Many take on this class nervous and scared or entirely in opposition of the engineering class altogether, but I was ready to build something that would make me proud to say, “I built that”.
The first class of engineering, I was ecstatic to begin building right away, unaware of just how much more I would further love the class and the teacher. I was so anxious to begin that I was dreading all the lessons, preparing myself for the inevitable instructions and endless precautionary detail. However, Ms. Oropallo didn’t baby us with the tools, she knew we were all capable and was straight to the point: “If you hair isn’t tied up, you may get scalped in the process,” or “be careful where you put your fingers, you can take off your fingertips.” She would continue by telling us her horror stories, such as when a student who sanded his fingertips down by accident. Strangely enough, it didn’t really scare me, but just made me very aware of my surroundings and what I do in the workshop. However, I can say that the “scariest” tool on my part would be the chop saw due to the large and loud, revolving blade, but my previous experience with it made me more confident in using it. The nail gun is my favorite because of how easy and quick it makes the nailing process – which is initially extremely annoying especially when the the nail is thinner than a strand of hair making it bend easily when hammering. The most difficult for me personally to learn was how to handle a power drill efficiently. Though putting the screws in wasn’t hard, I can’t recall how many times I supressed my true verbal oration as I grabbed the blistering screws too quickly after unscrewing them from the wood. In addition, I had a hard time changing the drill bits. The best part of the entire learning process was the fun and really easy ruler game (sarcasm intended). Ms. Oropallo intended to test our measuring skills, but it personally tested my patience more, which was revealed to be short. The game was harder than we all thought. You may say a few, minor cuss words were exchanged as well, among the several others to come as I built my other projects.
From the previous blogs, you can probably infer that the main project in our engineering class are chicken coops and I was put in a group with three of my closest friends: Esther, Aimee, and Nicole. At this point, I had grown to anticipate the class every week and I’d like to say that I knew what to do –even though I still constantly call Ms. O over making sure all is well. Because we are all pretty competitive, along with me being a perfectionist, we wanted ours to be one of the best out of all the rest. Naturally, we chose to shape our chicken coop into a hexagon, probably not the easiest thing to be chosen, but you know us. In other words, nearly every single edge has to be angled at 60 degrees and everything has to be perfect in order for it to align correctly. Of course, this wasn’t the case; some things are slightly off, which isn’t something I love with my obsessive behavior. I had to learn to let some things go –a pretty hard task for me. For example, when we would mess up a screw, we couldn’t take a whole new piece of wood –which is what my obsessive self would be most satisfied with– but, it would take up too much of the limited time we had as well as be wasteful.
So, as of right now, we are amongst the groups, who have the most done and can I just say it’s pretty great. All the frustrations and obstacles were worth it and even then was I enjoying myself. The coop has its minor flaws, but who really pays that much attention to them (me); it has character as Ms. O says. We have one wall out of the six, completely paneled thanks to the much loved nail gun. The window is in and we managed to implement an archaic-looking, metal frame on another wall, not to mention the frame of our roof. It seems to be coming together quite nicely and I can’t wait to see what it turns out to be.


  1. Jasmine, this post is perfect. Wonderful picture, wonderful writing, and everything is relatable. I love that you give so many details from a direct quote of Ms. O to your other group members. I think that, like this post, your coop is wonderful and you have all done a great job on it.

  2. Jasmine, I admire the fact that although you are a perfectionist you are getting out of your comfort zone. At the beginning I too was very anxious about building and not knowing what lies ahead. Your coop is looking great. Well done.

  3. Sweet post! I love the way your group’s coup looks, it is so pretty. The stories you included were so funny and relatable! Also, the photos you used are so nice. Im so excited to see your finished coop! The chickens will love it.

  4. Jasmine! Your coop is so beautiful and unique and I think it has a lot to do with your attentiveness! I’m right there with you, sometimes it can be frustrating and stressful, but patience is key! Aha I loved your honesty!

  5. Isn’t the nail gun so great!? Your guys coup looks so sick, and I can’t wait to see what it looks like when it is all done. Also all those mistakes only you can see, nobody else will ever notice if you dont point them out! Great job so far Jasmine!

  6. I very much relate to thinking that we know how to finish a piece, but then calling Ms. O over all the time to check and validate our every step… Its super cool that this class, that did seem intimidating at first, is now such a comfortable and culminating place to be:) Nice work, Jasmine

  7. Ahh the ruler game, the best game ever! (jk) I love your groups chicken coop! It looks really good! I agree we have gotten better over time with using the tools =, but I for one am still really terrified of the nail gun haha. Keep up the good work!

  8. Great job Jasmine. I liked how you mentioned that you are a perfectionist and how everything has to be perfect but when you started building it was impossible. I enjoyed how you expressed your appreciation for the nail gun.


  9. Your chicken coop is literally perfect! I love the creative shape and it looks so good! Ms. O’s horror stories really were eye opening and I think they made us all a lot more aware of our surroundings.

  10. Jasmin I completely agree with you on the ruler game it was one of the most frustrating things I’ve experienced. It’s really great that you’re able to let the minor things go even if you may want your coop to be perfect. Ya’ll have done a great job and it looks amazing!

  11. Nice Job Jasmine! I loved reading your blog especially the part about how we may get scalped. I liked how you talked about all the different tools and I think that your coop is turning out great and I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

  12. I like your blog a lot. It was very well written and thoughtful. Our coop will be the best and our chickens are going to love it. I have really enjoyed working in a group with you because we work so well. Keep up the good work.

  13. I have TOTALLY held back some crude verbal language after grabbing a fiery hot screw too fast after messing up haha. Im really impressed with how you’ve learned to let things go, its hard for a perfectionist to do

  14. Jasmine, I thought your blog was thoughtful and well written! I loved how you wrote about the different tools we work with on the daily and your struggles and triumphs pertaining to not only the chicken coop, but to the class in general. I love your coop, you chickens are going to feel like royalty!

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