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S’more Summers

Emma Driscoll | Monday, April 28, 2008

Recently it struck me that this summer may be my last real summer. I have been told to calm down and that this is ridiculous. However, by this time next year, I will be a senior and facing graduation. I may be preparing to start a job or graduate school or going through application processes for either of the two, and many of you are already at this point. This has made me start to reminisce about other fictional people’s summers to see if I have been living mine right so far.

I have always wanted a “The Sandlot” summer – the life-changing kind of summer where you find your best friends and you find yourself and you learn that with teamwork or a pair of PF Flyers, you can do anything – whether it’s kissing the lifeguard, catching a baseball, making s’mores or taking on The Beast.

“The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” and “The Baby-Sitters Club” summers are other coming of age summers, and they are full of sports, travel, little kids, filmmaking and memorizing songs about the brain. It isn’t all fun and games, though, because the girls in both movies learn very serious lessons about themselves, their families and the world the hard way.

Then there is the pre-“Grease” summer, the one before the movie when the heroic Danny and cramp-inflicted Sandy meet mid-swim, fall in love, and sing their way to a happy ending despite the social trials of Rydell High.

“Saved by the Bell” summers were epic. Zach, Kelly, Screech and the rest of the Bayside gang all go to a snazzy resort and take up jobs as busboys, waiters, coaches, lifeguards, etc. and spend time playing volleyball and applying sunscreen to guests. Even after Zach starts dating the boss’s daughter, he still manages to stay on the man’s good side. Morris does not just enjoy summer. He uses it to network.

But it’s “The Parent Trap” summer that truly serves as the model for a summer that is both fun and productive. Not only do Hayley Mills and Lindsay Lohan (since both versions deserve to be mentioned) get to go to summer camps where they make birdcages out of popsicle sticks and learn to fence, but they also manage to find one another and reunite their divorced parents. Whether in 1961 or 1998, that’s a summer well spent.

There is also the Ray Bradbury “All Summer in a Day,” summer. The short story takes place in a world that rains constantly. For a brief period on one day of the year, though, the sun shines and all of the school children (theoretically) go outside to enjoy the weather that will not be back for another 365 days. The shortness of this summer allows for the tension in the story (which is one of the saddest things I have ever read, but very worth reading) and truly makes me appreciate the three or so months of reliable sunshine that we get here.

Taking all of this into consideration, I plan to take a break from working and throw a baseball around this summer and during whatever ‘summers’ I get from here on out. I hope that everyone does the same, because whether we are college kids, working adults, or in between, summer seems to be the time to enjoy this life that we have.