Two or three Thursdays before finals, Peach ’09 and I went to Au Bon Pain for a post-On The Air engineer training (me)/post-radio show (her) “let’s eat tons of food and talk about our problems!” dinner. While Peach complained about something or other, I began to enter the Summer Jobless stage that can only be described as Full-On Panic Mode. (I didn’t get final word about my job until mid-May.)
“Be a camp counselor!” said Peach. “I was a counselor at this one camp and I was supposed to do it again this summer, but then I got the ambulance job up here so I’m staying in Boston instead. But I can email them for you!”
In response, I said this: “At this point, any summer job will do, but I’m not sure if I want to be a camp counselor. Lots o’ kids, you know.”
Two months later, I am sitting at the Spectrum duty desk in the lobby of McCulloch Hall at Northwestern University. (This dorm is pretty gross, by the way. Each floor has its own unique smell – on my floor, it’s poo! I miss Senior Haus, yo.) I’m an RA for 12 fourteen-year-old girls at an “academic enrichment program.” We plan and run afternoon and evening activities for the kids, such as kickball and Casino Night. When they aren’t at these events, the kids are hard at work on speeches for Persuasion and Debate or learning a full year of Latin in three weeks.
In short, I am a glorified counselor at nerd camp.
I do, however, absolutely love my job. The kids are awesome, and they always have something interesting to discuss. I also really love being able to play kickball, especially when there are only three other girls playing with thirty boys convinced that girls and kickball are a no-no. It’s just like middle school again!
Here at CTD, there are all sorts of ludicrous rules for the students and staff to follow (the title of this post being one – those squirrels, they’re almost as vicious as the chipmunks). These include not swinging the lanyard your keys are on, lest you put someone’s eye out. It actually happened a few years ago, which is why the rule was implemented in the first place.
Some of the more important rules fall under the “these should be obvious, but we know you’ll do these if we don’t tell you not to” category. For one, there’s no use of profanity or any derisive comments. Students are also not allowed to jaywalk – Sheridan Road, a fairly large and busy street, cuts through much of Northwestern’s campus. Both of these rules are integral to the following story.
On Monday afternoon, my fellow RA Indu (WashU ’09) and I were walking to Elder Hall for lunch. Going to Elder is mildly irritating – it’s almost directly across the street from Bobb-McCulloch, but the “no jaywalking” rule means we can’t cut across the street and must instead walk down to the crosswalk and back up to Elder. A group of students was also going to lunch and reached the crosswalk at the same time we did.
Anyway, one of the boys, not noticing that there were two RAs not five feet away from him, decided to take off across the street at a break in traffic. His fellow classmates then started yelling at him like only thirteen-year-olds can yell, but that I will attempt to reproduce here:
“Dude, what are you doing?!”
“Just keep going, man, just keep going! They can’t write you up if you run!”
“Come back across the street!”
“What’s wrong with you? Don’t you see the two of them right here?!”
The kid right next to us, though, took the cake. In a voice loud enough for everyone in the area to hear, he shouted, “NICE MOVE, (insert expletive here)!!!!”
So I ask you the same question I asked him: In terms of making poor decisions, who wins – the first kid for jaywalking, or the second kid for swearing loudly and publicly with the knowledge that he was standing right next to two people who could easily put him in detention for his actions?
Also, what are you all doing? Tell me about your summers! Ask me questions! Both! Neither! All of the above! Exclamation points!