Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Royal Chair Project

Connie began talking about retirement early this year.  She's had it with new technology, new testing, the Common Core, new curriculums, and the prospect of having 17 boys and 8 girls in her upcoming second grade class at Genesee Elementary School.  Besides, she longed to rid herself of the frenetic life style she's been living.  And, she wants to travel with Garry and her siblings who are retired.

How could this beauty be retirement age?

The past year Connie faced health challenges that cemented her desire to be retired.  She grew weary of all her sinus infections and tummy troubles.  I loved the idea of her retirement.  I'd teach her how to get pictures from her camera to the computer.  We'd make granola together!  We'd drive to Spokane every week and have lunch with Marilyn and dinner with Joan.  We'd go for bike rides and she and Garry would plan their trip to Assisi.  

About the time she needed to sign her contract to teach in 2014-2015 she started to feel better.  She heard other teachers talk about Pintrest.  The young teachers shared the ways they decorated their bulletin boards, not by reading teacher magazines, but by surfing the web!  Her creative mind took over and by golly, she signed that contract in May and began dreaming of a second grade classroom that looked like a castle!

We picked up huge cardboard tubes at Sonoco and she and Garry designed the pillars of the castle.  This week she's making a little bridge out of cardboard and duct tape to go over the moat to get to the castle.  She admits her creative energy for the castle leaves little time to focus on the new Math curriculum.  Yesterday we bought bright pink tiaras for the eight girls who will be princesses sometime during the year.

I happened to be with her at an estate sale in Spokane when she spotted a chair for $65.  She studied it for awhile and said she needed a chair for the Royal Throne, but couldn't pay $65.  (It's pathetic that teachers spend so much of their own money to enhance their classrooms).   Connie thought more seriously about the chair when we heard the announcement that everything was half price.  "Still too much," she said.  I suggested that she tell the organizer about her project and see if she could get it for less.  In the end, she paid $20 for the chair.  
Except the fabric on the chair looked more like a boudoir chair than a Royal Throne.  It would be more appealing if the fabric were red velvet.  Marilyn said, "you can paint fabric, you know.  Let's just get some red paint."  I thought about my full week ahead with no commitments and called Connie and told her I would reupholster the chair in red velvet.
 Three pieces, how hard could it be?
Probably a piece of cake, with the right tools.  I used what I had, a screwdriver and needle nosed pliers!  Having upholstery tools probably would've protected my hands from all that repetitive motion that made my hands ache for days.   I also needed six bandaids before I finished getting the fabric off the wood frame. 
 I dedicated five days to this project and at times hated the chair, but in the end I loved it!
And I'll bet those little students will feel so honored to sit in it and read to the rest of the class.  This may be Connie's best year ever...

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