All American HandyWOMAN

I am going to take this blog out of the classroom. Out of Terra Linda High School. In fact, I am going to take this blog all the way out to Redwood High School. Before I do so, I have some explaining to do.

So this year, the juniors of MarinSel have been taking an environmental engineering class with Ms. Oropallo. We started with the spoon project, then dove into the chicken coops, which you have all heard plenty about from previous blogs. We all started the year with different levels of experience, some more than others. I began struggling. The spoon project seemed to be the hardest thing in the world to complete at the time. I tried giving up so many times. I got frustrated. My spoon did not come out the was I had hoped and every time I tried to fix it, I would just mess it up some more. I saw other people in the class having so much success with their spoons. I came to a realization that engineering is just not for me. I thought I would never see myself doing something like this in the future. As we got started on the chicken coops, I became more comfortable with the tools and the building. Sometime during the first semester, Ms. Oropallo came to us with an amazing opportunity: a free construction technology class at Redwood High School. I was eager to learn more and dedicated to sharpen my skills, so I joined.

A few weeks later, it was time to go to the first class. I was not really sure what I got myself into. One night a week, for four hours, for 18 weeks. I started the class as the only high school girl enrolled. The class consisted of people of many ages, but less gender diversity. I went through the class being the only high school female enrolled. The concept was intimidating at first. I was viewed differently from the other students because I am a young girl and they were unaware of my capabilities. I continued the class determined to prove the other students wrong.  I finished the year with multiple certificates and awards of proficiency and achievements in the class. With conviction, I finally realized I had found my passion.

Now that this year is coming to a close, and we reflect on our past projects, we have a chance to realize just how much we have learned. We went from girls who were afraid to kill a bug to girls who would hit cockroaches with a hammer. We aren’t afraid to get dirty and work. Because of this class, we have become handy women.

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