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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

And the Answer is…Nyet

Petya, our ever-effervescent son, did not get the volunteer position.  The e-mail arrived on Rosh HaShana, citing the director’s delight in interviewing him, while noting the “plethora of qualified candidates for the current openings”.

Oh, come on.

I must say that he took the news better than I.  He was truly in disbelief that they didn’t want him, as were we, but we reviewed possible reasons why no offer had been extended.

“Listen,” I told him, “this was your first interview ever, one week before you turned 15.  That says something for your initiative right there,” I encouraged him.

“But why wouldn’t they want me?” he puzzled, feeling the sting of personal rejection.

“Well, for starters, you’re not even 16.  Many of the museums in our area want university students, or grad students.  You chose a Russian art museum that seems to prefer retirees in the 70+ age range…and not one of them is Russian-!” I added incredulously.

“That would be like opening a museum of African American history…and not one black person works there,” I continued.

So we came up with a probable list of why this volunteer position was not a perfect fit for Petya.

1.  He was under 16 years of age.

2.  He was Russian-American and they might have felt threatened, lol.

3.  He was not retired, with loads of extra time to work their weekend special events.

4.  He had no prior work experience.

5.  They were all poop-heads.  (This one I chose to keep to myself.)

She asked to keep his application “on file” for any future openings.

Oh, puh-leeze.

So while the art history grad-types had tea with their balding and blue-haired corps of volunteers, Petya pondered his next move.  Within a couple of days of turning 15, he had become an assistant coach in his favorite sport, while putting out his resume to other places of interest.

Who knew that offering one’s services for free would become such a challenging job?




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8 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Winnie says:

    I agree they are poop heads. In the meantime if your just wanting some community service hours to put on a resume for school, check with things like Rotary, Jaycees, Kiwanis, Lions etc while he won’t become a member at 15 they’ll likely let him work a ticket booth at carnival or some such thing like that. Our civic group regularly let kids work community service hours at our events. The public school here requires X number of hours to graduate so most kids are looking for hours.

    • avatar admin says:

      Thanks, Winnie. He actually does a lot of regular volunteering. This is supposed to take it to the next level and segue with his past or future ambitions, while of course he doesn’t really see the full picture at 15….

  2. avatar hoonew says:

    It’s hard to believe volunteering would be so competitive, but the museum has no idea of the gem they let slip away. Keep plugging away, Petya!

  3. avatar meant2be says:

    Wow. We visited a Russian museum this summer and I for one would have been thrilled to have a 15 year old boy give us a tour. We had to “read” it all ourselves. And then snuck in with a special tour group that had a reservation ;O)

    • avatar admin says:

      Maybe it’s my practical nature, but I don’t understand why we dumb-down young people. Use them on the farm, in offices, in museums, wherever they won’t break anything or harm anyone, but still be able to be a part in their spare time. At least he’s enthusiastic enough that I’m sure he’ll find something, lol. Focusing primarily on his academics would not be bad, either, at this important time of life. 🙂 It appears that 16 is the magic age when everyone wants you, kind of frustrating when he reads biographies of the founding fathers enrolling in college at 14, etc. It speaks to what responsibilities young people once held, and what’s expected of them now….

  4. avatar Kerry says:

    I have a soft spot for responsible kids since I am a teacher (I’d take him as a volunteer if he were closer!), but if he’s interested in art there are other options. If the “fancy” Russian museum doesn’t want his wiling help, see if there is a smaller community arts center around. Because of size, they are usually more accepting of responsible young people (maybe you can go in with him and vouch for him!). I live in an area that is mostly mid-western rural and several of the smallish towns in this area have art centers of varying size that have exhibits and offer classes. Check, too with other big art museums… some actually have a youth docent program. If we don’t embrace the young, who takes up the torch in the next generation?! More adults need to realize that!

    Also, I teach elementary art and I would give my I-teeth for a responsible high school kid (especially a boy- good role model for my little boys) who would like to volunteer time to help during the school day. An extra hand is a blessing in over-packed public school classrooms, and the “littles” absolutely idolize high school kids. It might also give your son an interesting view of “the other side”, and help him appreciate his homeschooling more!

    • avatar admin says:

      Oh, bless you for those kind words, Kerry! That’s the funny thing: it was not so much the “art” as it was the “Russian”. He actually has quite a handle on Faberge eggs and classifying lacquerware boxes, lol. So moving more into research, history, archaeology, etc., is perfect. Museum work would also be helpful. I love the idea of volunteering at a local elementary school, as well–thank you for that idea. He’s a fantastic big brother and the others have spoken admiringly of him this week as the opportunities are opening up. We’ve encouraged all of them that we will likewise help them to find what interests them in life. I love the idea of volunteering close to a young person’s actual interests to learn if they’re really what might be a future possibility.

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