So You Want to Work at a Boarding School

This started off as a rant against those who talk about how busy they are and turned into a here’s my week at a glance.  Life at a boarding school isn’t for everyone. It’s a demanding lifestyle, and I use the word lifestyle deliberately.   Technically, I’m on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week when students are present.   I live with the people with which I spend all day working.   I eat three meals a day with them.

It’s an incredibly rewarding place to live and work though.  That concert on Tuesday night?  Well, we got the boy dressed up in his pj’s and he and I went and listened to the music for an hour giving mom a much-needed break.  Where else to you get to bring your three-year old to hear music in his pj’s?

Life here is busy though, and you have to get involved and be engaged in the community.  Otherwise, why work at a boarding school?  There are day schools if you’re looking to shut things down at 5p.m. each night.

Here’s my typical week:

7p.m. Dorm duty starts.
11:00 p.m. Check in wraps up and I’m back in my apartment for a drink then off to bed.

8 a.m. Chapel then a full work day until 4:30 p.m. unless I decided to duck off early at 3:30 to go out on a bike ride with the cycling club.
6:15 p.m. All school sit-down dinner.
7:15 p.m. Stop in a the arts performance and then off to a prep meeting for tomorrow night’s meeting.
8:30 p.m. back home in time to say good night to the boy.

8:00 a.m. Chapel and then another full workday
7:15 p.m. Meeting with our fourth formers
9 p.m. Back home.  Missed bed time tonight.

8:30 a.m. No Chapel today, but I do have a meeting to debrief last night’s meeting.  After that right into a full work day.
2:30 p.m. If there are home games, I’ll walk around campus and catch a few minutes of each.
7:15 p.m. Dorm duty and study hall.
11:00 p.m. Back home and ready to crash.

8:00 a.m. Chapel and then a full work day.
7:30 p.m. Dinner with alumni at some college within driving distance of campus.  This may turn into an overnight if I’m visiting a school more than 2 and a half hours away.
Midnight:  Hopefully I’m back home.

8:00 a.m. Chapel then a full workday.  Maybe skipping out at 3:30 p.m. for a bike ride.
5:00 pm. Finally, a night off.  That is assuming none of my dorm residents need a ride to the grocery store or CVS or something like that.

I’m lucky in that I don’t have any official duties on Saturdays with the exception of two weekend duty nights a term.  You can usually catch me at the local playgrounds or games on campus as I try to spend as much time as possible with the boy.

With great demands come great rewards

Now there are times, especially at the beginning of the year and end, when my wife will complain that there needs to be a support group for spouses os faculty that work here.  There are indeed times when it gets claustrophobic and by the end of the year you are running on fumes.

The saving grace for me is that I pretty much live where I work, and I can bring the boy to things like arts performances, games and sit-down dinner.  Without that piece, forget it.  I came to a boarding school to raise a family in a unique environment, raise my kids in a communal and intellectual setting, and most importantly, be a part of their childhood.

The boarding school life has been all that so far, and as I suspected when I was visiting schools like this as and admission rep., it has been a wonderful place to raise (and grow) a family.

About Me

What’s A Little Spunk ?

Well, when I started this thing I had planned on writing mostly about higher education and marketing, Web 2.0 and technology. My plan was to essentially be one of those New Media D— (see this May post).

I discovered that I didn’t want to write about that stuff. I wanted to write about other topics – family vacations, neat things I found on the internet, making beer, and other stuff that just popped into my head.

So that’s why I decided to redesign. And toss out everything – url, title, etc. The only thing I’m saving is the layout (I like the simple design) and the photo of that special place of mine in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.

If you ever see a car with a NEK euro sticker, guaranteed they’re not originally from the Kingdom. They’re either from Connecticut or Massachusetts.

So why “A Little Spunk”?

Well, this blog idea has been through a couple of different redesigns. It has been Drew In VT, Millin’ in VT, Millie in VT, and in its latest installation, edu-Mill. Those were all pretty lame. I liked the edu-Mill the best out of all of them, but it stopped making sense when I stopped writing about higher ed.

So, I came upon “A Little Spunk”.

My Dad’s nickname is Spunk. He comes from a family where they were all given nicknames in addition to their Christian names. My mom, in her good sense, put an end to this with our generation.

My grandfather from time to time would call me Little Spunk or Spunky Jr., but otherwise, there were no quirky names for us.

So when pondering a quirky and witty title for his blog, I thought back to my grandfather calling me Little Spunk, and thought it would be a neat title. There’s a nice play on words in there too.

Like: It will add a little spunk to your day.

Now there is some sexual innuendo there. We’ve learned not to call my dad “Spunk” in say, England where it means something inappropriate. But I’ll live with it. Who knows, maybe it will drive more traffic to the site?

Now on to me.

I live in Northern Vermont outside Burlington where I work in the admission office in one of our many private colleges. My focus is mostly on social media and e-communications. I know a little html and css, but just enough really to get by, adjusting size, changing colors, etc.

My wife and I have two stupid pugs. You’ll see photos of them from time to time. I love traveling, skiing, beer, and my family’s camp in the NEK.

Writing for me is therapy. I write about what’s on my mind. I’ll try not to censure too much, but knowing who some of my readers are, I have to be smart. I clearly can’t write something like, “I hate my job and am desperate to GET OUT!” That could get me in trouble.

I hope you enjoy this.
Now playing: Grateful Dead – Big River
via FoxyTunes