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Summer jobs offer new experiences for charger staff and students

Thalia Sabit, Staff Editor

Whether you were face to face with a humpback whale, traveling through a virtual world or so bored that you created an Instagram account for a water-filled glove, if you’ve ever held a summer job, you know how interesting it can get.

“I was on vacation in Bar Harbor,” oceanography teacher Michele Gates said. “I was not working on campus or anything. [I] just happened to be in town on vacation and I got an email asking if I would like to participate in a cut for a 30-foot humpback.”

Gates spent her summer at the College of the Atlantic in Maine conducting research under the Allied Whale company. 

The recovery process was relatively simple. With a dispatched group retrieving beached whales and dolphins, the task of conducting the animal necropsy remained daunting. A necropsy, which is a term referring to autopsies on animals, is performed to find the cause of death, as well as to increase knowledge about the inner workings of the animal. 

“It wasn’t a heavy workload, but you had to be interested in being pretty deep in whale parts,” Gates said. 

Necropsies were scheduled based off of the mammal’s stranding, or washing ashore. Since the strandings happen at random, Gates was on call throughout her time there.

“I actually enjoyed it quite a bit,” Gates said. “Because of my experience, I was generally asked to work on finding the vestigial pelvis bones and hyoid bones near the head.”

While dissection might not be for everyone, a job by the water seems to be of common interest. Sophomore Alexis Fitzgerald, who worked as a lifeguard at Greenbriar pool, along with friends, created Boo, a water-filled glove that became a Greenbriar mascot and honorary lifeguard. Boo made his claim to fame with his first Instagram post on June 23.

“Basically, we just had too much time on our hands,” Fitzgerald said. “We decided to make a glove balloon with a face and then get him famous.”

The Instagram account, @boobriargaurd, has currently amassed over 100 followers, and is centered around Boo’s adventures at the pool, along with wholesome challenges and comedic skits. 

“We mostly just made sure everyone was safe and that the pool [was] clean so we got lots of free time to joke around too,” Fitzgerald said. 

According to Fitzgerald, Boo was just one of the many memories the lifeguards created over the summer. Although some spent their summers in the sun, others never left the halls of Chantilly. One of the many jobs that required an extended stay at school is being a tech aide, which is centered around helping out with computers and general technology throughout the building. Being a tech aide can be a difficult task due to heavy workload, but that doesn’t mean the job is without rewards.

“This summer we had to reimage all the computers so that they’re fresh, and we got new computers for all the students,” senior Krishigan Yuvaraj said. 

The computers had to be assigned to every student and distributed during first period classes, which wasn’t including the teachers’ laptops and shipping out all the old ones. Still, there came benefits, like early access to new technologies offered at our school.  

“We got a VR system this summer,” Yuvaraj said. “VR is pretty cool because you can do stuff that you wouldn’t be able to do in real life.”

The new system will be in place and available to all students in the Innovation Lab. Even though the summer is over, the tech aides still work daily, helping to solve school technology issues during fifth and sixth periods. 

Summer may be gone in the blink of an eye, but the bonds created and the memories made stand the test of time. 

“Doing field work in the summer keeps me engaged in the learning process,” Gates said. “It shows [my students] that I want to continue to learn and grow as well.”

Alexis Fitzgerald
Junior Olivia Grindal, sophomore Alexis Fitzgerald, alumni Jacquee Clabeaux, and sophomore Ryan Brown pose with Boo the glove near the pool. The lovable mascot has been part of several Greenbriar pool trips and adventures throughout the summer.