Labor Days

By The Editors / September / October 2004
June 15th, 2007

» I’m a bartender at a place called The Links on San Antonio’s Riverwalk. It’s a giant tourist trap and we overcharge for everything.… The experience has made me a much more generous tipper!! LAWREN WELLISCH ’08

» I have been working at Lockheed Martin building a prototype for an augmented reality system. Our inspiration is the closing sequence in Star Wars Episode 4, when the rebels go over the mission to destroy the death star. A miniature planet and orbiting death star hovered above the table with the details of the mission played out. This is what we’re building—a prototype mission control and simulation system where several people can gather around a table and look at a map of the battlefield live with the terrain unfolding in front of them. Can anyone beat an internship building a system that was only a figment of the Hollywood imagination just fifteen years ago? This summer rocked! And did I mention it’s in California? GRADUATE STUDENT VADIM SLAVIN ’02


» I worked as an intern at Mum Puppet­theatre, in Philadelphia. I have learned how to begin a phone conversation so that businesses won’t hang up on me before I can ask for a sponsorship, how to save money by using the boss’s train pass to scam my way onto the subway, and how to use a circular saw without splitting the wood and/or losing a toe. I can build shelves that are (almost) level. I know how to pinch the cheeks on a clay head to make it look emaciated, but not old. I have learned that theater administration is mostly administration, with some theatrics thrown in for good measure. But mostly I have learned that I’m not going to be able to leave my love of theater dangling among the puppet strings in the basement of a theater in Philadelphia. MEG SARACHAN ’07

» This summer I was a counselor at Tawasentha Day Camp in Guilderland, New York. It was fun working with the kids, although they wore us out. The discipline aspect of it all was always enjoyable ... especially when they had to line up against the wall to play dodgeball. I’m sure they’ve learned many valuable lessons, like don’t do anything to upset the counselors. ALEXANDRA METZ ’08

» At the Bermuda Biological Station for Research I studied telomerase activity in several marine invertebrates, including spiny lobsters, sea urchins, and two species of coral. After that I worked at Georgia State University in a neurobiology lab. For two months I tried to invent an activity label for neurons in the crayfish nervous system.… Overall, I have had a superb summer. I have had the opportunity to work with people from all over the world and to learn about amazing critters. KIERSTEN DERBY ’07

» I interned at a small, independent record label in New York City. Two major downsides: forty-plus-hour weeks and no pay. That said, I learned a great deal and enjoyed myself most of the time, despite the occasional tedium. KEVIN SPARKS ’07

» I’m teaching English and Spanish to middle schoolers. It’s insanely hard work, really long hours, doesn’t really pay, and I love it. LEAH DURAN ’06

» I worked at the Brown Admission Office. Along with five other students, I gave campus tours to prospective students, spoke at information sessions with an admission officer, and helped out around the office. I got to talk about how much I love the school every day, and I learned a lot about Brown that I never knew. By the end of the summer I’d given around 125 tours in a period of three months! CAROLE ANN PENNEY ’07

» I didn’t work anywhere. I figure I’ve got the rest of my life to hold down a job, I might as well enjoy this last summer before college! LASZLO SYROP ’08

» I have been working at the Gap and Gap Kids stores at my nearby mall. I love my coworkers, my managers, and my employee discount. DAMIAN MALDONADO ’08

» I got an internship at the advertising agency J. Walter Thompson in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. What’s nice about this internship is the freedom. The Arabs run a relaxed joint and don’t wander around behind you telling you what to do—although they are always more than happy to answer questions and make you feel part of their team. However, if you’re one of those people who needs an intern mentor or you’re not prepared to put yourself out there, you can easily find yourself counting the cracks in the wallpaper. Perks: on Thursdays there’s free breakfast! NAOMI CHOY SMITH ’06


» I worked as a mother-scholar, managing a two-and-a-half-year-old and writing the last chapters of my dissertation. My shift was 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. While my daughter, Shira, had circle time with her classmates or was sleeping, I worked feverishly to weave together evidence and analysis, inching closer to my degree and the academic job market.

Of all the summer work experiences I’ve had, the dual job of parenting and graduate work was by far the most challenging and rewarding. I’m looking forward to a similar-yet-different job next summer, one with better pay and benefits that continues to afford me the luxury of appreciating life through a child’s eyes. PHD CANDIDATE KEREN R. MCGINITY

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September / October 2004