Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Skills Competence FIRST HAND experience

I'm so excited - I have a guest blogger this morning!!!!  Yesterday was a pretty exciting day and Ms Bamford did an AWESOME job keeping me informed on what was happening. The mentors were NOT allowed to talk to the students, the students were not allowed to talk to each other except at lunch.

Well - here is a recap of the day from a participants point of view. The pictures are from Ms Bamford...........   (M wrote this late last night and I think she was a tad tired!!!)

What a whirlwind!

It seems like just last week; today was “I have until next Tuesday; plenty of time”. Today was an inspiring day as I pushed my limits beyond comfort and came through in the nick of time (thanks to some well-timed generosity, more on that later). 

I arrived at the Ontario Skills Competition grounds in the wee hours of morning to check into my competition, Fashion Design. My fashion teacher, Ms. B and I wandered around the grounds, treating our early arrival, and discovered so many various skills activities set up for the coming day; such as Cessna planes for aviation mechanics,  bakeries and kitchens for cooking, electrical, plumbing, construction, auto body mechanics, even flower arranging and cosmetology competition set ups. Less equipment based competitions were held as well like public speaking, safety inspecting and computer work; the atmosphere was roaring.

Notice the kitchens on the floor - those big boxes are fridges!!!!  

Pattern drafting wasn't difficult; as soon as I focused and got over my nerves. I finished them up pretty quick. Cutting became a task with such small space, but once everything was cut, things started speeding up; until some road bumps…

Sewing station (which was done by drawing a number from the bowl, but M lucked out and got the BEST station because it was tucked in the back away from the THOUSANDS of spectators that went through the competition during the day

Pattern drafting

Cutting the paper pattern (with Mom's BEST SCISSORS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  - I'll just pretend I didn't see that)

Cutting the jacket (I guess she is used to LOTS of space at home - next time, I'll give her a smaller space to practice in!!!)

There were two very nice ladies supervising our competition and one had the task of repairing sergers on the fritz (each exposed seam was required to be serged, so the machines were used frequently). I sat at the serger maybe 20 times, and half the time something busted on one of them; and always as soon as I sat down! It must have just been the counter act of some good luck I would have later at the end.

Twenty minutes to the end of the competition and I was finishing up my patch pockets and hem. I was working at a great pace; despite my earlier doubts due to technical difficulties. I decided to zip up the front zipper closure and see how it looked, when I noticed; the neckline edge was almost 2 inches off! I had 20 minutes to go so I zipped through my hem and pockets to try and salvage the unaligned zipper (the underlying cause to my chaos). Ripping through 7 inches of sewing seams and serger seams was a task when under pressure. At 4:27 pm, with my stitches clean and ready to re-sew (terrified I wouldn't make it), my luck came through. The nice serger lady (Holly) gratefully came over to tell me the competition had been extended to 5:00. The biggest smile came on my face as my determination rose; “I will finish this jacket and make it look amazing!” I thought. Five o’clock rolled around as I was just clipping the last threads.

Love the safety glasses!  
Working on the belt

It turns out; out of the 12 competitors only 4 (including me) actually finished the jacket. I was just thrilled that it was DONE. I handed it in and walked away happy and confident I had done my best. My teacher, my mom (especially!) and friends were so proud of my accomplishments. I could not have done it without their support. Seeing my teacher on the side lines, my mom’s favorite color in my hands (the fabric choice was bright orange!) and everyone’s encouraging words in my head all kept me going until the end. I had a fantastic learning experience, with a new appreciation for Project Runway contestants and greater confidence in my abilities for the future. I want to thank Ms. B for her awesome support and guidance through the whole thing and my mom for getting me from day 1 to here.

- M

What the jacket looked like if you made it from the block patterns (got to LOVE the colour)

M and her finished jacket (she added a belt)

So Ms B and M are on their way back to the competition this morning for the awards ceremony. I don't care if she wins because she is already a WINNER in my book. She pushed herself when it was necessary - she didn't quit. Honestly - that is the BEST MOTHER'S DAY present I could ever ask for and it isn't even Mother's Day. I LOVE MY KID - she is the best. Way to go M!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And THANKS SO MUCH to Ms Bamford for supporting M through this and for keeping me up to date yesterday. You ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The purpose of the Skills Competition is to show students that there are MANY jobs out there that do NOT require a university degree. These jobs require college level education, apprenticeships and so on. It is a SHAME that MANY teachers do not care enough to help get students into this competition. M was the ONLY STUDENT from her school that went and only because of Ms Bamford. The other teachers were not interested. That is a SHAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!      How can we change the system?????

Well - got loads to do today and got loads to tell you, so must close this blog off. 

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


1 comment:

  1. Great Job M!! That is a huge accomplishment. Great that you could show off your skills and talent! You are amazing.
    Tish L. (Home Economist)