Chasing the Elusive Dream Job

By Lauren Reinhart and Mikenzie Dawn Morgieau, 2022 UM Journalism and Media Summer Camp

Ione Jean Lewis, a retired seamstress, said she worked in her dream job of making alterations.  However, Lewis’s first job was not in the sewing room, but instead in the nursery, and she had to put off her dream of being a seamstress.

“I should say my first job was taking care of my children,” Lewis said.  

Lewis is a rare example of someone finding her dream job and actually working in that particular field. Lewis, and other Missoula residents interviewed on Wednesday around Caras Park and University of Montana in Missoula, reflected on their careers –  the differences between dream jobs and pragmatic responsibility. 

Like Lewis, many other interviewees had not had the clearest path to their dream jobs. 

Robin Joseph has worked in the housing office at the University of Montana for 35 years, but her dream job is to be a racecar driver.

“I always wanted to be a racecar driver, no lie. I still drive fast, very few speeding tickets so I can be proud of that, but yes, I always wanted to be a racecar driver,” Joseph said.

Leo, who did not give a last name, wants to be a travel writer, but works as an independent consultant working in climate change for the time being.

When they grow up, Emery, attending Out to Lunch in Caras Park, wants to teach fifth grade, and Avery, also enjoying the event, wants to write chapter books.

Jeff Stevens’s dream job is to work on Carving at the Carousel.  This job consists of volunteering in the shop while carving wooden horses and animals for other carousels.   

“My dream job: Carving at the Carousel.  I have been a volunteer there for 25 years,” Stevens said.

Heidi Webber wants to be an author, and wants to write novels about life.

“To write is probably my dream job.  The idea is to sit and write,” Webber said.

Melony, no last name given, followed her dream and is now working in her dream job.

“I am a college prep coordinator at the middle school and high school,” she said.

Kimberly Sloan wants to be a life coach and wants to help working mothers. She, like Lewis, understands the difficulties of juggling work and family.

“Specifically mothers, working mothers, and how to balance a job and a fulfilling family life,” Sloan said.

Lewis, the retired seamstress, and Joseph, the aspiring race car driver, had different plans in life, and went through different courses to turn to who they are today.  Both have had a long career in the field they chose and have enjoyed their work.

Voices from Campus: COVID’s Impact

By Adalyn Maxwell, 2022 UM Journalism and Media Summer Camp

The past two years have been a tumultuous time for everyone, with the disarray following the coronavirus shaping countless lives and priorities in Missoula.

“Everything seems different,” said Travis, a visitor at the University of Montana. 

During this time, many experienced life through an entirely new set of circumstances. They learned that even the most basic features of society, like relationships, hobbies and work, can be easily influenced by worldwide events. 

Several interviewees on the UM campus shared their personal stories of the afflictions caused by the recent pandemic.

Chad, from Missoula

“Everybody’s trying to work at home, at school. A lot more than we ever used to,” Chad said. 

He described his children and dogs as the best part of his life. His family  often struggled with balancing his kid’s extracurriculars throughout the quarantine. 

“[COVID-19] disrupted activities, for sure. It upended things to some degree,” he said.

Pauline and Angele, from France

“For me, sports relieve my stress,” Pauline said. 

Angele and Pauline are currently on internships and spending their summer in Missoula. They both said how they enjoy traveling, sports, and meeting new people— three pastimes all greatly affected by the coronavirus.

“Places were closed, and we couldn’t travel,” Angele said. “I was just, like, crying on travel videos.”

Pam Broussard, from Missoula

“I had to work every single day as a necessary staff member,” Pam said. 

 Near constant work during the pandemic threatened her ability to spend time outdoors, which is Pam’s lifeblood. 

“I love living in Montana. I love the lifestyle, I love the environment, I love the wildlife, I love the weather.”

Cori, from Washington

“There was a loss of learning, and a loss of sports skills,” Cori said.

Cori said she loves watching her children learn and excel.  She said that the quarantine infringed on her  attending sports games and supporting her kids activities.

“Now it’s kind of like starting fresh, but it’s nice.”

Summer Camp: Inside the University Center Atrium, and Oasis on Campus

By Julia Key, 2022 UM Journalism and Media Summer Camp

At the heart of the University Center is its atrium, a tropical oasis with calming waters and towering trees. 

The atrium houses a plethora of plants, including at least one from every continent except Antarctica, according to UC groundskeeper and gardens manager Anna Hatcher. There is a Lloral Fig, some Lady Palms and a Buddhist Pine. 

It has Araucaria pines, a Mahogany tree, a Fiddle leaf fig and lots of ferns. The UC is also a home to a few cycads — ancient plants older than the dinosaurs — Hatcher said. 

On Thursday morning, Hatcher was releasing insects into the atrium, a process of controlling the environment of the plants.  

“Wherever you have plants, you’re going to have pest issues, so rather than spraying them with chemicals, we order predator insects that attack the pests,” Hatcher said.

In addition to the expansive collection of plants, the UC features a Koi fish pond that has 2 adult koi fish named Big Boy Pete (formerly Costello) and Hi-Ho Silver as well as three babies named Phil the Phish, Cowboy and Clementine ll. 

While she was working on its bi-monthly upkeep, university student and UC gardener Anja Severtson said the pond serves as a great water source for the atrium’s plants .

“There is a bunch of water in the pond, we don’t want to put it to waste, and fish poop is actually a really good nutrient and fertilizer for the plants,” Severtson said. “So we take all the water from the pond and pour it into the planters to give them fertilizer and water.” 

Hatcher said the atrium provides a calm environment for students to find a quiet and peaceful place to study, eat or just relax. 

“We’re bringing nature closer to people, there are so many people who come here to find peace, and love the sounds of the water and being around all the plants,” Hatcher said.

The atrium and gardens also create an environment for students to learn about horticulture, the study of plants, and work with plants on campus. The atrium currently has two student gardeners who work alongside Hatcher helping with garden upkeep. 

“[A] major benefit here is that you get to take plants home. I make bouquets and clippings and I have a bunch of plants back at home,” says Severtson. 

The atrium benefits more than just UM students though. Behind the UC, lies an outdoor garden where staff grow vegetables and herbs. 

“With  [the outdoor garden] we developed a program where we harvest a bunch of produce from that garden and then process it and give it away to people for free. We try to bring the gardens to people too,” Hatcher said.

Many of the extra vegetables are also donated to the Poverello Center and the Missoula Food Bank.

The UC atrium brings people together and provides a relaxed and calm environment on campus for students to gather. Whether watching the Koi fish, or studying, or listening to the sound of the water, the atrium and gardens have every item on the list.