Friday, May 31, 2013

Hard Core Work: Day 3 (DIY Post #16)

Picture frames
More picture frames
Picture frames, picture frames, and more picture frames. Our last main task was to get the picture frames up onto the wall. Previously, Makenna had painted all of the frames black, so that they would match the wall color better. We started sticking them up with thick double sided tape, as well as hanging them off of nails to ensure that they would stay on the wall. It was hard, tedious work putting all of that tape on the frames, and then sticking/nailing them to the wall. And by the end of the day, we still hadn't finished putting up all of the pictures, so it looks like we'll have to do some last minute work next week before the presentation.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hard Core Work: Day 2 (DIY Post #15)

Navy Blue Curtains
the beginnings of the
shelf that holds the
projector up
I visited Caltech today! And when I came back to school, Connor & Makenna as well as a few water polo guys were helping get the curtains up. We got the curtains up, and they looked surprisingly good. Then Makenna had to leave, so Connor and I worked on getting the shelf back up. It took an annoyingly long time, and we were working until like 4 because Connor drilled the wrong screws into the wall - they were too small, so when we tested the shelf, it fell off the wall. The second time, luckily was a lot easier. And we finally got the shelf up. Coach Eric (the water polo coach) was laughing at the attempt. While we were working, the coach got a hammer and fixed the nail in the white board that Connor had messed up. The room is starting to look a lot better now, and our hard work is finally paying off.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hard Core Construction: Day 1 (DIY Post #14)

I texted my coach to ask him if we could work on the team room during 6th period this week. Unfortunately, he said we couldn't because we need to spend more time with the team. However, we were allowed to work after 6th because the water polo coach Eric stayed after and supervised us.

Our main goal for today was to get the whiteboard back up onto the wall, and it was a good thing that we only had one thing on our list because it took forever. As soon as we finished practice, me, Makenna, and Jaden Todd went to work on putting the white board back up. Unfortunately it would take at least another hour for us to complete the seemingly simple task that we had set before us...

As we struggled to drill the holes in the right spot, water polo practice finished, so a bunch of polo players rushed in, eager to criticize/help. After a lot of time and frustration, we had 3 holes in the wall where the white board was precariously hanging from. Coach Eric came in to watch us, and he was highly amused to see us struggle. Finally, after it seemed like it the task would be impossible to do correctly (the whiteboard looked extremely crooked), he suggested that we "cheat." By cheating, he meant hammering the screws into the wall instead of using a power drill. I got 3 hammers out and me, Connor, and Dalton started hammering the screws into the wall. Dalton's and mine turned out perfectly fine, but Connor's was completely crooked.

However, the board is now on the wall, and definitely does not look as crooked as it used to. Tomorrow I'm going to be at Caltech, so I'm not sure how much work will be left when I come back to school, but we're gonna try and get the curtains up.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Shopping, Shopping, Shopping (DIY Post #13)

Flooring options @ Home Depot
This weekend Makenna was out of town doing stuff, so she left me and Connor to do the shopping for the curtains and other things we needed to finish the room. So first went to Home Depot to give the assistant store manager Christina the newly procured letter from Mr. Herzfeld's secretary. After looking around at more flooring options and baseboards, we decided on which ones we wanted, and went to give her the letter. After waiting for about 15 minutes, we made she came back with 2 $25 coupons for us to use for our project. Unfortunately, that was nowhere near enough to pay for new flooring, so we had to explore different options.
$25 coupons from Home Depot

Next we went to Big Lots to get some curtains and rods for the windows in the team room. We picked out a dark navy blue for the curtains, and some black rods. However, the customer service at Big Lots wasn't that great, so we were glad to get out of there fast. We purchased the curtain stuff, and then proceeded to head home when I realized that we had forgotten to get 2 curtain rods. Neither of us had more time that day, so we decided to meet again today (Memorial Day) to head to Big Lots again, and get another curtain rod. So we went there, and got it, and then we were done for the weekend.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Race For Approval - Take 2 (DIY Post #12)

the non-profit letter
A little over a week ago, Makenna and I went to see Mr. Herzfeld to ask him for the non-profit letter that Home Depot requires for us to get grants. After about half an hour, we finally got to speak with him, and he said he would do it for us. However, he said that since it's a DIY project, he thought that we should write the letter, and then he would put it on the official letterhead, and sign it. 

So we quickly wrote the letter, with a lot of help from Makenna's grandfather, and sent it to him within two days of our last conversation. However, it had now been a week, and we still didn't have the letter. After both days of STAR testing, we tried to see the principal's secretary, but both the principal and his secretary were never there, until today. 

This morning Makenna and I finally got the chance to talk to the secretary during Mr. Z's class, but she didn't even hear about our email or what we were trying to accomplish. Fortunately she still gave us a standard letter stating that the school is a non-profit organization. But we didn't get the tax exemption number because apparently the school never gives that information out. During lunch I found Mr. Herzfeld, and talked to him about it, and he said he wanted to help us out, but I told him that we already had what we needed, and thanked him for his time. 

Now that we have the letter, we can actually try and get some financial help from the Home Depot employees. This weekend Makenna will be on vacation, so Connor and I will go to Home Depot to try and procure some sponsorships, as well as Big Lots to get some curtains and rods.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Everything Comes With a Price (DIY Post #11)

APs are here! Last week as well as this week were surprisingly really relaxing for me, since I only had to worry about AP testing. I was barely at school due to CIFs for swimming and AP tests last week, but I had loads of time.

This weekend, before the Mother's Day barbecue at my house, Connor and I went to Home Depot to figure out the flooring situation of the team room. We needed to figure out what type of flooring we wanted to get as well as how much it cost. In addition, we also wanted to find out if Home Depot could sponsor us, and at least pay for some of the cost. The staff was really helpful, and one of the employees helped talk us through the ideal flooring for the room. However, it would cost around $300-$350, which was way beyond our minuscule budget.

I asked him about a potential sponsorship, and he was extremely happy I asked. He said that Home Depot is really big on giving back to the community, and that we should talk to the store manager. Since the store manager wasn't there, we talked to the assistant store manager who gave us some options: 1) we ask for a letter from the principal showing our school's non-profit status so that we could get some $25 coupons from the store or 2) fill out a bunch of paperwork and forms online to get a sponsorship from Home Depot [which would take forever]. We decided to keep our options open, and just try and get the letter from Mr. Herzfeld.

So this week our goal will be to secure the letter from Mr. Herzfeld, and try and get a sponsorship from Home Depot while performing our best on our AP tests.