Yawning Under the Awning- Claire L.

Hello again, fellow bloggers! This is Claire updating y’all on our one-step-forward, two-steps-backwards progress of building our eleventh and twelfth grade courtyard. Luckily, we are nearing the end of our days building the courtyard, and will soon begin to utilize it. We’ve added and taken away so many of our original components that it seems that this project could never end. It will be a bittersweet moment when we can finally call our courtyard “finished.” I will be extremely excited and proud, to know that I contributed to this wonderful project. Next year I will be able to see teachers and students using the courtyard and will be able to say, “Hey, I helped make that! Oh, that deck over there? Yeah, I built that.”

My fellow engineering classmates have completely grown as a whole. I remember a time, only about a month and a half ago, when we were struggling to screw together our first deck. The screws were crooked and weren’t placed properly. Now, we boldly take charge, screw together our projects, mallet anything that needs a good mallet-ing, drill holes where they need to be drilled, solve our own problems, and only ask Ms. Jo questions when it concerns safety or the logical design of the project. As Maddy mentioned in her entry, our engineering group has grown so close over the past few months because we’ve struggled together, built together, solved problems together–that I’m really excited to spend the next two years in engineering with them.

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A beautiful mess!

As of Friday, May 20th, we are nearly finished with our wonderful courtyard. We have officially completed four decks (one game board, two for sitting/eating lunch/outdoor classroom-ing, and one in between the two, that will eventually be filled with herbs and plants, but can also be used for sitting or lying down). As of now, we have a fully functioning courtyard, though it still needs a few extra components.

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One of the troublesome awning poles.

One of those components includes an awning over the seated decks. Originally, we decided umbrellas were the way to give us shade. Little did we realize that though we had an umbrella stand, wind is still a very powerful force. An umbrella was knocked over by the wind, which knocked over one of the tables, cracking the table. Luckily, Ms. Jo had the idea to put an awning over the decks instead (hopefully the decks don’t fly away like the table did!). This is an example of one of the many things we have had to change throughout this project. Everything that we have had to change along the way has made our project better, but man did we encounter many little bumps, like this one, that needed to be resolved. Maddy and I worked on setting up the awning poles. When we had two poles set up, we encountered another problem (surprise!). We had put the poles on the wrong sides of the deck– the middle deck would prevent us from attaching the other two poles in the middle. So, we unscrewed and unbolted the poles and moved them to more convenient places.

This project has opened my eyes to all of the trial and error it takes to build anything, especially since we’re new to the building game. I look at houses that get built in what seems like days, and I am in awe. I have a lot to learn in the building world, but I have to remember: Rome wasn’t built in a day. Building takes time, trial and error, problem solving, and having fun while doing it.

Peace out and happy building, engineers!

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