unfortunately it is also swarming with college students who reached the epiphany about summer employment before I did. It is in filling out an application for a part time job at a farm that one really begins to weigh the impracticality of a Phillips Academy education. When I applied for my South Africa trip this summer I was extra meticulous about filling in the school line with a bold flourish. But applications for restaurant work, while they do query as to what chutney is, don’t even have a line labeled “current school.” So I get to do them a favor by adding it myself. It is a little side note about where I am a student, which I draw numerous arrows to, because wasn’t it supposed to look good on paper? Instead it looks almost desperate next to the lines left blank under “work experience.” By the time I reached the end of one application, which asked me what work I had done within the past six months, I was feeling particularly cranky and wrote a rather bitter response about how I was a high school student, who lived at school, and whose life was completely consumed by it. I hope they can take a hint that that means nothing. I’ve done my fair share of babysitting, I have been a CIT at a summer camp, and I “worked” one summer tutoring at a math and reading program. But I have never stood behind a counter at a cash register, recited the infamous one liner: “paper or plastic” or hauled dishes off of a table. I am aware that most likely my future aspirations will not encompass any of these skills, but at the moment I am feeling slighted by the fact that I don’t have summer job entitlement based upon my other major “commitment.” This is of course petty and trite, but being an impatient person, I wonder why, even though I am only a Lower, I am not reaping greater rewards by dropping the name of my school. With three weeks left in the term and summer on the horizon, I am becoming squeamish. The impending task of marching myself into every business in town, asking for managers, telling them I have minimal work experience, but am a very academic oriented person, and then using happy words like “superb” to describe my work ethic, makes upper year seem less daunting. I can only pray that I will find happiness wearing a brightly colored t-shirt, emblazoned with some embarrassing logo, at a store with a ridiculous name, this summer.