Saturday, April 25, 2009

See me on The Dark Side of the Moon

Alec Hodgins and I go back to 1988, when he joined the faculty at Rio Americano. I was a 1.5-year veteran at Rio at the time. We've had the good fortune to be able to help each other on various projects and to bend elbows from time to time.

He recently took the initiative to get a mural painted on the large, blank wall outside his classroom. The process was non-trivial, but he navigated the administratium of it. There is a large, blank wall outside my classroom, too. He put only a wee flame to my fanny and I jumped. Right on to his mural-approval bandwagon.

Click the image to see the one-week photo album showing the construction of the mural. On Monday morning, the wall was blank. By Friday afternoon, the image was complete.

Alec is handy with tools and he overflows with drive for projects like this. I contributed a modicum of cleverness in the engineering and willingness to breathe spray-paint vapors. A number of Rio physics and French students provided invaluable assistance, making it possible to complete the project within the school week.

The end result speaks for itself.


Unknown said...

Very cool.

Hard to imagine how anyone could not be supportive of such a project.

As one just getting into teaching and curious about administrative barriers to common sense projects, what were the concerns from administration with this idea? Bureaucracies are never skilled at dealing with new ideas...what techniques where useful to get the approval?

Did physics students or art students do the actual work? Was it during school time?

great blog.


Dean Baird said...

At many schools, the "self-help" process is tricky to navigate. Remember, there's an argument to be made that someone else ought to be doing the work (and getting paid to do it).

Alec Hodgins teaches French, so a few French students were involved. Some of my physics students were drafted from time to time as well.

Most work was done during school hours (breaks and prep periods), some was done after school.

Stevie Ray said...

Beautiful job Deano - but I miss the concrete beige! How DARE you add pizzaz to such "creative" architecture and color scheme!
From a purely physics pint of view, I think your slit for the light source (walk-thru gate?) is too wide to give you such a "tight" spectrum. Just kidding!
BTW - I once had a local fire marshall tell me I had to take down all of the Physics posters in my classroom because they were a fire hazard. My posters were mounted on walls which had a metallic cladding so I offered to show him the demo of trying to ignite a strip of paper towel wrapped around a steel lab support rod but he declined. Why bother to challenge bureaucracy with reality? (FYI - the posters are still up)

Stevie Ray Deux said...

Where's the INDIGO?

Dean Baird said...

Indigo (as a color) is a pigment of your imagination. Oh, and it's used for dying jeans. But it doesn't get to be in the "symmetric" color spectrum. Nor was it included in the Hipgnosis design.

The Indigo Girls will be performing at The Crest Theater May 12. I *will* be there!

Stevie Ray Trois said...

Oh Yeah! YOU try pronouncing ROYGBV!

Brother Doug said...

"Breathe, breathe in the air (fumes?)."
Looks like it was a fun project, too.

Dean Baird said...

@StevieRay: You got me! If the actual physics produces a mnemonic-unfriendly result, the physics must be altered!

@Doug: The fumes weren't bad; a relentless Sacramento breeze helped with that. An administrator thought we should have added the words, "The lunatic is in B-8" (B-8 is my room number.)

Stevie Ray Quatre said...

Deano - Be careful with those "Brain Damage" references lest the Rio powers that be "...lock the door, and throw away the key."
"Non Illegitimi Carborundum!"

Dan Burns said...

I am jealous. My ambition is to get a sundial on the wall outside my room like the one on the UOP physics building. Someday.