Mississippi Day 3

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by Kailee Shollenberger ’18

10 Things I Learned the Hard Way about Painting a House:

  1. If you don’t want chunky paint, brush the dust off the walls BEFORE applying primer.
  2. When painting around an electrical socket, don’t touch the wires… you will get shocked.
  3. Also, don’t blow dust out of electrical sockets; it will end up in your eyes.
  4. Always wipe excess paint off your brush before painting the ceiling; it will drip on you.
  5. Don’t write messages on the funny wall in black marker; it will take several coats of primer to cover it up.
  6. If you’re going to paint the ceiling, don’t look directly up because paint will drip/splatter into your mouth.
  7. No matter how hard you try, you will trip over at least one paint can.
  8. Getting paint in your eyes doesn’t actually hurt that bad.
  9. When getting off a ladder, look before you jump… you may end up in a tray of paint.
  10. Teamwork makes the dream work.

After a spending second night at the Comfort Inn, we once again feasted on the complimentary breakfast. We then proceeded to watch Brendan somehow pack way more than we originally arrived to Mississippi with into our two Dodge Caravans. Once Brendan managed to pack all our stuff as well as us into the cars, we headed to the Tutwiler worksite to move officially move into our dorm and begin our second day of work.

Today was the same deal as yesterday: half of us went to continue painting in one house, and the other half went to install windows in the other house. I went to paint and was met by JD and Lorenzo singing along to the radio. I had not yet gotten to know JD very much before today, but was truly inspired by his positive attitude and free spirit exhibited within the first few minutes with him this morning. He attempted to show us how to mix spackle and ceiling paint with a power tool. He only got about halfway done mixing the first of five buckets before a large air bubble formed and popped, sending paint all over him, the floor, and the wall. We stood there in shock, not really sure whether to laugh or start cleaning. JD answered our thoughts when he started laughing and making jokes about the paint going everywhere. He continued mixing only for the power tool to start smoking. He laughed it off by singing and dancing with us while mixing by hand. While the morning certainly didn’t begin how JD or we had thought it would, the positivity and genuine happiness our group generated as we painted was enough to turn the day around.

During our lunch break we ate our PB&Js and discussed the progress we had made thus far. Lorenzo wanted to play some games outside with us, so we headed out and picked teams for a few rounds of kickball before heading back to work. Lorenzo and Max had some great kicks and helped lead their team to victory. We went back to working in the same houses we started in to complete the day’s work.

The work completed in the afternoon consisted mostly of finishing up any work not completed in the morning. In the painting house, we finished a bit early and cleaned out all the paint trays and brushes before heading over to the other group’s house to see if they needed any help. Julia and I helped them install two more windows before calling it a day. We headed back to the dorm, all very eager to finally be living in the same house together. Ben, Julia, Beau, Valerie, and I made dinner consisting of spaghetti, salad, and garlic bread for the group tonight. After showing off our master chef skills in the kitchen, dinner was finally served.

Dinner was followed by us gathering to journal today’s experiences and for some group bonding. Valerie split us into groups of four where we came up with a list of things that are true for all of the people within our group. This activity was followed by a discussion based on the ways our similarities and differences are beneficial to our lives. Everyone shared thoughtful comments, and I was able to learn a lot about my peers through spending this time with them.

Our night ended with yet another round of card games. I’m excited to meet more people and truly listen to what they have to say during my time here in Mississippi. Tomorrow holds another day of hard work, but also holds the endless opportunities to learn about our friends here in Tutwiler.


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