Tag Archives: MacGyver

Finish strong – Day 1 of the SOLSC

1 Mar

Today is the first day of the Two Writing Teachers’ March Slice of Life Story Challenge (SOLSC) and I am writing about endings.

At several of the conferences I had last week, I told families that we wanted their child to “finish strong”. And finishing strong was what I spent my weekend doing.

People think that once the knitting is done a project is complete, but there are several things that need to happen before a project is well and truly finished. I had finished the knitting of my most recent project last Sunday and proudly posted this picture.

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I received many lovely comments about the work, and about Lucy. No one commented on all the little loose ends hanging off the side. This weekend was all about tying those loose ends, literally and figuratively.  It took me most of Saturday morning to weave in all 96 loose ends neatly. And there was still work to do.

First, the wrap needed a bath, then rolled in towels to remove moisture.

 

Then, it had to be blocked.

The Knitter’s Dictionary¬† defines blocking as “a catch-all term for manipulating your finished knitting to smooth out the fabric, even out the stitches, tidy up the stitch patterns, and bring the fabric to the finished size”.¬† This can be done in a number of ways, but I decided this pattern needed to be pinned on blocking mats. The problem was, that I didn’t have a surface large enough, or the right number of mats, so I did some MacGyvering and came up with a solution that would keep it out of Lucy’s way.

In a day or two, it should be dry enough and for me to remove it without out fear of it losing any of the size it blocked to. Then, and only then, will it be truly finished.

Tied up in knots

7 May

“Ms. Gillespie, I tied my shoes together.”

So said the 6th grade boy standing before me. He should have been on his way back to his seat from the meeting area, where I had just taught a fabulous lesson, but he couldn’t walk. I knelt to take a closer look. He hadn’t tied shoe laces together – he had braided bungee laces around the clips. Maybe my lesson hadn’t been that fabulous after all.

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“You’d better take a seat and take off your shoes,’ I said as I stood up. “I’ll see what I can do while you work,” I replied.

I poked a bit with a pencil before channeling my inner MacGyver. I took a paperclip from a dispenser, unbent one end, and began loosening the laces. While they should have been working, a few students came up to offer assistance.

“I have long fingernails.”

“I’m a Boy Scout.”

“My little sister does this ALL the time!”

I declined all offers of assistance. My strategy was proving successful. I loosened one strand enough to loop it over the clip, loosening even more. My MacGyvering was working and before too long, I laid two, separated shoes on the student’s desk. He felt a little foolish, but I felt fabulous.

 

 

Randy Ribay

YA author, teacher, nerd

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