My Red Bookshelf

Building a bookshelf seemed easy when I first came up with the idea. I am good at building things, I like to build and put things together. My friends call me when they buy something from Target or Ikea and have me come over to build it for them.

But this was a different story. Starting with a 4ft by 8ft piece of wood was not something familiar to me. My bookshelf came out just the way I envisioned it, but I did have some hiccups along the way.

Here’s what happened. I first started to put the pieces together only to realize the wood wasn’t cut right. I think the template I used called for 1” plywood and I had ¾”. Oops. I remixed and was pleased to realize that Khalid, my new friend at Home Depot, had cut extra wood for me. These extra pieces saved my bookshelf. I was able to use those to create the shelves and the top. It ended up working perfectly.

I also learned how to use a power drill more efficiently and change a drill bit. That was tedious. Who knew you couldn’t just drill a screw into a piece of wood? You have to drill a pilot hole first. Each time I needed to use a screw, I had to use the pilot hole drill bit first, then switch to use the one for the screw. This was what frustrated me the most; if I didn’t have to continuously switch the drill bit, I could have gotten it done in half the time.

By using my network of resources, it allowed me to realize how many great tools are out there to utilize. You might have to sort through the bad ones to find a good one, but there are so many people who are doing the same thing as you.  

After reflecting on this project, I am really proud of myself. Working through problems is what makes you better. Learn from mistakes and from splitting wood because each time you get better and better.

Similar to A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger, the more beautiful questions you ask the better outcome you will have. You will be more creative, innovative and be able to solve problems in a way that makes you think deeper about the answer (2014).

I feel like through this process, I was able to create and innovate. I had to remix many times to ensure my bookshelf would come out looking good and usable. In my head, I asked many questions about how to better improve my project.

As I learn from doing, just like kids do, I was able to make something out of nothing that shows evidence of perseverance, determination and creativity.

Berger, W. (2014). A more beautiful question: The power of inquiry to spark breakthrough ideas. New York, NY: Bloomsbury.

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