BHS teachers tell stories of summer fun


Photo: Jacqueline Kohler Dr. Kohler stops to take in the view at Yosemite National Park.

Burlington High School teachers to reflect on past summers:

Dr. Jacqueline Kohler, Science:

As an avid adventurist, Dr. Kohler spends her summers immersing herself in nature. For the past twenty-five years, she has been traveling to Pawleys Island, South Carolina:

“I take all the kids out at night, and we do these night walks; we have flashlights and headlamps, and we look for all the different kinds of crabs and we catch them in buckets. Then there’s always, for the past three years, the glowy jellyfish that are just incredible.”

“So you start digging in the sand to try to find them, [but] it’s really bad when you smush them. You’re actually smushing them, and that’s why they’re glowing, but if you can find them unsmushed during the day, you can see their little stomachs[…] They’re just a round blob with a little tummy. They’re bioluminescent, and they’re beautiful.”

Photo: Jacqueline Kohler
Dr. Kohler, pictured left, with her two sons in Sequoia National Park

“Another amazing vacation was two years ago, [when] we went camping in Yosemite and Sequoia[…]It makes me so sad to look at the destruction from insects because of the ongoing drought and how much of the forest we’re losing[…]It was an amazing experience and I’m glad I went before it’s all dead.”

“Then every summer my family and all the cousins go to Maine for a week. Acadia’s amazing and their haddock burgers are amazing. Like the roadside stands: the more ripped up the stand looks, the better the haddock burgers are. No, you have to look for the holes in the screen that they tape over; those are the best haddock burgers. That and the wild blueberries. We always make blueberry pie every night.”

“Then, down East, the bold coast, we went on a hike there and climbed over the railing and down onto the rocks–we should not have done that–but it was great because we saw pilot whales and seals. It was amazing, we just sat there going *jaw drops* and nobody knew what kind of a whale it was. So we went back and googled it, but that was really cool. The Bold Coast of Maine is stunningly beautiful.”

Robert Hill, Business:

After graduating college, Mr. Hill and his friend from Colorado hopped into his pickup truck and drove back out West:

“I was twenty-eight, which might be late for a favorite summer, and I was living in the back of my old Ford pickup truck, which was a 1972, with my yellow lab whose name was Buck. I had a queen size bed in the back of the truck, and I was a raft guide at the time.”

“All the dirty raft guides, not all, but a lot of us, lived out of our vehicles. After work, after rafting, we would go camp and spend the night and then go back to work and do all that. Just every night was a camp out. We’d have a fire, cook our food, hang out together, or, you know, we might go into town and go out to eat as a group. It just created this really tight-knit bond of fun, outdoorsy people that was great.”

“That was in a Granite, Colorado, which is near Buena Vista. We had no cell phones, nobody had a mailbox, we would take showers very occasionally, and we would do that usually at a campground. You could buy a shower. You could pull in and buy a shower, but we never stayed in a campground because, in Colorado, you can camp all over the place. You can pull over and camp wherever you want, which is kind of unique and fun.”

Dan Hagan, History:

In the summer of 2002, Mr. Hagan worked at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City as a contractor for the U.S. State Department:

“I was part of a team that was training embassy staff on a new protocol for sharing information between government agencies. This was in response to bombings on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, where the government felt better inter-agency sharing of information might have prevented the attacks.”

“It wouldn’t be, necessarily, my most fun summer ever, but that would be the most interesting one, culturally [and being] in a different country supported by someone else’s dime.”

“There is a section of downtown Mexico City where several blocks would have, just laid out on the sidewalk, quilts. On the quilts they would sell every kind of modern black market product you can imagine. Bootleg DVDs, to workout and weight equipment, to even, I’m not sure who actually buys these, but off brand Black Market prescription drugs, to old software…those types of things.

Photo: Dan Hagan
Pope John Paul II rides past the U.S. Embassy in his Popemobile, gold rims and all.

“The food was really good, the people were very nice. It’s a high elevation there, which you don’t realize. I ended up seeing the Pope while I was there. The Pope came to visit, so I saw the Pope drive by.”

Francesca Dupuis, History:

Sent in an email:

“A favorite summer was in August 2015 for my honeymoon with my husband, Luc. We spoiled ourselves and spent three weeks traveling in Europe. Most of our time was spent along the central and northern west coast of Italy, from Rome to Varenna (small town on Lake Como); we also spent a few days in Cannes, France, and then ended our trip in Barcelona, Spain.”

Photo: Francesca Dupuis
Mrs. Dupuis and her husband on their honeymoon in Venice.

“We spent our trip eating DELICIOUS food (including eating gelato every night!), laying out in the sun along the Mediterranean, squeezing our tiny rental car through narrow streets, and stereotypical sightseeing. One of the best parts about our trip was we didn’t have to be anywhere. We literally planned what we were doing day-by-day, including booking our hotels.”

Photo: Francesca Dupuis
A beautiful day in the village of Vernazza, Cinque Terre.

“One of our favorite stops in Italy was Cinque Terre, especially the village of Vernazza. It is a small village that sits on the rocky coast of the Mediterranean and is where pesto originated. One of my favorite touristy stops was the Sagrada Familia, which is an unfinished Roman Catholic church by Gaudi in Barcelona. The stained glass and its clean, modern design inside is absolutely stunning!”