Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Sam Kestenbaum

The latest essay Sam wrote about his experiences was published by the New York Times on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010.

My summer on a lobster boat: After graduating Wheaton in May ’09, in the middle of our recession, I headed back to my hometown [Deer Isle, Maine] and found work there. Though the commercial fishing industry has definitely been affected by the economic downturn (bait and fuel costs are up, the per-pound price for lobster is very, very low) it’s a relatively stable business. It’s hard, salty work. I’d worked on a lobster boat before college and, after four years in school, it was refreshing and grounding to work on the ocean again.

Fishing for a taste of life: I grew up on a lobstering island—everyone, in one way or another, is involved in the lobstering industry here. The roads literally smell like fish. Though I don’t come from a long lineage of fisherman—my family moved here when I was four—I wanted to get a taste of this life. On top of that, though you definitely have to work for it, the money isn’t bad.

Matthew Allen, Julie Searles and Sheila Falls-Keohane—very supportive.

What I’m doing now: Working as the senior editor at a bimonthly magazine, The World of Chinese, and living in Beijing. I’m also studying Mandarin and living with a Chinese family.

The future: Everyday, I have a new idea. They’re not always good, but I keep coming up with them.

(Slide show lobster boat photos by Kait Saaf ’09)