Thursday, November 27, 2008


Today, my "Leadership" class' job was to set up the four Christmas Trees that Marty and I had purchased the other day, in the lobby of our school.  The whole plan for these trees, is that they will be used as part of our school wide Food Bank incentive.  Our idea was, that for every 5 cans of food a student brings to the Food Bank Collection, they will be given a light bulb that they will get to screw into the string of lights on a tree.  Our goal being, that we would collect enough cans to light up all four trees by the last day of school before Christmas break.  Sounded like a simple, tangible, great idea, but I'm telling you, the logistics of it were anything but simple.  
The trees not only had to be assembled but in order to work for our "incentive program," they had to have the lights removed from them. Ofcourse the only trees Marty and I had been able to find were pre-lit. Pre-lit trees have their place, I guess, but they really defeated the purpose of our Food Bank promotion.  Removing lights from trees that are meant to be pre-lit was going to be challenging.  I had noticed in the store, on the "floor model" that the lights were on circular strings which had been maticulously wound around each branch by some poor worker in a sweat shop somewhere.  The carefully woven strings of lights had not been intended for removal, especially by pre-pubescent hands! Like I said, logistcal nightmare, but....I had a plan! I envisioned an efficient assembly line.  One group of students would assemble the trees, one would flatten branches, one would remove strings of lights and one group would remove the large light bulbs from the strings of lights we had bought especially for this project.  We had wanted the big outdoor lights, the kind that easily screw in and out of the sockets on the string, however, we could only find strings of lights with bulbs in them. In order for the incentive of "bring 5 cans, screw in a light" to work, we had to start with "naked" strings on our trees!  The final group would place these bulbless strings on the trees.  It was going to be challenging, but not impossible.... Here is a more accurate account of  how my "efficient" assembly line functioned: The Box Opening group, dicovered BUBBLE WRAP, that was the end of their productivity.  The Tree Assembly group grabbed the individual, pointy sections of the trees, realized how much they resembled their own individual pointy "sections" and their productivity turned into an inappropriate comedy act.  The Branch Flattening group, ended up breaking more branches than they flattened. More broken branches found their way into 8th grade nostrils than garbage cans.  The String Removal group unwrapped the strings from the trees, wrapped them around themselves, and spent the remainder of the period "turning themselves on," by plugging into electrical outlets! The Bulb Removal group actually, without incident, managed to remove the light bulbs from the big strings of lights and successfully place the naked strings on the trees!  The fact that there were four upright, assembled, naked stringed Christmas Trees standing in the lobby at 3pm was a miracle!!!

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