It started out merely as me being to lazy to take my Diet Coke can from lunch to the staff lounge to deposit them. Soon, I had a pile that was building and then thought to myself, hmm, maybe should see how high I can build a tower before a) an angry student knocks it over or b) my boss tells me to take it down.
With the holiday luncheon recently canceled and no decorations, I stumbled across a great idea after being forwarded a pic of a xmas tree comprised entirely of beer bottles, we could fashion a tree out of the DC pile! Surely, this would ensure that the boss could not haul it into the staff lounge for cash redemption and maybe calm down students.
Thursday, I enlisted a staff member on getting a straw with a star attached to be the top of our tree. A bit while later, him and a student came back with a perfectly fashioned star adorned with glitter, and oh how the custodial loved me for that one. Later on that day, someone brought astrand of lights that we just looped around the bottom of the tree until we could figure out a design that would support the weight of the lights and called it a day.
Yesterday, the design was in full force as both staff and students became intrigued by this mountain of DC cans with lights haphazardly tossed around it. One staff told me he had a design in mind and that several other staff were also brainstorming, but it was one of my Aspy students who stepped forward and took the challenge. As we stood around the tree, I said that if we could someone design the tree to look like one of those prelit trees that all we had to do was just plug it in and leave that would be ideal. He agreed and thought that using some sand and hot glue to bond the layers together might be in order.
As I came back from lunch I was surprised to see my work in progress to be missing in action and was informed by the secretary that it was being taken care of. Not too long after that, that same student came up to the office with a grin spread across his face to show the tree he had designed for me. It was perfect! Not only does it have character, but this student who is usually so rigid in this thinking due to his disability really stretched himself on this project and it turned out to be a great life lesson that no one at the outset of this silly little idea could have predicted. Those are the days in education that make all the really difficult ones when you feel like you are not making any progress worth it.