Sunday, May 11, 2008

Morphing into my parents. Chapter Three hundred and twenty two

Saturday, I met a bunch of my students up at school to finish building a roller coaster that we will be taking to Carowinds next week for a competition. I have this nagging feeling that it's going to be disqualified somehow because the rules are so vague, but at least we tried. The coaster doesn't have to be backed with design drawings or calculations, so it's really been designed from trial and error. "Trial and error design" is a nice way of saying we wasted a lot of materials in the process and it doesn't remotely look like what we were going for, but hey.

Anyway, we were getting the finishing "touches" on the structure Saturday morning (AKA it didn't work in the least and something had to be done). Hands were everywhere ... once something worked, it got drilled and screwed together ... something else functions properly ... more drilling ... more screwing (in the power tool sense of the word.) (not that power tool.) The last hand was taken away and the wall of the track was screwed onto the support. Alas, it was time to see if it was entirely functional and independent.

The pinball was dropped ...

and it ran smooth...

Until it got to that last screw"ey" spot.

We ran it a few more times and realized that the person had been twisting the track when they held it, so we needed to re-twist it. Hmm ... twist it ... how to ... ... just need to push the base of the track slightly away from the post ... and if ... and it hit me like a mac truck. I took a page from my father's Book of Life and folded a piece of paper in half about 4 times and stuffed it between the base of the track and the supporting post.

How bittersweet it was when it worked.

Immediately, I had flashes of folded up pieces of paper shoved into every rattling crevice of every car dashboard we ever owned. Our family station wagon was a poster child for the plethora of uses of 3M products.

So, here's to you dad. If only today had been Father's Day.


Anonymous said...

Wait until you have children, then you will really know that you are in fact, turning into your parents. Laura

Hachie Gal said...

or toothpicks...don't know 'em till you've tried them.