Buttons and beads

Today, at my morning assignment, I learned a new skill – making Badge-A-Minit pin-back buttons. Apparently this is a skill that no self-respecting elementary school staff member dare be without (and includes the actual possibility of crushing fingers and other bodily harm if you ignore the safety warnings), so now I feel more suitably current on my skill set. 😀

Anyway, so I made enough buttons and name tags to fully satisfy my curiosity about the mysterious inner workings of the Badge-A-Minit and then some. A few phone calls, some thank you letters and a sign-in sheet tossed in the mix rounded out an otherwise button-centric morning. Oh, and in continuation of the technological obstacle course that has been my last few weeks, apparently there is only one color printer in the whole building – in the computer lab, but not accessible by computer lab computers. I had to have a teacher print off my button-skins from a whole ‘nother classroom in order to get them in color, then wind my way back to the lab to pick them up. Gah.

On an up note, we had our first real day of homework club, starting out with 4 girls in 5th and 6th grade. It was fun, but an ominous note rung when all but one decided they didn’t like the chicken and dumplings that we fixed. Which is ominous because we have like 2 complete flats of the stuff, plus a handful of loose extras. That’s a whole lot of c&d, my friends. A whole lot.

However, we moved on from snack to homework, which turned out well (at least I hope it did, for the student’s sake). After homework, we made beaded jewelry using color-meaning charts to make a piece that reflected who they were and who they wanted to be. At least, that was the starting concept, anyway. I think it pretty much devolved into stringing pretty beads in esthetically pleasing arrangements, regardless of color meaning, but hey…that’s cool. As long as they’re having fun and not getting into trouble, we’re succeeding.

So our first “homework club in session” went well – no emergencies, no bloodshed, no fights. Whew! I’m definitely relieved to get past that first day jittery stage fright and move into the ho-humming along of a smooth-running process moving under it’s own momentum.

Tomorrow and Wed, we’re in Raleigh for the big Americorps Launch, so no homework club. But when we get back, we’ll pick right back up where we left off. But next time, we’re having pasta.

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