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Unformatted text preview: New York Times- Sunday Magazine section August 26, 2007 LIVES Endless Summer Job By CAROLYN FERRELL In 1982, after my sophomore year of college, an agency arranged a summer job for me: a couple needed someone to assist the cook at their estate in the Hamptons. My friends couldn’t believe I would sink so low — why not stay in the city, they asked, and attend rallies protesting apartheid? But the truth was that I was poor and really needed money for the school year. That spring I met My Employer, a stately white woman, at her Upper East Side apartment. She served me tea and showed me pictures of her house and garden in Architectural Digest. She explained that hers was no ordinary home, just as this would be, for me, no ordinary opportunity. We agreed vaguely on my responsibilities, more concretely on my wages — $120 per week, with room and board, from Memorial Day through Labor Day. As my mother drove me out there, she said she was afraid that to these socialites I’d be nothing but the poor brown-skinned girl from the wrong side of Long Island. I was to remind everyone there that I was a student at an exclusive college (Sarah Lawrence, where I was on full scholarship), that I, too, came from a beach community (did Amityville count?) and that above all, I was as good as they were (oh, my poor, count?...
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- Fall '08
- employer, CAROLYN FERRELL, New York Times, Sunday Magazine section, Endless Summer Job, stately white woman