July 24, 2014
Fifteen Ways to Get Extremely Attached to Your Job at the SLA:
1. Take your job as island caretaker very seriously. Rename job title "Protector of the Realm."
2. Bond with local wildlife. When you see turtles-on-turtles outside your cottage, you should probably try to love them. [See picture] Or you can take the difficult-to-master Jake approach of the two-hour selfie photo shoot (while everyone else watches in stitches from the living room window).
3. Cultivate an artistic appreciation for Brett's mullet.
4. Forego the use of a watch in favor of loon-biologist-Tiffany's punctual 8:45 am daily arrival.
5. Master all the types of composting which occur on the SLA job. Then expand the acceptable range of uses for the word "compost". E.g.:
Jake: "I'm gonna go compost downstairs."
Erik: "Nah, man, please don't. I'm taking a shower."
6. Use the diver-okay symbol for anything and everything.
7. Discover berry-caches behind EB's car (thanks, Brett) and then harvest enough for a thousand years of triple berry pancakes.
8. Find Rebecca wide-eyed and guilty-looking in the gear room holding a baby bird.
9. Throw the Lil Whaler into neutral on your way back from the islands after a night of camping; watch the sun rise from the middle of Squam Lake at 5:15 am.
10. Get so close with boat rentals staff that you can't stand the thought of being done bundling firewood. (Side note: refer to bonding while bundling as "bondling.")
11. Drive around Squam Lake in the truck with Brett and other interns, and listen to Brett talk about the old Native American portage routes between Squam and Winny and other nearby lakes.
12. Compare milfoil-nightmares with other interns.
13. Get recognized in town as local heroes. "Heyyyy, it's the SLA interns! Keep it up, guys!"
14. Have a stranger walk up to you with a "thank you" and a tray of hot blueberry muffins while you're Lake Hosting.
15. Wake up on a work day after two days off, listen to the geese and the loons announcing the morning, crack open one of Brett's backyard-fresh duck eggs, and bound across the walking bridge for another day on New England's finest playground.