Leslie McMann's Summer (Non-) Adventures

This is not actually The Volvo.
It's just a stock photo of *a* Volvo
Leslie McMann '13 is up to nothing much this summer, and it sounds like a good thing. 

Amongst the many Peddie students doing cool and awesome things this summer, like working in university labs or traveling around the world or attempting to get a spot on the USA 2012 Olympic team, there are a few of us who are sitting at home, having your average summer, maybe occasionally doing some mundane task, like visiting your Grandma at her new assisted living home, or having a yard sale the hottest day of the year (at least it felt like it).

But I think there can be humor in the mundane. Or maybe the things that I think are mundane aren’t at all. So here are the Pretty Lame in Comparison Things That I’ve Been Doing:

  1. Attempting to get most of my summer reading done before mid-July (1 down, 4 more to go) 
  2. Trying to finish my Summer Honors Thesis while watching my deadline creep up on me, faster and faster every day.
  3. Telling myself the thesis can wait.
  4. Realizing it can’t.
  5. Watching Terrible Summer Television to calm my anxiety, all the while realizing how counterproductive this is, because nothing gives me more anxiety than the cliffhangers these shows depend on.
  6. Wondering if any of Peddie’s lacrosse players are actually werewolves/lizard monsters, like on Teen Wolf.
  7. Sleeping until noon (or later), or at least attempting to, every day. 
  8. Listening to my parents complain about me sleeping too much. Personally, I don’t see the issue, since I don’t sleep enough during the school year.
  9. Driving my parents around in our powder blue Volvo station wagon, called The Volvo, which has no air conditioning. If it is a Tuesday, I have to drive Mr. McMann to the grocery store and any other place his heart desires. Any other day, it is wherever Mrs. McMann needs to run errands. Sometimes I drive both of them, and Mr. McMann will sit in the backseat and complain about how much dog hair is stuck to the upholstery, and Mrs. McMann will remind him that he could always just stop at a car wash, but if the sight of The Volvo is anything to go by, Mr. McMann does not believe in car washes. Along the way, each will impart bits of sagely advice, such as, “You have to stop at stop signs,” or, “Turn left. I meant right.”
  10. Going to visit colleges. 
  11. Listening to the phrase, “What really sets us apart from other schools is our…” always followed by “Determination. Leadership. Excellence. Scholarship…” over and over again.
  12. Making up a more truthful version in my head: “There is nothing that sets our liberal arts college apart from any other liberal arts college: we all cost too much money, and we all have a history of being elitist jerks.”
  13. Trying not to freak out or change my mind about deciding to enter the most competitive career path: becoming an actor.
  14. Cleaning out Grandma and Grandpa’s old house. Bringing home: a.) 1 clock with lighthouses for numbers and a different fog horn noise for each hour;  b.) 1 cookie jar/casserole dish shaped like a duck 
  15. Shaking my head at the gentrification of a classic American fishing town for the enjoyment of the Northeastern elite, who have grown bored of the towns across the bay and moved up north.
  16. Eating at the new frozen yoghurt, cupcake, and gourmet food restaurants anyway.
  17. Freaking out because the wifi at Grandma’s house is terrible, and it’s taking forever to stream the season finale of The Legend of Korra, a Nickelodeon show meant for ages 7-12, but which is undoubtedly the best thing on television this season.
  18. Listening to Grandma say things like, “Here’s where they keep the inmates,” as she takes us around her new assisted living home.
  19. Making room for all the stuff we took from Grandma by having a yard sale on the hottest day of the year. We didn’t get rid of much, probably because no one wanted to leave their house that day. Oh well, if people missed out on my pink bike with sparkly streamers and a Little Mermaid bell, it’s their loss.
  20. Celebrating the Fourth of July the same way my family celebrates all holidays that are not based on ancient pagan traditions celebrating the seasons: driving around, infuriated that all the shops are closed, followed by a meal consisting of something distinctly un-American (this year, it’s Goan Shrimp, from India) and playing Which of Our Neighbors is Setting Off Illegal Fireworks? Family fun for everyone, except the dog, who is hiding under the bed.
  21. Wishing my friends would come back from their vacations and partake in my suburban ennui.


  1. i the anonymous poster too enjoy korra...

  2. Congrats on saying what most students are feeling. Remember that when you leave Peddie its up to you to make the decisions that effect your life...

  3. You can do it!! :)


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