BY LAURA GOULD —
Among all of the new faces at Shorewood High School this year there have been a few additions to the janitorial staff. Josh Berg, a part time janitor at SHS, started his work here this year in order to make money while he attends UW-Milwaukee.
Berg grew up in Waukesha with his older sister who is 23 and now works at UW-Green Bay, from where she recently graduated. Currently, Berg is 21 and working towards an undergraduate degree in sociology with a hopeful minor in Spanish. After completing this, Berg plans to go to graduate school for a Masters degree in public administration. After transferring around a few schools, Berg decided UWM was the place for him. “I wanted more of an urban, progressive attitude,” Berg said.
“[Working] can lead to really long days on top of school,” Berg said. Other than the time commitment, Berg doesn’t have much to complain about his job. He likes its proximity to UWM, the ease of it fitting into his schedule right after going to class and the “fact that you just get a job and do it.”
“Just [be] mindful of what you do,” was Berg’s response when asked what the student body can do to keep their school clean and make his job easier.
Being able to listen to his iPod while working is another reason Berg likes the job. “I love music [and] that’s a big part of [why] the job is good,” Berg said. Berg listens mainly to indie music such as Devendra Banhart, Beach House and Foals. He plays the guitar and some piano. In high school Berg played the guitar more consistently with groups of friends in quasi-bands, but now it’s just for fun. Berg also goes to concerts in the area whenever he gets the chance.
While he spends much of his time either studying or working at SHS, Berg does a variety of other activities as well. “When I was little I wanted to be a chef,” Berg said. Although he isn’t pursuing a career in the culinary arts, Berg still enjoys making his own meals. Some of his favorite dishes are quinoa because “it’s simple to make … cheap … healthy and tastes good,” and pesto which is also his favorite food. Some of Berg’s favorite eateries in Milwaukee include Beans & Barley, Comet Cafe and Bel Air Cantina. An avid coffee drinker, Berg can often be found at Colectivo Coffee.
Berg’s favorite movie is Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and he loves to watch the BBC version of The Office and Conan O’Brien’s late night show. His favorite season is autumn and his favorite color is navy blue, which he thinks “everybody looks good in.”
Berg is a Liverpool soccer fan. Although he didn’t play in high school, whenever Berg can find a ball and some friends, he’s game. “It’s one of those things I just kind of gravitated towards,” Berg said. The global acceptance of the sport was attractive to Berg because of his interest in different cultures.
Spanish and Latino culture is fascinating to Berg. After “fluffing” his way through high school Spanish, Berg took a break and decided to resume his studies last year due to its importance to his field of study. “I didn’t see it [as] applicable to my own life when I was younger,” Berg said. Berg hopes to participate in an exchange program to South America in the future.
In high school, Berg’s favorite subject was Economics. “I think that’s what led me down the sociology path,” Berg said. “[Sociology and the way people act is] very complex, when people think it’s really simple, and that’s what really interests me about it,” Berg said. There are two main career paths to take in sociology – ground level or a much more detached approach – and Berg is still deciding which route he would like to take.
Berg described himself as “lighthearted, passionate [and] gritty.”
“[In the future] I hope to be in a position to make a difference in things,” Berg said.