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As I write this, the semester is ending and I am scrambling to finish the wave of final papers assigned, cleaning the year-long mess in my dorm and looking ahead to what is turning out to be an incredible exciting summer! Here are the fun plans I have for my summer back at home in Leominster, MA.

How I’m Keeping Busy

Not having any final exams, I got to go home a little earlier than most students. This doesn’t mean I get time off. As soon as I left, I started work at two jobs back at home – summers are no time for vacation. Firstly, I will continue to manage a State Senate campaign in my hometown. We are looking at a tough road and it's going to be a great way for me to cut my teeth on the campaign trail!

Currently I have a large group of interns, staffers and volunteers all getting ready to fight until the fateful November day. I cannot wait to be part of a collective effort to re-elect someone I truly believe wholeheartedly performs his job day in and out for our district. I also look forward to gaining the skills and experience needed for a campaign. I walk into the office and it feels like West Wing – although I don't think I will do a better job at writing a campaign script than Aaron Sorkin.

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Sam cleaning himself off at work after a beer tap exploded in his face
Cleaning my self off at work after a beer tap exploded in my face

I will also be returning to the restaurant I have been working at for almost 2 and half years, the Fix Burger Bar. I serve and I love doing it! We get super busy during the summer with our patio open so I expect to make good money. I remember last summer during the Fourth of July Weekend, getting absolutely slammed being the only restaurant open in the city. I must have had eight tables simultaneously for five hours, but we got through somehow. The post-close Wendy’s helped me process the inundation of customers.

My Plans for Downtime

When I am not working- which will be a rarity- I aim to finish three books over the summer!

The first is On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by former UMass professor Ocean Vuong. In this autobiographical collection, Vuong tells the story of growing up as an immigrant from Vietnam in America. Being the son of immigrants, I am always drawn to stories of migration and the experiences these individuals face everyday.

The second is Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain. This is Bourdain’s follow up to his best-selling Kitchen Confidential which I consider to be one of my favorite novels of all time. 

Photo of Botanical Garden in Curitiba, Brazil
The Botanical Garden in Curitiba, the city where my family lives in Brazil, it’s the symbol of the city like the Empire State for NY it Hollywood sign for LA

The last book I plan on reading is 1889 by Brazilian journalist Laurentino Gomes. This is the history of the formation of the Brazilian Republic. My cousin Chico gave his copy of the book to me when I went to Brazil last winter and I promised him I’d finish it before I went back in December. It is a great way for me to practice my reading and comprehension skills in Portuguese, and it's going to be a great discussion for Chico and I!

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Photo of a dog walking by a red barn on a sunny day
My dog at jewel hill

I have also been taking my dog on a lot of hikes. She is a shih tzu/maltese mix, not a dog you expect to be outdoors-y and rugged, yet she surprises me every time. I like taking her to local conservation areas in North Central Massachusetts, my favorite being Jewel Hill in Ashby, MA. It was formerly a dairy farm turned nature preserve with an overlook with a view of the Boston skyline. If you are in the area or would like to take a day trip, I highly recommend making the trek out to Ashby.

Seems like a busy summer but I want to take advantage of it all before we come back in September! I will be back next year so you’ll get to read what I do next semester!