Greetings! I have a few short stories to share with you today, about my life here at Mount Hermon. There are many other stories I could tell, about day trips to Santa Cruz and San Francisco, about bonfires and beaches, about the memorability and hilarity of daily life … but those would turn this blog post into a novel. So I have selected four of my favorite — and four of my most epic — stories for this blog, accompanied by never-before-seen pictures. Enjoy!
Playing a Real Ukulele
A few weeks ago, I started playing the ukulele. I have a toy ukulele at home (compliments of the Adventures in Odyssey Club), but Daniel and Mark made real ukulele-playing look awfully appealing. So I started borrowing their instruments, absorbing new chords and strumming techniques whenever I could.
I’ve even taken the ukulele to work a couple times, to practice after the phones go off. On one such evening, I was sitting at a desk in the back strumming away, when I looked up and saw Steve Green watching me from the front desk (he was here to do a concert)!
But even without those 15 seconds of perceived fame, I’ve enjoyed being more musically focused this summer. I’m finally getting the hang of a stringed instrument – and not just any stringed instrument, but the one my namesake (Eugene Meltsner) plays – and yet have remained true to my first love (piano).
Saving the Night
One night, a couple Saturdays ago, I was getting ready to watch a movie with some friends in one of the meeting rooms when I heard someone call my name from the back of the room.
“Liz? Liz are you here?”
I stood up. “Yeah, what’s up?”
“There are these people in the Fountain who are saying that they don’t have a room,” explained Maggie, the Fountain manager. It was almost midnight. “There are other people in the room they’re supposed to be in. Could you do something?”
Just like that, I sprang into superhero mode. Maggie radioed the custodian on duty, who unlocked the administration building for me. I found an empty room in the system, sprinted to it to make sure it was clean, then ran back to the Fountain. It’s a strange feeling, knowing you’re the only person awake who could’ve done anything about it. I felt like such a hero.
It was a happy ending all around: Our stranded guests were grateful, and I got a free scoop of ice cream. And speaking of ice cream …
Last week, I said that I was going to try to eat an entire Mudslide by myself.
That Wednesday, I put on my half-marathon shirt (oh the contrast) and trotted down to the Fountain for my Mudslide. A few people came to watch/cheer me on, and before I was half finished, the place was packed with conferees. And I was in a prime place to be oohed and ahhed at.
Well, I did finish the Mudslide (or nearly so), and in 28 minutes, but it was harder than I thought it would be. I had overestimated my abilities, and had to lie down for over an hour afterward. I was sure I wouldn’t eat ice cream again for a long time. And I didn’t … if four days is a long time.
I’m glad I did the Mudslide Challenge, but I wouldn’t want to go back and do it again. Ice cream really does taste better in smaller doses.
The Production That Was Harry Potter
I’m not just talking about the movie.
In Registration, we send out confirmation letters to our future guests with information about their upcoming conference and what their balance is. I purchased tickets for the midnight showing of the last Harry Potter movie for about a dozen people, and, on one slow day, I decided to use the confirmation letter template in a way it had never been used before.
I also decided to dress up for the movie. There aren’t very many women with short hair in the series, so I decided to be Tonks, which involved putting together a costume from various thrift store items and dyeing my hair pink for the night. I couldn’t find the right kind of hair dye at the local CVS, though, so I had to order it online.
That Thursday, my work day started at 3 p.m. and didn’t end until 10:30, so I decided that the safest plan of action would be to dye my hair before going to work. And so I ended up manning the front desk for hours with my new pink hairdo. None of the campers said a word about my hair, and most didn’t even have any visible reaction to it. The staff who went in and out throughout the day, however, did react.
When I was on the phones in the back, I didn’t wear the headset we usually use because it would get pinkness all over it when I did. The spray-on hair dye washed out easily enough, but I had to be mindful of my head all day/night.
If you think dressing up and making confirmation letters for Harry Potter is geeky, just wait – it gets better: A few of us also whittled wands out of Mount Hermon sticks, and made Butterbeer with a recipe we found online.
Yes, I choose to embrace my inner geek one event at a time.