Naomi Neal, Kathryn Stresak, Dorian Gomberg, Ed Vlcek, and Brad Krautwurst are Shimer students participating in the Shimer Internship/Mentorship (SIM) Program. They regularly post updates about their internship experiences.
Last week, I resumed my regular schedule and my work at the pool construction site. The pool--or "swimming pond," I should say, since for local regulations' sake that's what we're calling it now--is set to materialize in the hollowed-out shell of a dairy shed which dates back to the Farm's previous life as a dairy farm; last week we took down one of the few remaining shed walls and the last section of roof.
After all this destruction, a lot of clean-up became necessary, of course, which occupied the better part of Wednesday. My busted rib makes heavy lifting somewhat problematic, but I'm learning to favor the other side of my body and ask for help when I need it. Later in the week, we strengthened the walls which are to stay by pouring them full of concrete. I'm getting a lot of experience in this medium, which turns out to be surprisingly simple to use.
So, no wonder that when it came time to meet with Ed Noonan and TFI President Scott about my ideas for undertaking a solo design and construction project to cap off my internship experience, concrete and block popped up again and again on my list of ideas. Scott and Ed gently reminded me that cinder-block wouldn't make aesthetic sense just anywhere around the farm, but we found a way to incorporate my new skill set into a project which will hopefully benefit the Farm not just aesthetically, but also as a means of bringing the community together. Starting as soon as the materials can be gathered, I will be constructing an outdoor "cob oven" for Tryon, near the community garden. I hope that my efforts will result in summer evening- and winter night- gatherings for residents and guests of the Farm to enjoy fresh bread, hot coffee, and one another's company. More on oven-building to come!
On top of working with jack-of-all-trades Gary and his team--on the pool construction or on the fence at my hosts' house, this week--I've also been continuing my work for TFI, as well as meeting with Eve and Sarah Noonan about marketing ideas and about organizing an archive of past marketing ideas and successes for Tryon. There's a lot to be done, and only so much time left to do it--my internship ends in less than a month. In addition to the more practical skills of pouring concrete and laying block, I'm also getting some on-the-spot lessons in prioritizing my workload.