The alarm goes off at 7:10 a.m. And I am angry with myself because I don’t know what possessed me at midnight last night to set it that early. I don’t have to be there until 8:45 a.m. So, I hit the snooze alarm. Six more times.
It’s now 8:10 a.m. An old Keith Green song I used to listen to when I was little keeps echoing in my head.
“Jesus rose from the dead, and you can’t even get out of bed.” How true that is.
I now have thirty minutes to shower, get dressed, do hair and apply makeup. That, and my room looks like that storage trailer from “Silence of the Lambs.” No body parts, but a large amount of woodchips from my turtle. Sick. I should have only hit the alarm five times.
I don’t want to go. Maybe some people get excited about service projects. But those people are inevitably perkier than I am. I want to be the type of person who is excited about getting up early and doing service projects. In fact, I like how I feel after doing them. I even like being there while doing them. But the anticipation of going? Ah, there’s the rub.
This Saturday morning, the campus is teeming with life as volunteers from CSU and the surrounding community come to be sent out on service projects for the annual CSUnity event.
My roommate goes off on some neurobiological service project with a few girls she doesn’t know. She’s brave.
I go off with a bunch of junior high students from Lincoln Junior High to decorate boxes for a clothing drive. Ha ha. I’m braver.
We spend our morning in the fluorescent-bathed basement rooms of the Education Building covering U-Haul boxes with butcher paper and then covering those with the bedlam that is any project that marries a junior high student with Tempura paint.
It’s a glorious thing.
We are broken up into teams, and I am filled with the wicked hope that my team creates the most stunning boxes ever. That maybe our boxes will be reserved for a display case somewhere as a perfect model of what four volunteers can do.
But there’s no display case. At the end, there are just happy junior high students and
nine boxes wet with glue, Tempura paint and construction paper. Boxes that scream out, “Put clothes in me, ye who have enough already.” Oh, yes. They’re motivating boxes.
I sit eating Doritos with a group of junior high students. I ask one of them some teacherish question that sounds annoying even to me as I am asking it.
“How do you feel when you do service-projects like this?” She looks at me with the blank look I deserve, and says, “Fine.” Then she asks her friend about a note that was passed in math class.
And I am proud and glad to be here. Proud and glad to be among young kids for whom the PSATs are not even a glimmer on the horizon yet. Among young kids who also got up early to do something, anything for someone else. Among young kids who are fighting the good fight, and probably don’t even realize it.
And I’m glad I stopped hitting the snooze button.
Sarah Laribee is a teacher candidate in English education.