Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Week 27, Marlborough School

March 27, 2012

Building, peep intros

We began this morning with two peep introductions.  Our helpers from Keene State introduced Carly and Jeremiah.  Jeremiah is a 45 year old, retired firefighter.  He is a sports fan, a poet, the owner of two dogs and an avid bowler.  Carly is a 15 year old ballerina, she loves music and hanging out with friends.  Both of these new peeps are homeless, Disco Dave offered accommodations for them in his storage unit.  Sarah and Erin (our Keene State helpers) asked the class if they noticed anything different about their peeps (the new peeps were left in the oven too long and have a charred appearance as a result).  Up to this point it had seemed that the kids were not fully engaged, during the introductions most of the questions were asked by Rolph.  When asked about the differences of the new peeps nearly every hand shot up.  "The new peeps are black."  Sarah and Erin then asked the kids how they thought this might effect their community (pros and cons).  "They will bring variety to Village."  "I think they survived the Great Peep Massacre (referring to their burnt appearance)."  "We won't be just a bunch of white people."  "More like a regular environment with diversity."  "We could have a civil war."  "We could have slaves."  This last one drew many a gasp from the class, it was presented as a con and I think the student realized the weight of what he said about 1 second after he said it.  "Chuck would give you free rent if you were his slaves."  It kind of seems like Chuck might be racist.

This was an interesting conversation to have in Village because the peeps as well as the homesteaders were answering the questions.  This is one of the great, and most valuable lessons in Village: your peep can make big mistakes or controversial statements and as a result the homesteader can learn from those actions based on peer reaction and not be condemned by peers for exploring a controversial thought or action in the first place.  The beauty of role play!

Many houses are really coming together, some even have carpeting now.  We tried another way of building this morning:  Instead of nailing a house together, we used wood glue with spots of hot glue as clamps.  It seems like it worked and it was a LOT easier than nailing.  We shall see next week if the wood glue created strong enough bonds to keep the walls together.

This weeks newspaper:

Last weeks newspaper:

Lumber (donated by Whitney Bros and Carlisle Wide plank flooring) waiting to be drawn on

Cardboard models

Lumber cut, some painted ready to be turned into homes for peeps!

Some houses coming together!

I think we need at least one more week inside.  The weather has turned frightfully cold again and frankly I don't want to be out in it!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Week 26- Marlborough School

March 20, 2012

More Building!!

As always this group never ceases to amaze me.  Today I decided to try something different, I tried not speaking at the beginning of class.  I turns out that I am becoming unnecessary in Tiny Town.  The class got right to task this morning.  There were a few homesteaders who gathered their things and sat quietly awaiting announcements and instructions so I told them they could go ahead and get started.  Otherwise things went progressed without a hitch.

We continue to understand the importance of the cardboard models and right angles as we move on to actual house building.  I think there will be a lot of peeps who are not well protected from the elements when we move outside.  This, however, is yet another learning opportunity.  If these kids participate in another Village, they might take a little bit more time and consideration designing their houses.

Another Tiny Times was published today, I forgot to bring a copy home... so nothing for the blog until next week.  The paper included a coupon for the trading post.  I overheard the newspaper editor and the trading post manager hashing out the details of the discount.  The trading post manager did not want to run a coupon because he felt that the trading post was already losing money by having such low prices.  In the end they worked it out.  If you spend 10 meeps at the trading post you get 1 meep off.

Regardless of the weather, I am planning to bring the class outside the week after next.  We have several houses that are completed and ready to be put on the land.  It will be interesting to see if everybody remembers which land was whose and to see how our fences fared over the winter.  Additionally, it is simply too loud to continue with the hammering indoors.  Best case scenario we only have ten weeks left for Village, probably more like eight.  Now is the time to decide if we will be able to have a mini fair.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Week 25, Marlborough School

March 13, 2012

Building, lumber orders, newspapers

This week again was similar to the past several.  Hammers were banging and the class was a hive of activity.  We were joined this morning by my husband, Tim.  He worked with a group of homesteaders to accurately draw out their lumber orders.  More and more houses are coming together with "actual" right angles!

The editor of the Tiny Times has finished his house, so we should be seeing more and fuller newspapers in the coming weeks.  Volume 2 was published today:

It is a great edition and really captures what is happening in Tiny Town right now.

Our Marlborough town meeting is tonight, a group of homesteaders plans to attend the meeting.  My hope is that this will be an experience for them to draw from for our future Tiny Town meetings.  While there doesn't need to be a "right" way of conducting town meeting, there is something to be said for not reinventing the wheel.  I think several things will happen.  Homesteaders will see the respect that a moderator commands, and how that comes about.  Homesteaders might be so bored by actual town meeting that they will have no trouble with Tiny Town meeting.  Homesteaders will observe that a few individuals tend to ask all of the questions and complain an awful lot.  They will also see that real town meeting is mostly about taxes and not so much about policy, what they do with this information I have no idea.

A huge THANK YOU to Carlisle Wide Plank Floors for a large donation of wood to build our homes!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Week 24- Marlborough School

March 6, 2012


Have I ever mentioned that we are incredibly busy?  This morning's class was visited by Jesslyn, who played Village with us last year at Marlborough School and over the summer in Nelson.  It was great to have some extra help on hand, because we were SO busy!  The very exciting news from this morning is that the first house seems to have been completed!  Okay, mostly completed.  A peep would not be comfortable living there yet as there is no furniture... but the walls are up, the ceiling is on, it looks like it is going to make a very nice home for one lucky peep.  The other good news is that this home belongs to the editor of the newspaper, hopefully now that his house is finished we'll start seeing more news published.

The rest of the class continued working on the steps necessary to complete a house.  Most homesteaders are at the point of drawing out their lumber orders on the wood.  So many, in fact, that we ran out of wood this morning!  This lack of wood provided some homesteaders with an opportunity to do something different.  One homesteader who is apparently bankrupt (from purchasing everyone else's cardboard models and taping them all together) had some time to work out his finances and to think about how he can solve his current plight.  I don't think he came up with a solution that he was willing to do, however, his situation is dawning on him.  This has the potential to go two ways as I see it.  1:  Possibly some impressive changes in this homesteader's sense of community.  In his time of need will he look for/find a job?  Will he talk about his financial woes with his fellow homesteaders?  Will he ask them for help?  2:  He shuts down and refuses to participate.  I am hoping for number 1!

Another homesteader began brainstorming what this idea of having senators will mean  in our community and how it might be applied.  He was so enthusiastic about his plan that at the end of class when I asked him to put his paper away, he asked me if he could bring it home because he wanted to work on his ideas some more.

We spent a bit of time learning about the importance of right angles in home construction.  We also learned a few tricks to make sure the walls and roofs we are drawing out are accurate (a wall that is eight feet high at one end of the room shouldn't be nine and a half at the other end).

Our trading post manager imported a house he built at a previous village.  He had other homesteaders appraise it's value to determine his tariff. "I don't want to do it myself because it would be a conflict of interest."  Once again fairness it very important in Village.

Things are really coming together!

Next week we will do more of the same.  Tim and I have a TON of lumber orders to cut out between now and then.