O’Farrell Middle School project

My sister in law volunteers at this middle school in San Diego, O’Farrell charter school. They serve the underserved. My sister and sister in law were talking about the school and simply said, “it’s hard to tell these kids that it’s so important for them to go to school when the school looks like no one cares about it. The paint’s peeling, the textbooks are falling apart and no one has the money to change anything.”

Well, I can’t fix the textbooks or anything structural, but I can paint. So my sisters got me in touch with a lovely woman named Mary and asked her what I could do to help. Mary brought us in to the school’s lobby and said this would be a good place to start. This room is the school’s first impression and the place families come to when they need help.

They also have this large table (donated by Pottery Barn) that kids have carved some choice words into (but I would like to add that all the four letter words were spelled correctly). It’s a beautiful solid wood table, but the kind of reading we found ourselves doing while we sat there, wasn’t the recommended kind. So we offered to sand down the top, beneath the carved comments, and refinish it to match the bottom. I won’t be showing a close up ‘before’ shot of the table (this is a family show).

Today was day one. Prep Day. My brother Jim came and sanded down the top of the  table (I forgot to take a photo, but I’ll remedy that tomorrow). He did an awesome job and left no traces of profanity behind.

All I did was scrub and tape today. It took all day. Mary says that someone is supposed to come deep clean these offices every summer, I told her they’ve been absent for more than a couple from what I was washing off the window sills. But that’s the great thing about soap and a little elbow grease, you can clean almost anything…..and whatever stains you can’t clean, you can prime. Tomorrow we prime.

ps- I was going to complain about the heat and tell you how soaked with sweat we were today, but I saw that it was 114 degrees in Phoenix today and decided to shut up. Sucks worse in Phoenix.


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