Q: First of all, how long have you guys been working for Exeter Summer?
A: (Mr. Calnan) This is my 11th summer.
(Ms. Jobarteh) This will be my first.
(Mr. Braile) I think this is my 7th… honestly not sure.
Q: Are you part of the regular session as well?
A: (Ms. J) I am. So I work all year long, and then during the summer time. I just transition a bit, where I work with a different department.
(Mr. C) I am only here during the summer, not during the regular year.
(Mr. B) I’m also only here during the summer.
Q: What really makes you think that Exeter is special? What makes it really different than, say, other summer schools? What brings you here?
A: (Mr. C) It’s tough to compare to other summer schools because I haven’t worked at other summer schools. But, something that Ms. Gosalvez- – Blanco mentioned is that we’re the largest summer school. And I think, when you have more people, you have the opportunity to meet more interesting people. There’s a better chance that you’re going to see people from around the world, around the country, and they have different backgrounds and talents. So I think the size is great, and it’s not an overwhelming size. I feel like we interact with just about every
student on campus, and we get to meet all those interesting people.
Q: I know that the title that you guys have is “Deans of Fun.” So on the fun note, what do you guys think about this title?
A: (Mr. C) I love it. I love telling people, like “Oh, what are you doing this summer?” “I work at Phillips Exeter.” “Do you teach?” “Nope, I’m the Dean of Fun!” That’s a pretty cool thing to get to tell people. I like the title, I think it works.
(Mr. B) I have it on my resume, and it’s probably gotten more questions than anything else. So people were like, “um, I know what deans do, but this doesn’t make any sense.” But, that’s a lot of fun, yeah.
Q: If I were to ask you guys to pick one thing that makes you smile, what would it be? What makes you smile the most?
A: (Ms. J) I’m a mom. So my kids make me smile. My two girls and seeing them happy. That’s basically it when you’re a parent. I think that’s the first thing, just seeing your offspring happy.
(Mr. C) I feel obligated to say my kids. My son and daughter, they both have a blast out here, they love being up here and they have their Exeter friends.
(Mr. B) So I don’t have any kids, But I would say the connections that I’ve made with the people here and getting to work with awesome people, like these two, definitely makes me smile. I don’t think I would work as much or as hard as I do here if it weren’t for the people I work with.
Q: In the coming weeks, what are some of the events that we can expect from you guys?
A: (Mr. C) Lots of good stuff. In terms of on campus activities, we have a dance the next Saturday [July 22] for Upper School. In terms of big trips, we’ve got the trips to Boston, beaches, and Canobie Lake Park for both Upper and Access. Those [(trips to Canobie]) are very popular.
(Ms. J) They just added a whole bunch of rides too. I was just there, it’s awesome.
(Mr. C) And then, a few weekends from now we’ll have Exeter’s Got Talent, which is our talent show/variety show, whatever you want to call it. Every year I’m amazed at what students can do. And how quickly they can do it as well.
Q: Which is a trip that you recommend the most for students? Like, “If you go to Exeter, you have to go to this trip” ?
A: (Mr. C) It really depends on your interest. Like, if you don’t like going to the beach, don’t go to the beach. But in terms of things that you can’t necessary find elsewhere, things that are really local, [I recommend] the college trips. If you want the opportunity to see some of these New England colleges, it’s a really good chance. The two hikes of Mt. Major, beautiful views of the mountains and lakes in this region, and also a good physical activity, it’s not too strenuous.
(Ms. J) Boston’s great, especially you have some freedom too. In Boston, you have your chaperones there, but you’re able to explore a little bit. Also, Boston is a nice, small city, so there’s just so much compacted in one small place.
(Mr. B) The other thing that I would say for Boston is, especially for students coming from
outside the U.S., there’s so much American History in Boston. Like, you can walk the freedom trail, and get a whole tutorial on American History right there. So I would definitely recommend that if you have the option.
Q: When you’re not the Deans of Fun, what do you do for the rest of the year?
A: (Mr. C) So, I’m a high school Math teacher at a public school in Massachusetts, an hour and a half away from here.
(Mr. B) For the last couple of years, I’ve been teaching Art and living in a dorm at Northfield Mount Hermon, which is a boarding school in western Massachusetts. Next year I’m going to be working in a dorm at the University of New Hampshire.
(Ms. J) I’m here. And for other activities that I do, I’m a blogger. I do event planning. People that have weddings or big birthday parties or corporate events, that’s what I do on the side. Whenever I have some free time, I like to travel.
Q: What do you all like to do for fun?
A: (Mr. C) Again, kind of what I was saying before, I love playing with my kids. I mean, when you’re a parent you don’t really have time for too many hobbies. Your hobbies are play-dough and legos.
(Mr. B) Those are also my hobbies. [Laughter]
(Ms. J) We [(My kids and I] like amusement parks during the summer, we like fairs. Lot of fairs go on in this area, so we try to go to a couple of those with the girls. If I’m by myself, or with my significant other, we travel. We normally do one spring trip, and then we’ll do a summer trip, and then a fall trip.
(Mr. B) What I do for fun… Hiking, or going to the beach. I just love being outside, getting outside, and getting some fresh air.
Q: What did you expect the experience to be like, when you first heard about “Dean of Fun”?
A: (Mr. C) I started here at the summer school as a teaching intern. My first interactions with the Deans of Fun was [when] I was just chaperoning different trips and talking to them
there. And I got to know the Deans of Fun [at the time] pretty well. They gave me the idea that the students are here to learn, here to meet people, and to also find yourself a little bit as well. But it’s our job [as Deans of Fun] to make sure that you’re also still kids and enjoying yourself. That’s a totally different aspect from what a lot of the faculty are doing here. I’m not saying that they’re not doing their job; they certainly are. But it’s just such a different thing. That’s how I came into it, thinking that “I want to just make sure that these students are still kids, they’re still enjoying their summer So that’s what I thought to expect, and also kind of what I experienced since taking this role.
(Ms. J) I didn’t have any expectations, ‘cause this is my first summer. It was just being ready for whatever that comes. But so far, so good.
(Mr. B) Yeah, I think I agree with what Mr. Calnan has said.