Sophomore Kam Hawkins doesn’t own a phone.
In this current day and age, this seems like a strange idea—how could someone ever function without a phone?
“My parents want me to buy everything,” Kam said. “I wouldn’t want to buy a phone until I can afford a car and I pay for driver’s training.”
In search of a job, Kam has found himself spending time in his grandpa’s workshop in order to start collecting the money he needs to pay for driver’s training, a car, and a phone.
“I work with my grandpa on the weekends,” Kam said, “and in the summer, we go to Indiana and work on houses. [It’s] a pretty good way to make some money.”
Kam’s grandpa works for a man that owns a large amount of property in Indiana; his grandpa acts as the handyman and does various jobs for the houses on these properties.
“[We’ve done everything from] painting a house and a bunch of pillars to putting up little railings on the outside of a house to make it cool,” Kam said. “Painting the pillars of a house [was my favorite thing to do]. It took a long time and then we stained a gate afterward.”
Kam found himself in this position of co-handyman after completing the woodshop course offered to him in middle school. At that time his grandpa had been working independently.
“Woodshop in middle school gave me basic knowledge [about woodwork],” Kam said. “My grandpa asked if I enjoyed it, and I did. That’s when I started going to the workshop and working with him.”
While working with his grandpa, Kam has found himself helping create plans for various projects and learning how to decide what materials he needs in order to complete them.
“We’ve built plant holders and picnic tables and a bunch of [those kinds of things in the woodshop],” Kam said. “He designs houses and [all the projects we work on] so that’s really interesting to learn.”
Kam’s grandpa lives in the same house as Kam and his family, giving him opportunities to have a large impact on Kam’s and his sister’s lives.
Between Kam’s job and school, he tries to find time for the other activities he enjoys: cross-country, track, and playing online with his friends.
“I started [cross-country] in eighth grade,” Kam said. “[Because of COVID-19,] we had to social distance a lot more. We never really ran together, and if you were running, you had to run next to and over from another person rather than a big group, it was a big line [when we ran].”
Due to the fact that Kam doesn’t have a phone, he uses the program Discord to communicate with his friends and to play various games online.
“I like to do D and D (Dungeons and Dragons),” Kam said. “A group of guys and I play usually every other week, but it hasn’t been that often anymore. [I play] with a group of my friends that I know, most of them go [FHC].”
Usually, Kam was able to meet with these friends in-person pretty frequently, but with COVID-19, he’s only had the opportunity to see one of his friends in-person.
For now, Kam continues spending time in the workshop and building his relationship with his grandfather while working toward his financial goals. He loves the closeness of his grandpa’s presence and his constant activeness.
“He’s everywhere,” said Kam. “If I go down to Ada, he’s sometimes at his workshop or in his office working. He’s always doing different things and taking my sister and me out to do different [activities with him]. I can’t remember a time when he wasn’t doing something.”