With a small, thirty-litre backpack slung over my back, flipflops on the left, water bottle to the right, and my running kit in the bottom of the bag, I shut the door behind me, heading for the 5:50am train. Destination Summer Camp: 175 international teenagers, 12 - 17 years old, descending on Simmons Campus for seven weeks to learn English and experience Boston through a variety of activities, from walking the freedom trail to touring Fenway and watching whales frolick off Stellwagen Bank. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? Imagine being in America, away from mom and dad for the first time ever, living on a real American campus?
Who is dumb enough to ever want to manage such an animal?
I, in fact didn't. When the job as Program Manager was pitched to me this past winter I sat back in my chair, arms crossed, smiling confidently as I shook my head and said "no, absolutely not". Truth is, I said no three times, intent on breaking out of the seasonal job cycle which has both plagued and enhanced my personal and professional life (the line tends to get blurred) for well over a decade and can best be described as an existence going from being bored stiff pushing paper in the off-season and screaming high on adrenaline in the busy season.
Since the alternative wouldn't put me on the right career track or even as much as give me a high, I decided, after much deliberation to accept, not embrace the position, knowing that I was entering a love/hate relationship (essentially I hated that I loved it). Seven weeks doesn't sound like a lot but nor did six months when I managed private yacht clubs. I dare you to add up the hours... and then multiply it by fifteen curveballs per day, seven days per week.