If you’ve taken a look at my short biography on the “Meet Your Bloggers” page, you’ll know that I’m a member of the Crimson Key Society. The Crimson Key Society (Key for short) serves the Harvard Community by leading tours, helping with large events, and by through a service program called TEACH. Adding to the tradition of service, I volunteered to spend the day working on a Habitat for Humanity house in Boston with a group from Key. Here’s the general deal: Harvard has its own Habitat for Humanity house that a bunch of different student groups have been contributing to over time, and the Crimson Key Society decided to get in on the action. It was such a great experience, and I can’t help but share it with all of you.
It was a really refreshing change from my typical Lazy Sunday. Key is full of outgoing and exciting individuals, so I knew that I was in for a good time. We all decided ahead of time that if we were working with power tools, we needed to look the part. With that in mind, we assigned a “lumberjack” theme to the outing. It was a fun little spin on the day. We all came out in flannel and jeans, ready to get some serious construction done.
After a brief orientation, and a few words of caution, we were let loose on the house. Even though I had signed up to participate in the build, I hadn’t really given much thought to the fact that I would be expected to perform manual labor. The experience taught me that I have absolutely no future in construction work. In fact, I can confidently cross it off my list of potential careers. Regardless of my inability to properly wield a hammer, it was a FANTASTIC day.
My team worked on placing the siding onto the house, so we were up on rafters most of the time. It was so scary! There were a couple of moments that really had me frightened, but it at the same time it was kind of great to overcome my minor fear of heights. We were responsible for measuring, cutting, and placing the panels on the house. Like I said, I am no handy-woman, but there is something to be said about getting to see the physical results of your labor. Each time I successfully hammered a nail into a panel this ridiculous feeling of pride came over me.
Separate from the service part of the trip, it was really nice to be able to spend more time with the people I love from Key. It felt more like a social event, than work. When it was time to hand up our tool belts, I didn’t want to leave. Working on the Habitat house was a nice change of pace for me, because I don’t usually take the time to venture into Boston. It’s too easy to get caught inside the Harvard Bubble, so I know that I would love to do something like this again in the future. Hopefully Key will do it again, and I can update everyone on the status of the house!