What am I going to do next summer?

I’m still connected to my old summer camp, the Center for Talented Youth, through Facebook, so I still think about it quite a bit. It was a pretty formative experience for me. At CTY I felt a sense of social comfort that I had never experienced before. It’s a haven for middle and high school students who are academically talented and pretty odd. At CTY, we made cults, read bad fan fiction out loud, and danced to the Pokémon theme song. I had my first kiss there, and my first real romantic relationship. I fit in in a way I never did in high school. The place is pretty dear to me.

Dressed as an ‘internet pirate’ for a CTY dance (the theme was pirates and… zombies? I can’t recall)

And it was always the dream to come back. Lots of CTYers want to work for CTY as college students. The most obvious position would be that of Residential Assistant, which doesn’t require teaching expertise. This morning, when my thoughts drifted to CTY, I realized that I am now a college student, and if I liked and I had the necessary prior experience, I could become an RA! However, the requirements seem daunting. I would need prior paid experience with children, and it seems like just one job wouldn’t cut it at all. It looks like being an RA is out, at least for next year, because I probably wouldn’t be qualified for the job! I didn’t even want to work for CTY so that I could come back… honestly I wanted to do the job to give back to an organization that did so much for me. I liked my high school and everything, but I would feel more compelled to donate to CTY than to donate to Latin (my high school) because I want people whose parents can’t afford the tuition to be able to experience the place I loved.

If I can’t work for CTY, what other sorts of jobs appeal to me?

Obviously, if I get a cool internship in Boston that would be good, or in Chicago, but if nothing that advances my job prospects that linearly opens up, I think I might like to work as a lifeguard. My cousin Robbie worked as a lifeguard for years, and my brother did it for a summer. I’m a pretty strong swimmer (having survived exactly one season of Latin School of Chicago girl’s high school varsity swimming), and I want to be CPR and first aid certified regardless, so it seems like a good fit. However, I would have to become certified in lifeguarding as well, which requires a little more previous planning. I don’t even know why I’m thinking about this right now, considering I haven’t even started school yet. It reminds me of an amusing exchange I had with my brother.

I was talking about something about two months away, and he said, “Is that your long-term plan?”

I said, “No, that’s my short term plan.”

He said, “Well that’s my long term!”

I said, “Two months? My long term is ten years!”

I do tend to plan ahead excessively. I suppose all of this thought about how I will spend the next summer is motivated by the fact that it’s actually the soonest thing I can visualize. My whole freshman year is a big cloud of uncertainty right now, seeing as of course I’ve never went to MIT before! I don’t know what my routines will be, what classes I will take, or how I will spend my time outside of class. I don’t even know what dorm I will live in yet!

I am pretty jealous of all of my high school classmates who know more at this juncture about who they will room with and where. I’m hoping I don’t get a roommate, because the idea of cohabitating that closely with someone whose routines don’t necessary match up to mine doesn’t exactly appeal to me. But if I do get a roommate, I’d like to be able to know who she is sooner than July 17th! Some people even coordinate their dorm room decorations over the summer with their roommates, though honestly I think I never would have gone that far.

I suppose I should give you the Topeka update, at least briefly. Yesterday I quilted in the morning. It was with a whole group and I think I had the best job, which was designing the quilts. Then Aunt Sally and I went to lunch, and then spent the whole day preparing for, and then having, dinner with the Kennedys (three family members- the dad, Tom, a retired professor; the mom, Ava, who used to work with my great-grandmother; and their adult son, Joey). Tom Kennedy’s parents were close with my great-grandparents as well. That was last night. Today, we went to a genealogy writer’s group, and then to a meeting of the historical preservation society to support one of Sally’s neighbors, who want to tear down a non-historic building on their property in order to build a victorian style garage.


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