June 1999 - September 2000
In June I graduated from High School and everything changed. I know that sounds cliche, but it's true. From that point forward, I was in a whole new world.
The day after I graduated, I boarded a bus at 7 in the morning and left for Sabattis Adventure Camp. I was working as a camp counselor and lifeguard. It was to be my first summer as a lifeguard. I had originally not wanted to be a lifeguard since my older brother had been one and I did not want to follow in his footsteps.
I had found out during my previous year at camp that the waterfront was the most fun department to work at. So, that's why I decided to become a lifeguard. I worked at the waterfront throughout July and then when I came home after camp ended, I got a job at the local community pool.
I worked at the community pool until Labor Day and then went off to college at Drexel. At Drexel I was a Computer Science major. However, I got stuck with a bastard of a roommate who made my life hell for the 8 months that I was there. I failed Calculus my first term, passed it the second but failed another class. The 3rd term, Drexel has a quartersystem, I was failing everything and realized that I no longer wanted to be a programmer. I had a bit of a breakdown and it was towards the end of it that I came to that realization. It was at this point that I withdrew from college.
I came home from college and returned to work at the community pool. I worked pre-season getting the place ready to open on Memorial Day. In June, the pre-season work continued getting everything ready for the full season that started once the schools closed. After the schools closed for the summer, I left for camp again. In 2000, I was the Assistant Aquatics Director for camp.
Camp did not go so well. I got stuck with a terrible Aquatics Director that year. She started off by letting me and the rest of the staff know that she didn't consider the Assistant Aquatics Director to be an applied for job, rather an appointed one. She said that she did not consider me to be the Assistant. The two lifeguards we had did not like her at all and were ready for open revolt after a couple of days. A state of affairs that I could not allow. I managed to maintain the peace between the director and the rest of the staff for the duration of the camp season. I would have taken the problem up a level to the Program Director so that the situation could have been worked out, but the Aquatics Director was engaged to the Program Director and I did not believe that the Program Director could keep his work and personal life seperate in this case.
At the end of the camp season, I received the worst evaluation I have ever received in my life. I got a number of terrible ratings on my performance as well as some comments that were particularly bad. The one I remember the most is "Made a scout cry." When I asked when this had happened, since I had been unaware of it. My director told me that it had happened the first week of camp. Apparently a scout in one of my classes thought I had been unfair and started crying, went to his scoutmaster, who then went to my director. She waited 4 weeks before mentioning it to me. It only came up because she put it in my eval, which I received about 2 hours before I left camp. I would not return to camp.
I went back to the community pool. I spent the next month at the pool, until we closed on Labor Day. Then began the job hunt.
So, there we have the first year and summer after I graduated high school. I'll post more later as I compose my thoughts on the years leading up to where I am now.