31 December 2008

Heaven, I'm In Heaven

Yesterday was the best day; so many of my favorite things were combined in to one: school supplies, the smell of new books, task lists, organization...Seriously, if someone had proposed to me in the middle of this project yesterday, I would have said yes based solely on the fact that they know me well enough to know how happy I was.

Okay, a bit of explanation: the 52 Oasis kids that are enrolled in schools (who attended school at the centre for varying lengths of time and then showed the potential to succeed in a traditional school environment) go back to school on Monday. There is, of course, a list of items each child needs in order to begin classes. At the top of the list: books and school supplies.

So, as I've been working with Geoffrey at the centre, I asked if I could please be in charge of shopping for and organizing each child. He (not loving the ridiculous detaily-organization required--or seeing the pleading look in my eyes) agreed.

On Monday Daina and I went to town to buy rulers, pens, pencils, etc. I had priced them at the beginning of the month, and calculated exactly how many of each item were necessary...so we showed the list to the woman at the counter and she handed us our bags.

I also made a list of the books needed, how many children are in each grade and, thus, how many sets of books we would need for each grade. I left this, on Monday, with the bookshop man and said we would return to pick them up on Tuesday.

Okay...so...yesterday. Yesterday we went to pick up the books...

Here they are...all packaged...our poor taxi driver (Dan) had to carry these from the shop to the car and from the car to the house...we gave him a little extra for his troubles...he's a good man.Each of the 52 students needs 3 "A4" books and 10 "exercise books"...so Daina and Andrew made one stack for each.
I unpacked the books and sorted them by grade and child. Then made a tag for each kid with his or her name, school and grade. (Since some schools require different publishers than others, there were specific stacks for specific kids). Oh, and, if two kids live in the same house or attend the same school and are in the same grade, they share a set of books, so some of the stacks are for two or three kids.
Daina, then sorted pens, pencils, rulers, fountain pens and sharpeners in to 52 stacks while Andrew ran in to town to get the erasers that Transmatt had run out of
Then, the text books and exercise books were matched by number of kids sharing the set, and bound together with twine (side note: the smell of twine makes me think of the pumpkin patch). The name tag was placed at the top and then the stack was moved to the living room where Daina sorted them by school.
Different heights for one, two or three kids sharing the set.
Elvis is in Form 2 (sophomore year), so he has a ridiculous number of classes and text books.
Once Andrew returned with the erasers, they were added to each supply stack and bound with a rubber band (the sharpeners were tricky, they actually had to be tied to the stack with a separate rubber band)...Then each stack, according to the number of kids, was given a pack of pens...the tricky part: only class 4 and above get fountain pens...
The finished product:

I know, right? I really could not have been any happier yesterday...

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