At home, I know everyone in my family detests cleaning the kitchen, especially doing the dishes. Here at Chewonki I find myself looking forward to meals when I have dish duty. This is largely due to my dish crew: Dish Crew 5! All of the semester students are divided up into 6 dish crews which rotate at every meal. I adore DC 5. We have so much pride that we even have a hand symbol. We are the only dish crew which sits together at every meal that we have to clean for. If one of the seven of us innocently forgets about a meal duty, another will find them sitting at another table and call them over.
As soon as we’ve finished eating, we’ll quickly clean up our table and move to the dishroom. Claire’s ihome is permanently in the corner so Ben always brings his ipods and turns up the music. We each have our stations that we’ve become so comfortable with. Two are on potsinks, scrubbing and rinsing in a pile of bubbles. I am on “dirty” with Martha and together we load up trays with plates, bowls, silverware, rubber scrapers, and all the dishes that will be passed down the line to Kendall, who is in charge of spraying. She is always suited up with a large plastic apron to protect herself from the high-pressure spraying nozzle. After dishes are sprayed they go through our beloved Hobart and the “clean crew” takes over. From experience, Francesca and Jacqui now know where every dish goes in the kitchen and dining hall.
The tunes are constantly cranked so we dance and sing while we work. As we approach the end of our task, the dishes become less of a priority and the scene becomes a dance party. We’ve developed our own DC 5 moves and have a blast listening to our favorite songs. We always end the job swaying in a circle and singing to a round of “American Pie.” I couldn’t imagine doing dishes in a better way.
-Maya De Groote, Boothbay Harbor, ME