by Jacob Hoopes ’19
A very early morning has become 8:00. I don’t know if anyone was awake then. I got up around 8:30. We had a small breakfast of leftovers from previous meals. The French toast from yesterday’s breakfast was brought out again, although a common first meal was cereal, either off-brand honey-nut-cheerios or Lucky Charms, both in bags. We aimed to be out by 8:50 in order to be at the house that we would be working on by 9:00. We left at 8:55 and arrived at 9:05, a little late, but totally acceptable. The group split up to do different jobs around the house. Tiles were to be put down on the floor where glue had been applied (yesterday), painting needed to happen in the room that would become the bathroom, and cabinets asked to finish being painted and reinstalled. I worked with the cabinets. Reaffixing the hinges to the recently painted doors went fairly smoothly, although the first four I installed were put in backwards, so I had to redo them. People did their things, and soon it was time for lunch.
We piled in the vans and headed to the dorms, leaving many projects unfinished. Lunch was unexpectedly tasty! Valerie made quesadillas for us from some of the remaining tortillas and a variety of cheeses. While Valerie worked her way through those, a handful of us continued to work on the two 1000 piece puzzles that we brought out; one was found on the shelf and was both partially completed and missing pieces and the second had been bought yesterday at Walmart. Some of the neighborhood kids came by and wanted to play on the lawn. We are not supposed to let them in, keeping to someone’s rules. Anyway, some folks went out to play, I was not among them; I was enjoying working on the puzzles. The people who played with the kids came back in, wishing them well and parting fast, although with difficulty. The kids have proven to be very clingy, supposedly they do not get many opportunities to play, so when people like us come in and are willing and generally excited to play with them, they seize the chance and don’t let go. We finished both of the puzzles during this lunchtime. After lunch, we went back to work.
We showed up at the house, but Ben, the supervisor, told us that he needed to pick up some material and that he had to leave but that he’d be back soon. We waited in the car so as to stay warm; some people ended up sleeping during what turned out to be a period of relaxing that lasted about half an hour. Eventually, he came back. The first thing that he had us do was carry the wooden trim, which he had just brought, into the house that we had been working on. We laid it down, and he directed us to get back into our vans and follow him to the second house. It was much closer in layout to the houses that we had worked on last week, except it had an additional bathroom, by the master bedroom. It was also much less far along in the construction process, consisting of only a wooden skeleton. We brought some wood in that was laid outside, some long 2 x 4s and a great deal of plywood boards. We took a picture inside, perhaps it’ll end up on the IG soon. We went back to the first house and resumed work.
My job continued to consist of working on reattaching the cabinet doors, which at the corners, where two hinges competed to occupy the same space, was especially difficult. A group got the opportunity to use a nail gun to install some of the trim, after it was painted. That seemed fun, and just the right amount of dangerous. We finished screwing in the last pieces as our work day ended. People had washed the paint brushes and done all the usual cleanup. We went back to the dorm.
After dropping the people riding in her van at the dorm, Emma went off to Walmart and bought some things. By a partial popular consensus, Emma bought one 1000 piece puzzle and one 2000 piece puzzle. When she got back, work on the 1000 piece began. We relaxed during the first stages of puzzle-building. Some slept. Dinner consisting of delicious, GS-people-made macaroni and cheese with the added bonus of green beans was served. The neighborhood kids came over again and caused an uproar, hitting the dorm with sticks and piling up against the door; it was noted by more than one person that it seemed like the apocalypse. Some people went out and played with them, but the puzzle still seemed to be the main focus. The kids were let go and we played a game I know as Spanking Yoda, although it goes by many names. After that we returned to puzzling. We have worked on it for upwards of four consecutive hours today, for some, the only breaks were dinner and Spanking Yoda. It seems possible that we will finish it tonight, in the after-hours.