Monday, July 17
It's that time of year again, when large parts of the campus of the elite research university at which I am a grad student have been turned over to summer camps. This week, according to the signs posted here, there, and everywhere, our campus is host to lacrosse camps, soccer camps, science camps, and baseball camps.
Every time I leave my building I run into groups of very young people being led around by slightly-less-young people with clipboards and a whistle around their necks.
Normally the campers are fairly benign. Sometimes I even feel nostalgic when I see a group playing capture-the-flag.
But last week, I was almost killed by a Frisbee that the youngsters were throwing around. And then on Saturday I had to wait ten minutes in line to pee in the locker room at the campus pool because pre-teen campers were too embarrassed to change into their swimsuits in front of other girls, and were instead taking up the toilet stalls changing in private. This gave me ample time to ponder the possibility that they were probably peeing in the pool when not using the toilets as changing rooms.
Call me a curmudgeon. I know the university wouldn't turn itself into kindercentral without good reason, presumably monetary. But I'm soooo over the squealing and yelling and pushing in line at the cafeteria. It almost makes me miss the undergrads.


Orange Ina said...

I'm with you, thanks for writing this so I didn't have to! I was just thinking about this today (not that I don't every weekday during the summer) when a bunch of kids walked by my office (which apparently does not have super-duper sound insulation) clapping like crazy and making obnoxious loud noise.

Oh, but I think the most annoying part of all this is when they line up to cross the street and you get to wait ten minutes to make it to the other side of the intersection, because, you know, 13 year olds have to cross the street in groups of 100.

thistle said...

oh yes, the crossing of the street in groups of 100, and walking SLOWER THAN GERIATRIC MOLASSES MONSTERS WITH CANES AND WALKERS! It's amazing to me how slowly these kids walk (flip.....flop....flip.....flop...........flip) considering they are all here for SPORTS CAMPS!

Turquoise Stuff said...

A friend and I occasionally get together for a game of pool at the campus student center. It is located near some administrative offices (yeah, who thought that up?). To deal with traffic during registration for summer programs, the staff divert the kids toward the game room. First, these kids are completely incapable of finding their way to the ONLY ONE DOOR that is at the other end of the room. Now let's see, where else could you possibly exit?? Second, despite it being oh-so-unbelievably obvious that we're in the middle of a game and, gasp, they may be in the way, they stroll along with super-slow speed like you described. COME ON! Instead of sports camp and whatnot, I propose some social skills workshops.

fraud, in denim said...

Is there band camp, too? If not, maybe you could convince yourself that it could be worse.

Anonymous said...

Fraud, ha-ha, good point! Always ready to see the upside of a situation, aren't you?:)

Cerise said...

I think one of those kids was running the wrong way on the track at our gym yesterday. There are signs up! Explaining which way to run on what day!

Actually, though, I have to admit: sometimes I find it hard to tell the difference between the high school kids here for the programs and the kids who just finished their freshman year.

Turquoise Stuff said...

I can't work. The kids - hundreds - are in front of my office chanting. Chanting! Some administrators must think nothing gets done around here over the summer. And I guess they would be right with these kinds of conditions. Who decides to hand over our entire campus to 10 year olds for the summer? Ugh.

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