Today was a very productive day with the students who learn quickly and are working very hard. They are learning the value of a well-done job and working together to complete their tasks. Hanging drywall is not easy work and the students are learning a lot about the process from the ground up. We review the process and also look at conservation of materials and labor; what are the steps we can take to minimize these?
~ Mrs. Hanrahan and Mr. Drossel
Drywall at the Blue House
Today was day 5 of M-Term and day 2 at the Vision’s Blue House. Like yesterday, we split up into one group of 5 and one group of 4. The group of 4 headed off to the school, while the group of 5 (including me) stayed at the house. Since yesterday we worked on the basic skills needed, today we were able to start actually working on the house, which meant drywall.
I had done house building with Habitat 4 humanity, but never did we do anything with drywall, so this was a new experience for me. Mike gave me the basic rundown of how this all would work and then he, Mrs. Hanrahan and I worked in one of the front rooms. While we did this, the other four students started sanding in one of the back rooms that was hung with drywall previously.
To hang drywall, we had to bring in the large sheets of 8’ x 4’ drywall and place them down on the worktable. We figured out where on the wall we wanted to place it and cut out spaces if there were any outlets or windows in the way of where we were going to place the drywall. Measurements like this were what took up the most amount of time. Once we cut out what we needed to and carefully, so we didn’t destroy the drywall, placed the piece on the wall, we were ready to screw the drywall into place. We used special driver bits to make sure we didn’t damage the drywall. By the end of the day, the five of us and Mike (with Mr. Drossel’s help after lunch) managed to hang ¾ of all the drywall in the room.
Overall, it was a pretty successful day. There were sometimes where kids weren’t as productive as they could’ve been, but they made up for it with their fast learning and diligent work ethic. Besides this it was quite fun, and I’m excited to continue working on the house. Other kids talk about working at the school, but I’d love to keep going back to the house forever.
~ Sara S.
Science Lab Cleanup
It is only my third day in Turkey Creek and I am experiencing so much already. There is a great sense of community and family here. It is extremely different than the normal routines that most of us have at home. On our first real work day, we split up into two groups. Five people, not including the adults, worked on renovating the “Blue House” and the other four of went to the local 7th/8th grade public school to clean, organize and do inventory in their science lab.
The first day in the science lab we focused on organizing and getting an understanding of everything that was in there. We started to separate the items into categories. We had a spot for kits and activities, a spot for beakers, rulers, etc. Cleaning the lab is an absolutely amazing experience for me. It is a lot of work and can be very tiring, but as long as we know that we are doing something good for the children and the school, we keep going because that’s what matters the most. Today, the second day in the lab, it was obvious how much progress we made. We began to do inventory so that the staff knew what they had and what they may still need. These past two days have been great.
~ Chloe M.
Today was the second full working day, so right after breakfast, we went to the school to help with some stuff there. The first thing that we did when we came there was work on a building outside the classroom. Several years ago a group of young people who were participants of Visions program built an outside classroom. And the thing that I really liked about this place is that the purpose of it was to be a place where people from different parts of Gulfport and Turkey Creek can meet and communicate with each other. However, it became really old and some pieces of wood just fell down. Therefore, we went there and helped the school with fixing it. Mr. Drossel taught us how to measure 45 degrees by using “speedo”, our “speed square”, and also we explained how to cut wood leg using handsaw. The, he taught us how to use a hammer. I really enjoyed all this process especially using handsaw. I know that it doesn’t sound like girls thing, but it is actually really a lot of fun. First it was really hard for me to use it, but then I got the idea and could use it pretty well. Also I liked using such a tool as a hammer because the nails are really small and to try to beat it inside of the wood you should really try and concentrate.
Today I was really tired in the end of the day but I was really happy that I helped both the school and students to be able to use this classroom again. Also I really liked working on the classroom and learning how to use different tools because when my parents will need help with something, I will be able to fix what they need to be fixed.
~ Liliya M.