Thursday, August 4

All The Crap I Learned In High School

As K mentioned in her last post, we hired floor guys to refinish the floors that were beneath the carpeting that we pulled up a couple weeks back. My rationale for hiring someone instead of doing it ourselves was simple -- I believe in Penn and Teller's philosophy of No Permanent Damage. In their line of work, this means not trying any magic tricks where one of them might die or lose a limb or such. For me, this means that we shouldn't try any home renovation project where there is a reasonable possibility that we might permanently scar the house. And sanding down the floors certainly seemed like it held that possibility, though it's possible I've just seen too many wacky sitcoms where people end up with a sander shaped hole in their floor.

In any event, the floor guys are back and working upstairs, and K and I continue to prep the dining room for its eventual painting. Now, I'm sure that some of you at home are convinced that the reason we are being so ambitious with our house is because of our long history with home renovation. But as we've mentioned before, this is the first house we have gotten to play with (which may explain the ambition all on its own, but I digress). And while I will let K. post about her family's history with home renovation some other time, I will say that my parents were not exactly the big handymen type themselves. Certainly they were good at hiring contractors to do cool things with our house, and I do remember my dad painting rooms a handful of times, though I was either too ungrateful or too young to ever join in, but there were very few big projects that they tackled on their own. Actually, most of my very-limited experience with tools comes from building and destroying sets for plays while I was in college. Which means that I know a decent amount about nailing and drilling and those things, but virtualy nothing about electric systems -- that's what stage lights are for -- or plumbing or really any systems you need for a space to live in rather than just three walls of a study for Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolottle to dance around in singing about The Rain In Spain. I suppose I also did more than my share of painting those sets, too, but pretty much everything I need to know about painting I learned in AP Chemistry in high school.

Now I would like to explain this sentence by saying that AP Chemistry taught me all about the molecular structure of paint and its reactions with plasters and wood and that is why I now know how to paint. But that would be a lie. With all due respects to Kathy (yes, I went to a high school where we called teachers by their first name -- yougotaproblemwiththat?), I don't think I remember a single thing about chemistry from that class. But I do remember that Kathy bought a new house at some point during the school year, and realized that if a teacher bribes their students with pizza that the students will do anything (something I should remember once classes start up in the fall). So on several consecutive days, a large portion of our AP Chemistry class would march off after school and go to Kathy's house and we painted her kitchen bright blue and I believe another room bright yellow. And over the past week as I have been painting our house, I keep thinking about the group of 18 year olds goofing off at Kathy's house, and how that was my first painting experience.

Who says you never remember anything from High School?


At 3:23 PM, Anonymous Mr. Finestone said...

You called your teachers by their first name? Isn't that disrepspectful?

At 3:24 PM, Anonymous Jason said...

Apparently, when you go to a school where you call your teachers by their first names, you never properly learn to type...

At 9:56 PM, Blogger D-Train said...

Believe it or not, Kathy Brown is about to be my AP Chemistry teacher, and so I thought I'd drop you a line and also defend calling your teacher by her first name. Doing so instills a bond that isn't usually forged in a normal student-teacher relationship; your teacher is letting you know that you and she are on the same team, with a common goal in sight: your betterment. Chemistry isn't about the periodic table of elements, it's about, um, life. Yeah, life.

At 10:12 AM, Blogger D. said...

D-Train: I hope that you learn more about chemistry from Kathy than I did. Though that wouldn't be hard, as she was an excellent teacher and I was merely a slacking senior in a class half-full of the slackingest seniors ever.

Just don't break her Tare buttons or she will get mad at you.


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