Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Classroom Chaos

Being involved in youth ministry, we use the term "controlled chaos" a lot. We rarely ask the kids to be quiet and noise isn't an issue during most gatherings in the youth room. We want to the kids to holler, laugh and have fun. The only time I ask for quiet is when I am teaching them the Word. And I always keep it short because I know that there is only a small window I have their attention.

That being said, for me to embrace the concept of controlled chaos is HUGE. As I've mentioned before, I have diagnosed OCD. Not self-diagnosed, but actual diagnosed-by-a-doctor Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. (It drives me a little bit bonkers when someone says, "Oh yeah, when my sock drawer is a mess I just OCD over that." Uhm....OCD is a noun, not an adjective. But that's a rant for another time. :)) I enjoy order. I enjoy normalcy. I enjoy schedule.

So why on earth am I submerging myself into the bowels of chaos right now?? And it's not even controlled chaos! It's absolute, mind-bending, topsy turvy, make your brain melt CHAOS.

I'm doing it because WE'RE GETTING A CLASSROOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Yes, overuse of exclamation, but they are so totally appropriate here. Trust me.)

Awhile back I got this brilliant idea to divide our bedroom in half and make a classroom. Paul liked the idea - liked it especially more than my first idea to turn the playhouse turned storage shed into a classroom. The only problem was money and time and help. So the idea sat on a shelf and I would occasionally sigh dramatically and speak wistfully of the classroom I longed for and how much easier it would be to teach Algebra and sentence diagramming on a white board rather than paper. I would occasionally threaten to put up the 5-foot wide posters of the human anatomy or paint a living room wall with chalkboard paint or pin up the "East Meets West at Promontory Summit" poster from Union Pacific Railroad (Big thanks to Jenn T. for the heads up on that! Union Pacific sent out a free info packet on the railroad in honor of their 150th birthday.) right by Paul's recliner, but still the classroom idea sat.

Then one Saturday morning we had a rare opportunity to sleep in. This never happens anymore, so we all took advantage of it, sleeping in all the way until 8 (which seems strangely early compared to my younger days when sleeping in always involved waking up in the PM, not the AM). I had just finished my first cup of coffee when my phone rang and my mom asked, "What are you doing?" then immediately launched into a frantic plea to "hurry up and get around and get to Grove because there is laminate flooring in the auction and the auction didn't make it into the paper and there's hardly anyone here and oh my gosh, hurry".

We recently re-floored both girls' room with vinyl flooring because it is way cheaper than laminate and Paul didn't need any special tools to do it. He did both rooms in two days each and they look great. Ab's room has a dark wood texture and Bug's is very light, golden Oak. We did each room for about $120. Ab's allergies have gotten so bad we had to get the carpet out of her room and just planned to do a room at a time when we could afford it until the whole house was carpet-free.

But Mom's urging to get to the auction had us making scrambling. We started yelling for kids to get out of bed. That was fun. Then we called our pastor because he's a pro at laying laminate flooring and has all the tools. He advised what would be a good price and what would be an insane price and wished us the best.

We got to Grove as fast as we could. Fortunately the auctioneer hadn't made it even close to the flooring yet, which left us ample opportunity to bid on such necessities as a box of golf balls, a box of owl knick knacks, a box of spray paint and the bargain of the day: a golf set for Sam for the whopping price of $2. Unadvertised auctions rawk. And it also gave me the opportunity to freak out a little old Native American woman who wouldn't go near the box of owls and literally moved across the yard away from me when I started bidding on them. I know it's real to a lot of older Native Americans. I, however, have managed to live quite successfully even though my kitchen is full of the feathered harbingers of death.

Finally it came time for the flooring. I had in my mind what I would pay per box to get us the "insane" price Brother Jerry quoted us and was determined to not go above it. $12 a box was my price in my head. The auctioneer disclosed that he would be bidding to a point for an absent bidder, but when the price went above his bid, his bidder was out. He started the bidding as $12 a box and bid for his bidder. AGH! So by cracky, when he hollered out $13 I TOOK IT. And his bidder was out.

I got 41 full boxes and a partial box of laminate flooring for $533! Roughly, that works out to .50 a square foot. That is actually cheaper than the vinyl we put in the girls' rooms!

So that set everything into motion to get the classroom done. Fall Break is next week and even though we hadn't planned to take those days off like public school does, the pastor is a teacher and said he was free to do the work. Paul got two vacation days on the calendar at work and BOOM, Project Classroom is now underway.

Our bedroom is a converted garage, so it's extra long with high ceilings. The previous owners turned the garage into a den, put up a half wall in the back half of the room and that's where her elderly momma slept. When we moved here, we made the partitioned part of the room my office and the other half a toy room. Enter surprise Kady and we suddenly were the proud owners of a gigantic bedroom to make room for baby. Over the years our bedroom has become the black hole of the house - it's the largest room and therefore, everything that needs a home goes there. It's awful. I have never liked our bedroom for that reason. It's always cluttered. Always. It makes my brain hurt.

So now, we are removing the partial wall completely and constructing a full wall to divide the room in half.  We'll have to build a closet in the bedroom part since the classroom will retain the closet. We'll finally  have storage for all the out of season clothes, the classroom will have a large closet with doors and our bedroom will have a door. A real door. With a knob. And a lock. Right now, the door to our bedroom is a louvered folding door. It's a wonder we haven't scarred a wandering child for life, if you know what I mean. Hubba hubba.

So the countdown has begun to remove all the crap, clutter and mess from the bedroom/office and temporarily displace it to other parts of the house for the next week. I am overwhelmed beyond belief. So much so that I find myself blogging. Yeah. I am seriously avoiding the mess. It hurts me to look at it right now. But I have had a glass of sweet tea while I've typed this and find the anxiety ebbing away, so in a few minutes it will be back to the grind.

Unless I decide to look for classroom organization ideas on Pinterest.


Carmel said...

Congrats on the classroom! And, the door.

Anonyvox said...

I just scored 40 sf. of laminate from the recycled building materials store for...get this...$9. It was my best bargain ever, and we really needed it to replace the stained vinyl in our master bathroom. It was awesome, and you got an amazing deal! I think I paid $36/box when we re-did the floor in the living room/kitchen area of our house.

Organization: start by making three piles, Keep, Donate, Trash. Everything gets sorted into one of those piles. Once you've got that all broken down, the job will seem much smaller. Good luck!

Heather Davis said...

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Melessa Gregg said...

"We started yelling for kids to get out of bed. That was fun."

Isn't it always? I'm so excited for you my Diva friend. Post pictures when it is done?

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