A Day of Service

Recently, I spent the day helping in a cleanup effort at my middle school in preparation for the new school year.

The last time I visited the school was at the end of May.  That earlier visit was a Saturday night, and my younger sister was going to the “farewell dance” to celebrate the graduation of the 8th grade class.

I helped her prepare, picking out the perfect dress, doing her hair and makeup, and taking pictures of her with her friends. It seemed like it would be a perfect night for the middle-schoolers. However, when we got to the school, it was very clear that something was wrong: the vice principal was standing outside with a panicked look on her face. Apparently there had been a mix-up and the DJ had failed to show up at the dance and was nowhere to be found.

Thinking back to the memorable time that the “farewell dance” had been for me in middle school, I knew that I had to do something to help make sure that the potentially wonderful evening was not ruined. I quickly went home and gathered up my iPod and stereo and returned to the school. My Mom even remembered a bag of leftover giveaway items from a pool party my sister had hosted the previous summer (colorful leis, silly hats, and inflatable guitars), so we brought those back to the school with us too.

For the next three hours I was the DJ for the dance, taking requests all night for Hannah Montana songs and “Macarena” and giving out prizes to the most creative and silliest dancers. The night turned out just great!

Finally, it was time to play the last song. I chose “Graduation” by Vitamin C, and for a minute I felt like I was back in that very same middle school myself, listening to that last song with my middle school friends, excitedly anticipating all that the future held.

Juliana McKee


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