Rock Quarries, Munchkins and New Neighbors

by: Leah Ritsema

Greetings readers of blogs and surfers of the internet. Yes, it is true, I have not been in the office for the past few days. I am sure you have missed me and have been losing sleep about what I could possibly be up to, so I will fill you in on my time away. Last week I traveled down to Louisville, KY, to compete at a swim meet that took place in a rock quarry. My team goes every year and we are convinced it’s only because my coach, John Klinge, is obsessed with a restaurant called Hammer Heads that’s near the pool. Our coach makes sure that we all experience as much of Louisville as possible. By that I mean eating as much food as possible. While in Kentucky, I tried a ton of local restaurants. This included copious amounts of homemade ice cream, barbeque that makes napkins tremble in fear, and the best Cuban empanada my taste buds have ever experienced. Apart from the local cuisine though, I had a ton of fun cheering on my teammates, a few of which even achieved time qualifications for the Olympic Trial swim meet approaching us next summer!  

Me and a few teammates posing for a quick photo-shoot  before the first session of the meet. The excitement was too real. 

Me and a few teammates posing for a quick photo-shoot  before the first session of the meet. The excitement was too real. 

After a full weekend of indulging in the local hotspots and swimming outdoors in the sweltering 95 degrees, I drove back up to West Lafayette and prepared myself for being a counselor at Purdue’s Black and Gold Swim Camp. As if I wasn’t at the pool enough for my own practices, I added coaching three sessions a day for 149 little munchkin swimmers to my daily schedule. I then returned to the dorms with the campers where I played a lot of cards (I am the ultimate UNO champion), flushed a few cockroaches, fixed a fair amount of fire alarms, cared for a bloody nose or two, tipped countless pizza delivery guys, cleaned up a little vomit, and all around just hung out with some pretty special kids. I go back on Sunday for the second and final session. It is exhausting work, but extremely rewarding.

Brooke without me here....

Brooke without me here....

Brooke with me here!

Brooke with me here!

Needless to say, I have certainly missed spending my mornings at School Datebooks. I was so sad to leave my new desk neighbor, Brooke, after only one day of working with her. It is really nice to have a friend in the back of the office that shares my love of the snack bar (Justin is still here too, he just isn’t cool enough to sit with us). She has been helping me with the daunting task of following and friending all of our customers and has made significant progress since I’ve been gone. I think Jon and Leslie will have us collaborate on some social media posts soon too, which you all should be sure to check out. I am getting more and more comfortable managing the social media accounts, but I think it will be more fun to do them with Brooke. With both of us being awkward on camera together, it’s bound to be a good time. So, you have that to look forward to. Until then, stay classy School Datebooks.