Many of you know I attended Bread Loaf for three consecutive summers, from 2004-2006. Every summer I would return to my friends and families telling of a strange little school populated by a couple hundred English teachers going to classes in a barn and living in canary yellow houses. I came back with tales of respectable teachers frolicking in the woods drunk on the delights of friendship, as well as the delights of copious amounts of alcohol.
|Week 1 Typical Bread Loafer|
|Week 2 Typical Bread Loafer|
|Week 3 Typical Bread Loafer|
Alas, I'm no longer a student but I have returned to Bread Loaf for the summer of 2012, this time as a member of the famed Front Desk. We like to refer to ourselves as the "Front Desk Mavens. "
|Maven Side of the Front Desk|
|Student Side of the Front Desk|
I must say: being a Front Desk Maven is pretty darn cool, but with darn coolness comes darn responsibility. Front Desk Mavens, for instance, are expected to play a number of vital roles at Bread Loaf: concierge, postal worker, courier, chauffeur, ambulance driver, nurse, and psychiatrist. It's quite a load, physically and mentally. In fact, I'll just go ahead and mention that I'm not even sure there is 100% legality, with regards to those last three roles mentioned.
|Gene, Fellow Maven|
|It'll All Be Better Soon.|
The job, however, is not nearly as stressful as it may appear. For long stretches "work" consists mainly of listening to the long-time veterans of the Front Desk tell stories about the good ol' days, especially stories about the infamous Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. (If you salivate over names like "Toni Morrison" and "Tim O'Brien," and "John Irving," click on the link.)
|Ms. Morrison, before the Writers' Conference|
Basically, though, the School of English finishes up in early August and the students leave, and then for two weeks the campus is overrun with a clutch (a gaggle?) of super famous poets and novelists who engage in literary activities like workshopping their manuscripts and getting trashed and screwing in the bushes. The Front Desk Mavens work both the School of English AND the Writers' Conference so they get to be privy to all the scandalous behavior and juicy gossip. To hear all the stories is pretty awesome if you're an English Major Literature Nerd and/or literary fame whore like myself.
|Ms. Morrison, after the Writers' Conference|
And, for the rest of the summer, (or until I get bored) I will share them with you. Please see future posts.
Christian Patrick Clarke,
Front Desk Maven Novitiate, 2012
Hic et Ubique