Friday, April 8, 2011

Summer jobs

It's been quite some time since I applied for a summer job. I always managed to be employed through high school and university - but it was a much different time years ago. I didn't live at home during the summers. My parents were living in Buffalo and I couldn't work in the US. I happily remained in Peterborough, Ontario in a crummy apartment.  It was heaven to me - I had no money, but I was on my own  - free to make as many stupid decisions as I could.  I remember one summer in particular. I was especially stupid.

I worked on the Trent Severn Waterway, opening and closing the locks, cutting the lawn, keeping the bathrooms clean and being a good Parks Canada federal employee. I could write reams of stuff on that job. I had it for 3 summers. Talk about material - I could write psychological evaluations of the Lock masters, the guys in charge, that would curl your hair.

Anyway, one summer, I had the lock job that consisted of 3 x 12 hours days. In the evenings, I worked in the shoe department at Eaton's. That was pleasant. NOT. I was also taking a course at Trent University - called "Biology of algae". It was really a horrible choice for a summer course. I was also working part time at the university serving food and drinks at conventions and parties. Those hours were sporadic but the job paid well.  PLUS, I was getting my diving license. Not driving - d-i-v-i-n-g. So, guess what suffered? Biology of Algae. I got a 'C' in that course. It was virtually impossible to do poorly in the course. But, I figured out a way to do it.  Because it was considered a full semester, that C cost me a lot in my GPA. I still believe that C cost me admission into medical school. There is a lesson in here somewhere. I'm just not sure what it is.

Kids today have a horrible time finding summer employment. I think back at that summer where I had 3 jobs and I feel sorry for this generation. Now, the kids have such little chance of 'getting in somewhere' that they are sometimes forced to create their own employment.

My daughter called to tell me that she had been offered an internship and she was weighing whether she should take it.  There was a lot to consider in her decision making process, not the least of which she would have to leave Toronto and ...

I tried to stay calm. I tried to remain objective. I listened to her as she rationalized her decision. In the end, she knew that the best decision was to take the job.

I can't believe how lucky we are. To have our 21 year old daughter for 10 weeks this summer. She'll be able to concentrate on her internship, live at home and make some money. She is so much smarter than I was at her age.

Bill and I toasted our luck, once again.

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