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Session E: Day 4 - Hard Work is Hard, Soft Kitties are Soft

2016 Session E - MiddlesSerena G-HComment

(written by Serena, edited by Gever) 

Today it's Wednesday, and for the first time in a long while, it is not beach day. We're fresh off our early beach day yesterday, and now it's time to get back out there and regain our momentum. Tuesday is generally a big day for the project - kids are starting to get into the rhythm of the project. Our goal is to capture this same spirit on our second full day of build, even though it just so happens to be a Wednesday. 

So we fuel up for a big push today with waffles for breakfast. 

The kids discover the blog from the last two days, and laugh at the pictures of themselves frolicking in the waves. 

The weather's on our side this morning - it's the rare warm and sunny morning out at the ranch - normally we wake up to fog, and it burns off by noon. 

Team Nooi has decided their goal for the week is to renovate Midway with a skywalk and game show. But they're starting with the spiral staircase. Lee and Ethan work together to get it clamped up. 

Ewon works on the trench Team Panda is digging to level their platform into. He's getting good with the pick-axe. 

Piki is repurposing the stage platform from Session B into the base for their merry-go-round. Before they use it, they have to rethink the support bracing design. Nicole works with Trinity on adding in a crossbeam. 

Aimee and Mia work together to level the platform for the Panda turntable. It's a finicky process, where one wrong move can force us into starting from scratch again. 

An ongoing project this week is the development of our Junior Collaborator program. It's leading to a lot of discussions about what different qualities make a good collaborator. We're working on an effective plotting method. 

The Windmill team is building the center piece which will hold the blades. They're working on getting the spacing right, so that it will fit together and the pipes can socket in tightly. 

Charlotte hangs from the newly refurbished deck. 


At the beach yesterday, a raised flag symbolized "come in to base camp." The symbolism of the flag rings true again today - we're calling the tinkerers back to their projects, reminding them of the work that stretches before us, and encouraging them to engage more deeply. 

Miles lends a hand to the windmill team by helping to mount the telltale. The hope is to eventually mount the windmill itself to the Sky Tower, but they are looking to work out which orientation will enable them to generate the most power. 

Ewon and Mia are demonstrating their tenacity as they continue to make progress on the platform. 

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Portrait of a Tinkerer: Thomas 

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When the first telltale doesn't give an obvious enough reading of the wind, we try something different. 

Hard work is tiring. Sometimes, it requires nap breaks. 

By the time snack break rolls around, the tinkerers are hungry again. We're doing snack inside now, because taking fruit outside seems to attract the yellow jackets. It's a great moment to decompress, take a pause from the work we're doing, and goof off a little. 

Then it's back down, for our final push this afternoon. Ethan's eager to get started. 

Johnny's got you covered. 

Nooi's got a plan in place for everything, and their own set of naming conventions. This is the steps for building a "Flatso," which Ethan tells me is the name for the flat, bottom rung. They're also planning their "Angeles," the angled pieces that make up the staircase as it spirals.  

Portrait of a Tinkerer: Robert 

Team Piki, confident in the structural integrity of the base now that they have replaced the supports, puts the deck back on. 

Bob (aka Henry) works on coupling two track segments with some thick plywood. This 16' piece of track will be the rotating piece on the turntable. 

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Team Panda has taken huge strides today. With a lot of work and patience, they've leveled and mounted their deck. 

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Portrait of a Collaborator: Amanda observes. 

Portrait of a Tinkerer: Bob, his track segment coupling complete. 

Ethan works out the math for the "Angeles" (pronounced: angel - EEs). His experience lead to two different results - one which translated perfectly to the real world, another where the math just didn't quite pan out the way he anticipated, and where he ultimately had to rework the parts on the fly. 

Team Sqiki can do anything they set their minds too. Since this morning, they've assembled the tower their lazy-susan will rest on top of. 

Ethan cuts a piece for the Panda Platform using the circular saw. Serena supervises and his teammates, Mia and Aimee, lend their hands. 

Throughout meal times, we've been collecting "Goat-Post," a goat-suitable compost bin. Tonight, Daniel and Nik lead an animal adventure trek. 

On the way, they stop at the playground to repair a tire swing. It's been riding particularly low to the ground, and is hard to push because it keeps rubbing. Their goal is to replace and shorten the rope. 

Then they visit the chickens...

Feed orange peels to the goats...

Check in with the bunnies... 

And meet the kittens who live in the barn. 

There's nothing quite like visiting cute animals after a long days work. When the sun sets, they return to the conference center for a showing of "Duck Soup," complete with popcorn and hot chocolate. All in all, returning to the project and refocusing has been a success. It's back to work tomorrow. 

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