Saturday, November 26, 2005

Squaring, Sheathing, Straightening, and Standing Up Walls Workshop

Andrea, Max, Ryan D. and Ryan W. came to school today to learn the skills needed to be site leaders for the process of getting a framed and sheathed wall standing up, plumb and straight using concrete form aligners. They learned a large amount lot of very detailed technical knowledge and the skills needed to put a very well built wall.

During the process of instruction, I realized how many little things had to be learned for this group of students to be successful in being able to exercise real leadership when we are working on our house. Certain students are gaining my respect for going above the minimum. Having a controlled classroom environment in which to teach today was invaluable, especially since it was cold and blustery outside.

On the house we will build, we have the advantage of framing two floors of walls which should give these students ample time to become very comfortable with the craftsmanship so that they can enjoy the teamwork and building parts of what we do. I think their experience will be like riding a bicycle. One doesn't really enjoy riding a bike when that skill is being learned. It is only when the rider can ride without thinking of staying upright that one truly can enjoy the experience of bicycling.

Two students have gone through the complete wall framing workshops, Andrea and Max, both of whom I believe can lead an entire cycle of wall bulding and raising. It should be fun to see to see if our class can be self-actualized learners or will they, through years of being told exactly what to do in school, be looking for me to be the leader. I hope they can and want to lead.

After the students were done, they deconstructed the walls, stored the parts and got the floor deck ready for our class sessions this week on standing up trusses and sheathing a roof deck.

Mr. Beck

Monday, November 21, 2005

Team Building / Site Rubric

In our Advance Composition class, we anaylized the Poem by Marge Piercy entitled "To Be Of Use"". The poem is about work can not only be joyous, but a work of art. During the next class period, we then created a site performance rubric based upon the poem.

Mr. Beck

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Dry Wall

Today was a very fun and productive day. Ben, C-Jay, and I put up dry wall in house number one of the Hilltop. It was cool learning how to put it up and and i felt like I was making a big difference because the workers who had put in the dry wall previously had done it wrong. It was cool being able to help out with the dry wall because when that was done it meant that the house was very close to completion. The only thing that prevented us from finishing all of the dry wall was that we did not have enough screws to finish putting it all up.

- Ryan Dew

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Helping To End Poverty Housing

Today we were doing all sorts of things. Rachel and Heather were putting up siding on one of the houses across the street, while Brandon put up starter strips and corner posts, and Katie, Crystal, Andrea and I worked on getting j-channels on the back. Some other classmates continued painting the porches of several houses, and Justin put up a k-brace in the attic of one house. We all stayed pretty busy, even though me and the crew I was working with ran into a number of problems and unfortunately didn't get very far. (Always remember to measure things over and over!) . At the end of the day we saw some dry wall being brought in on this huge crane-like machine. It's nice every day to be able to see all of the progress that's been made on these houses, knowing we are making an important difference in so many people's lives. One man today even came up to the house we were working on and wanted to help out. It was hard to tell if he was drunk or just enthusiastic, but either way I was a little dissappointed when Jim turned him down. I know there had to be some kind of work he could do to help, even if it was just oddjobs. Maybe giving him something helpful to do would inspire him to stay clean and sober? (that is, if he wasn't already. Like I said, it was hard to tell). Who knows, though. Maybe I just have too much faith in people, but somehow I would have liked to have him help out.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Building The Back Porch

Today was a very frustrating day. We spit into teams to build the back porch of houses one and two. It was tough getting anything done because the cordless drill batteries kept dying on us. We didn't accomplish much but will hopefully finish next class.

Ryan Dew


Today Mr. Beck had me construct a team to paint the front porch of house 2. Danny, Ciara, Kristen, Katie, and me searched out the paint brushes and went to work. We almost finished the whole porch but we had a few touch ups that we finished the next class.Ryan Dew

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

New Siding

Rachel, Crystal, and I were extremely aggrivated with the siding on the back of the third house for two class days straight, due in large part to a different crew, who put the sideing up incorrectly. We had took down 4 or 5 sheets of it on one side of the door. It wasn't a difficult task, it just wasn't necessary work for us to do. We finally fixed it this afternoon and I must say that it looks really good.

Heather Meena