Student Experience Blog

Brown Gold

By Andrew Moore

So… This is my first post right?

There’s a lot of pressure here.

How do I start off this magical nexus of thought issued solely by yours truly? How should I begin to construct the fountain of brilliance and intrigue that will captivate the minds and hearts of prospective students, current students, alumni, parents and professors?

But really, I’m not exactly sure where to begin.

I suppose the most important thing I can do in this first post is to say hello. At the moment of my writing this, the webpage dedicated to the Student Experience Blog is still under construction and I’m not sure exactly on how the layout of the blog itself will be displayed. However, from what I can see now, it appears that you are able to take a look at the short profiles that each of the bloggers wrote as a cliffnotes for their page.

So if you decided to read that little section because you weren’t completely convinced by my awesome and incredibly handsome profile picture, I’ll try not to make this post too redundant and add a little more flesh to the wire-frame that is currently visible.

I guess we can start with my roots. I was born in Salt Lake City, UT but shortly after my family moved to Idaho, where we’ve lived ever since. I have one sibling, a younger brother named Tyler who is 17, and attends Borah High in Boise. My birth parents are divorced, with my father being remarried, and for the past two summers I’ve lived between both their houses as I work in between school.

Work.

It truly is the defining aspect of my summer, probably for most students. Want to see what I do?

I clean these things:

That is indeed a port-a-potty. It’s something of a family thing. My grandfather started the business, A-Company Portable Restrooms in 1972, and put his three sons to work delivering and servicing customers around the area, while he managed sales and worked the finances with my grandmother out of their Boise home.

My father eventually assumed joint-control of the business with one of my uncles, and through hard-fought competition with rival companies, this home-grown Idaho business has become a service entity that spans five states and thousands of customers across the western United States. Year-round, the business provides portable sanitation for construction sites and special events such as concerts, city-fairs, festivals or even weddings.

…And yeah, I mine brown gold eight to five every week at the Boise Branch.

It’s not the most romantic image of your American small-business with the son working under the father, but it is a real one. Ultimately, I feel like this experience has given me a lot of things (particularly a desensitization to many unpleasant smells), but the deepest thing that I have taken away from working this job has been the conscious awakening of what an individual has to do to support themselves and their families.

Whether you’re a branch manager, customer-support staff, a route-driver or an equipment-prep technician like me, at the end of the day we all have something that we’re striving for when we get that pay-stub at the end of the week.

This job, all the challenges it entails, all the struggles and rewards it bestows, keeps the image of what my sweat is paying for clear in my head.

Spending a whole summer baking in the desert south of the Boise airport where you’re moving toilets weighing upwards of 150 pounds in various conditions of cleanliness makes the grass of the College quadrangle feel that much softer at the start of the school year.

Working this job, I can say I know how much my education is worth to me. I’m sure that some of the people who might read this already know their story’s price, and others will soon discover what it’s worth to them.

It’s the life outside the oasis of academia that shows you how much of a treasure it truly is.

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Work