When I stepped into the Boston Children's Hospital division of Primary Care on my first day as a summer volunteer, I was about to drop dead out of fright. This was after two sessions of orientation on rules, regulations, and procedure, each lasting two hours. I had been lectured on such topics as escaping the hospital in a fire and dealing with chemical spills, but they had taught me nothing to do with the finer points of interacting with young children.
On & Off Campus Blog
On and Off Campus, BB&N's weekly blog, features contributions by members of the BB&N community, including the student writing panel, current and past faculty, and alumni/ae.
We welcome BB&N community members to submit posts of 300-700 words for consideration. Longer submissions may be considered under exceptional circumstances. Please contact the editors for more details:
Rob Leith P'11
Upper School English & Art History
Kim Ablon Whitney '91
Assistant Director of Alumni/ae Programs
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STUDENT WRITER BIOS
Norwegian grocery stores, like the Meny near my grandmother's family's summerhouse south of Oslo, are surprisingly colorful endeavors. The bright red lettering on the sign for "Kjøtt" (meat) and the pleasing blue "Fisk" (fish) contrast with the vibrant green produce to create a whirlwind of color that almost makes up for the staggeringly high grocery bill. For the most part, Meny looks like any American grocery store, albeit neater and far more tastefully decorated; but an American visitor, Google Translate in tow, might stop short at the aisle along the wall. "Pålegg?" the visitor asks him or herself, reading the aisle's descriptor. "What does that mean?"
My days at BB&N were spent becoming. Like most adolescents, I was doing the hard work of discovering who I was. Adolescents look to their peers as a reference during this process. Who am I like? Who am I not like? Who do I want to emulate?
During the past vacation I embarked on a research project about an energy saving campaign in Japan called "Setsuden" that occurred during the summer following the March 11 earthquake and subsequent nuclear meltdown. This campaign resulted in an incredible reduction in energy usage—due in large part to individual voluntary efforts.
This summer I was accepted into the Economics Pathway Program at the University of Chicago, where I spent about a month living on campus and attending classes. The latter I was used to—sitting in a lecture hall taking notes wasn't too different than sitting in a BB&N classroom. However, while I could foresee many changes to everyday life, I didn't grasp how much impact those changes would have.