Posted by: joha5 | August 6, 2010

Teaching Lego: Reflections and Statistics on a Summer Gone Mad

For those of you who have come to be fans of my semi-career in Lego, I am sorry to say that today will be the last post regarding this adventure.  I hate to be the bearer of bad news – especially on a Friday – but weep not, readers!  It will not be long before I am back doing something inevitably just as ridiculous as teaching Lego Architecture. 

Say Bye to Lego Architecture, Readers!!

This is what I have endured this summer: 210 hours in the classroom, 80+ children per day, an average of 120 creations a day, more than 4,000 digital pictures taken of Lego structures, more than 20 theme days (including monsters, space, food, nature, aliens, the future, and even future sports), 7 contest days which include such classics as ‘Tallest Tower’, ‘Longest Bridge’, and ‘Strongest Chair’.  I have endured four 13-year-old apprentices (one of which sported the most immaculate moustache I have ever seen), one intern (named ‘Homeschool Jorge’), and one teaching assistant (named Broadway Jackson).  I have endured more than 30 hours of children telling me stories about their constructions, an estimated 10 hours of complaining from the children I have worked with, 5 hours standing at a crosswalk ensuring that children don’t get hit by buses or cars, thirty 16 fluid ounce bottles of coffee and chocolate flavored milk, 116 four-ounce cartons of orange juice and apple juice, 6 fruit popsicles, and around 120 hours of listening to Hot 99.5 (D.C.’s pop music station) where I heard the exact same 20 songs approximately 200 times each.  I have endured being called ‘old’, ‘prehistoric’, and ‘troubled’ by both my kids and my assistants.  I have even driven over 360 miles in total to get to and from work on a daily basis and spent close to 15 hours total in the car. 

Now that is a summer.  Did I enjoy it?  Umm…sure.  Was it everything I thought it would be and more?  Yeah, why not.  Would I do it again?  No.  Well, I say that but obviously it all depends on what my situation is like in just 300 days from now.  I have plans for my life – big plans – and returning to teach Lego for a second consecutive summer doesn’t really fit into those plans.  Then again, I never once thought that I would return to teach here after I left 6 years ago.  And what happened?  I came right back.  It is pretty remarkable to reflect on how much control you have over life and how much life has control over you.  As of this minute, I can’t ever imagine coming back and doing this all over again and it isn’t because I hate it or that I didn’t work hard or that it was an awful experience – overall, it has been a very enjoyable summer – but there comes a time when you just have to cut the cord and move on to newer and better avenues.  This summer was a job of necessity rather than will and I suppose there are thousands of other people like me who have had to do things they never thought they would do or never wanted to do in order to survive.  I’m just endlessly thankful that I have had this opportunity to work with many fine and intelligent people while earning my keep by teaching Lego.  After all, there are so many worse things that I could be doing other than this right now. 

I hope that things will be different by this time next year and I hope that all of my hard work will pay off in the long run.  I hope that I will have a permanent job, a stable income, and an awesome place to come home to.  However, in the aftermath of the global financial collapse the chances of everything being up in the air by this time next year are probably higher than I would like.  Needless to say, according to recent news reports (and a previous blog post that I wrote), there seems to be an extraordinarily famous English soccer star who will be retiring and back on the job market soon who will almost definitely be gunning for me and his ultimate dream job.  Good luck, David Beckham.  Getting hired for a cushy Lego job like this is harder than it looks. 

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