By: Christine Olding
Upon starting City Year, I was unsure exactly how I would adapt to wearing khakis, Timberlands, a City Year polo or button down and a black belt. However, once I put on that uniform, something within me felt different. It may sound trite and cliché, but it is the truth. To better explain exactly my feelings, I feel it is only fair to allow someone else explain it, someone who could explain it better than me, my Timberlands.
The freshly cut grass sticks to me as I walk down the rough sidewalks. The sounds of buses and cars can be heard as I make my way to my final destination. I shuffle along and finally enter the door way, Hamilton STEM Academy is my new home. I briskly pace through the halls and the loud voices of children can be heard from all directions. I make my way back outside and see my friend, Steve’s Timberlands neatly laced on the same ground as me. We chat for a bit about how excited each of us is to finally be there. The first group of kids can be seen off in the distance. Now is my time to shine, I thought. A group of rowdy children approached me, a few angry, a few smiling, each with something to bring to the school. Hugs could be felt as they saw the familiarity that lied within my brown leather casing. To be honest, I was worried how well I’d fit in here, but upon hearing, “City Year is back!” I knew I would be just fine. My day flew by me. Filled with questions of past Corps Members and why I looked like a man,” Why are you wearing man boots?”, allowed my owner and I to get a better feel for what exactly was ahead for us this year. I learned a lot that first day. How quickly people can become attached and how needed I truly was in this school. After day two, I was worn and torn with clear scuff marks covering the majority of my body. I had already accumulated dozens of stories from what children had told us and what they had said, some were funny and some were sad. I learned a few valuable lessons too, for instance, hula hoops are never a good idea at recess. Who would’ve thought they could be so dangerous? I also learned to stay on the purple line and to be silent in the halls. We packed up our bag and headed out the doors for the weekend. Our first week was complete. Though I may look out of place and I sure do weigh a lot, I am a staple in the lives of the children that roam these halls.
I hope that my Timberland’s conveyed the life we lead for the past week. Though, I was hesitant at first when I put on those iconic brown boots, I now know that without them, City Year and I would not be the same.