Because I invested some time in smalltalk with a neighboring school’s advisor, I received the biggest surprise today! You see, in that polite conversation, I planted the seed for a collaboration. Well, maybe it was more of a collaborative idea hatched and carried through! I wish I had a photo to share of our student Cesar, but he is apparently absent today. He came by Tuesday afternoon to tell me he had made something for the library over in his Applied Technology (Carpentry) class over at neighboring R.D. Anderson Applied Technology Center, but it would need to be delivered or picked up. To say I was ecstatic is an understatement! You see, during the week of our high school’s course registration for 14-15 school year–when RD Anderson reps (teachers/advisors) came to Dorman’s lunch block to sign off on students taking RDA courses, we had ELDA Testing in the library. The testing caused us to be closed for a day or two, and this coincided with the RDA lunch visit. Since the library was closed we moved a cart over to the lunchroom to get returned books, renew books, and take special book orders for our library regulars or anyone else wanting library books and materials. And this is where I engaged in polite smalltalk with the RDA staff.
We met – we chatted!
We were positioned right next to the RDA staff in our cafeteria that day. I struck up a conversation with Elizabeth Abel, the Academic Assistance Teacher working RDA registration during one of those days, telling her how we had some library regulars getting cards signed for RDA classes. I then told her how an after school group (that includes Cesar) all ride a late bus, and join us to play checkers, chess, or scrabble daily after school. I told her about an idea I had for maybe a carpentry class to build us a small table top checker board, and that we would be happy to help out with the cost of materials and resources. I also said I thought that maybe Dorman students would be happy to build it for us, and we would put it to immediate use. (You see, RDA is a shared applied technology facility between 3 neighboring districts.) It was an enjoyable conversation though I never followed up to make it happen. Shame on me for that!
SURPRISE! Our chat had mega results, no?
Unbeknownst to me until Tuesday after school, the project was taken on by Cesar, an 11th grader at Dorman, through his Carpentry class taught by RDA Instructor Tom Webb. When Cesar told me he had something for us that needed to be delivered, I was even a little dismissive, not expecting much, even if his class had made something. Shame on me times two! The final product demonstrates high quality craftsmanship and I’m sure was a true labor of love. You see, Cesar is one of the guys who comes in most afternoons to play board games. It delights me immensely that one who is invested in our library program, even if it is after school to kill time waiting for his bus, truly took on and embraced the challenge to create something he and his friends can enjoy everyday at Dorman. I can’t wait to take a picture of the board in use to share!