Students enter the workforce over the summer

The paradox of the summer is that two months manage to pass by in two seconds whether or not anything happened during that time. Some wreck their sleep schedule to the point where the day starts at 1 p.m. and ends at 4 a.m.. Some travel to all corners of the world and completely lose contact with all of their friends in the process. Others choose a more productive approach, filling their summers with the part-time grind.

Summer jobs offer a variety of opportunities to turn a perpetual sleep into something more meaningful. The choices are expansive, with options to work in anywhere from an ice cream shop to a soccer field. Many students devoted their time these past months to helping their younger peers in all aspects, ranging from sports to education and everything in between. 

Sophomore Claire Rudinsky worked at the International Leadership Academy, a French immersion school, supervising 1 to 3 year olds at a summer camp. “It was sort of an interesting job because I didn’t really know what I was going to do beforehand […] each day was something new,” she explained. Although the camp was disorganized at times and somewhat uneventful at others, Rudinsky enjoyed the experience the camp gave her in terms of improving her French comprehension and working with supportive and helpful people. She described when “We threw a birthday party for a kid, and we had a bunch of little mini cupcakes, but only one kid ate the cupcakes, everyone else didn’t want them.”

Senior Jackson Saefke works year round, but this past summer increased his hours significantly. He spent 15 hours a week at Bay Club’s Kids World, watching children whose ages ranged from two months to 12 years old. Saefke enjoyed his responsibilities watching the kids and “mak[ing] sure they’re not doing anything wrong.”

Other students chose to work with older age groups, sharing their expertise as coaches with incoming students. Junior Harrison Canfield coached pole vaulting, working with incoming sophomores and freshmen to train for the new school year. Junior Brooks Tarbell was employed at Skyhawks Soccer Club, coaching the younger teams.

Lifeguarding has also proved to be a popular option for many high school students, with the benefit of working in a  laid-back atmosphere. Junior Ethan Fullman worked at the Lake Oswego School District pool, taking three to four hour shifts a few times a week. Throughout his two years of lifeguarding, he commented that, “The most profound thing about lifeguarding for me was talking with the other lifeguards on shifts, I’ve had some pretty interesting conversations.” However, despite the easygoing nature of the job, the medical training qualifications were significantly more strict. All lifeguards at the pool had to be both lifeguard and CPR certified through the Red Cross. At the end of the day, Fullman described being a lifeguard as a “solid, easy job.” 

Junior Olivia Kovac also spent her summer by the water, serving as a lifeguard for the Forest Hills Easement. Similarly to Fullman, Kovac felt that perks of the job included how she “got to sit by the lake and socialize a lot with people.” 

Seniors Dalia Liu and Sera Lew opted for the classic teen summer job, scooping ice cream at Bridgeport Village’s Cold Milk and Treats during August. Their tasks included making milkshakes, lemonade and general upkeep of the storefront. Apparently, Liu was quite adept at cone making. One of the more unconventional parts of their job description was preparing Cold Milk’s unique menu item, the Milk Monster, which is described as ice cream inside a warm donut. Being surrounded by all of these sweets definitely had its perks. When asked if the employees ever dipped into the inventory, Lew responded with “Oh, yeah. Hella samples.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the past decade has seen the number of teenage employees begin to climb again after a recession in 2009. And if the diverse range of jobs proved anything, it’s that the students at LOHS were avid contribributers to the workforce these past months. The cumulative experience earned by the student body is an accomplishment worthy of celebration. Figurative free samples to all that worked this past summer!