Serving the Community, One Branch at a Time

10AM was a glorious time for Boston College students campus-wide yesterday as the early rush for the first tailgates of the season commenced. God created Saturdays for college football and failing to appropriately recognize this by cracking open an ice cold beer and giving a long-winded toast to the other members of your eight man would be nothing short of blasphemy. The sun was shining, coolers were filled, maroon and gold were abundant and the scene was electric. Whether you were destined for Brighton, Shea, or the Mod parking lot, infinite possibilities awaited you. Football was back at long last. The prospects for the day were endless and the energy of Eagles young and old was palpable.

Or at least that’s what I heard. Rather than bouncing around from spot to spot and jumping in pictures to show the kids from home how awesome our school is, at 10 yesterday morning I was knee-deep in my first community-service assignment: chopping down overhanging branches at Newton South High.

6:45 AM: My alarm goes off and I’m immediately overwhelmed with the task at hand. I roll over and feel the bag of pretzels from the night before crunching under my weight (#fatguymoves) as I contemplate the various decisions that led me to be in this position. More than five months beforehand I was like many of you: free, without any court experience, convinced that the rumors of people getting prosecuted for fake IDs were simply that, rumors. The police wouldn’t ever waste their time with anyone in Chestnut Hill, not to mention a BC, C$OM student. Soon enough an accomplice and I were rudely awakened, pressed up against a wall on a night in March outside of Wegman’s while my ID was being scrutinized by Newton PD. A month later my court date is scheduled and I’m sitting in my Brooks Brothers blazer being sentenced to a year of probation and forty hours working alongside felons in a court-mandated community service program. The decision hit me like Reggie Bush being laid out by Sheldon Brown on a wheel route, like a right from Tyson, like Jadeveon coming up the middle.

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7:45-11:00AM: We make it to the courthouse for our 8AM service time and crowd into a white short bus with the words “Trial Court Community Service Program” inscribed in dark blue paint. Couldn’t help but laugh at the situation I found myself in. It was on the bus that I met my colleagues for the day: Teddy, Beirod, and Dario. Many of them were enrolled in OCC, a program for people on Stage 3 probation; the kid next to me had 12 different charges of narcotics possession on his record and 300 hours of community service to complete. The sheer magnitude of that number blew my mind until Teddy overheard and told me that he was making progress on the 1100 hours he had to complete (every Saturday for the next 275 weeks). They all had the same expression when I told them I went to BC: “What the fuck are you doing here?”

For the next two hours we were given shears (probably not the best move to give weapons to criminals) and told to cut down the branches overhanging the soccer field. During this time I learned a lot about my new acquaintances, including the time our supervisor ate a batch of edibles at his family reunion, when Teddy’s mom knocked her son out in the middle of a Foxboro jail cell, and Dario’s plan to be “piffin down piff central” as soon as he completed his final drug test. All in all, it was great to meet some of the lesser-known people that make up the community.

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11:30 AM: After nearly overdosing on tailgate-related snap stories I was released for the day and made it to Brighton by noon. Was only there for an hour but from what I saw it was everything I remembered in a BC Saturday afternoon in September (RIP Shea Field, the GOAT). Beers, burgers, egregiously large bottles of Belvedere/Grey Goose and playlists that are constantly rotating between Drake, Fetty, and Zac Brown. And of course, girls decked out in Superfan shirts with daisy dukes. What a time to be alive. The boys ran all over Maine, limiting them to 91 yards and only three points while we put up a 24 spot. Howard’s up next.

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Enjoy the last weekend of summer. Make it a good one. Go eagles go.

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