I was not expecting to receive the e-mail until the next day. I was in the Honors College library, the sun was setting in typical winter fashion at 5:30pm, and my eyes hurriedly tread across the words “…one of our top candidates, unfortunately…” on my computer screen. My face fell. I shut my eyes, took a deep breath and opened them again. It was still there. The glare of my computer screen reflected onto my disappointed face. It was the perfect plan. I would work for Destination Kent State for 2 months, spend a week in Scotland for my sister’s graduation which was conveniently during the week DKS was in recess, return to the States for 2 more weeks of DKS, then waste away the remaining 3 weeks of summer reading and writing till school reopened.
I was wrong. I was so sure. I did everything right – the application essay, the presentation, the interview. At least I thought I did. Apparently the selection committee begged to differ. “Well, they’re clearly wrong then,” I thought as the bitter taste of rejection flooded my tongue.
So now what? It was mid March. It still wasn’t too late to secure a summer job, but it was past the optimal time to job hunt. Holding a student visa instead of a working visa simply complicated the problem treble. I had formulated the perfect summer plan, but it shattered with this e-mail. And I was left to stare at the broken bits. I fought the violent urge to break out into tears; I wanted to appear strong.
Last night, Camp Ligoneer came to Late Night Christian Fellowship to announce that they have begun their summer staff hiring process. As the words ‘cabin’, ‘counselor’, ‘adventure’, ‘zip line’, ‘campers’ were thrown around during the announcement, my heart heaved an irrepressible sigh of fondness. I thought of Robin Hood and water balloons. I thought of the muddy path lined with towering trees that stretched from the cabins to the activities area.
I thought of the opaque darkness that we sat in, the uneven glassy lake that reflected the pinkish sunset, and the gentle swish of the waves pushing against the shore. I had commented on how fair your feet were.
In retrospect, I was wrong; the search committee was right. Camp was my place – and always will be. And I’m glad that they had sent me that way.