Finding Aid

February 13, 2012
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The sun shown by itself in the expanse of blue sky, and it felt like any other school day: hot and tiring with a brick backpack weighing me down. That did not matter; what mattered was to help the community through service.

In my sophomore year, my initial intention was to fulfill the required hours for World History class, but my mind was surely not the same in its path of thought afterwards. Nevertheless, I made my short trek from Biology after school to Interact Club’s home, Mrs. Green’s English room. About less than ten of us showed up to volunteer for Adopt-A-Street where we would go up and down the avenue. The weather was decent after a supposed strong wind had occurred the previous day. That meant plenty of trash to pick up.

Mrs. Green greeted her willing aids with a warm smile that could have easily matched the brightness of her blond hair. She placed an initiative in our able minds to pick up any and all garbage that was carelessly abandoned by the roadside. If we happened to be lucky, we could scavenge for a unique item found along our journey. It would be a lovely addition to the assortment of objects: a brown owl tablet and Robin with a motorcycle near her assignment board if we ever came across such an object. We picked up the few grabbing tools, tucked some trash bags under our arms, and headed out.

As we had made it past the school gate, I struck up a conversation with my volunteer buddy, Victoria. She was wearing a fashionable trash bag as a cape upon her shoulders with her hair tied up to avoid loss of visual by a torrent of hair strands. Her fashion sense definitely made the trip worthwhile, so I remained by her side as we walked.

We came across the first articles of trash to be obtained, and as a responsible soldier, I stood at the ready with an open bag. A sudden wind would whisk around from time to time, which meant we needed at least two people to hold the bag to plop designated items in: one for paper or plastic, and the other for regular. We did so from the western direction of the avenue, then back down the eastern side.

I should have expected what was about to happen. Not everyone in the world has the courtesy or decency to be nice. As we were bending over to pick up trash, a couple of young men in their truck decided to add their unnecessary crudeness to the fray. From the driver’s window flew a Styrofoam cup with a small amount of liquid, possibly originating from Circle K or Q.T., in front of our path. With shock and shaking of heads, we carefully picked up their thrown item to be placed where it should be.

I learned something valuable in that instant. A sort of epiphany one could call it. Disappointment, a bit of despair, and a flame of rage churned within me. I vowed to myself that whenever some neglectful person would mindlessly throw trash on the ground, I would pick it up and set an example. I would also help my community in any way I could to keep our area green.

I have kept that promise to myself this whole time, and to represent my diligence is my weekly or sometimes daily workings of taking care of recyclables and their bins across campus for Green Team (another club which defines within its title). I have a busy schedule these past months, but I will continue to try my best to clean-up where it is needed most.

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