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NOTE: This blog post has only the most tenuous link to Global Education. I share it more for the members of this community to laugh at me. If you like my writing, my blog can be found at here.


This is sitting in my backyard. I'd like to tell it's story.

I am, it seems, a bit of a dill when it comes to anything to do with anything DIY. So rather than tell you the story of something amazing I've done in the classroom, I thought I'd share what a fool I made of myself yesterday.

See, when I decide I want to do something, I just have to go full tilt at it; often, though, I won't think it through, and will stuff it up a few times before either succeeding or finding a similar goal I can stuff up.

So I want to try some greenscreening. The kids are making ads to advocate a healthy choice, and some of them want to film at the beach, the pool, in a theatre.... there's only so much you can do in a primary school. So, how do I make a greenscreen? I ask an ex-colleague, who tells me to go buy some 4mm MDF, some chroma key paint, and some lights from Bunnings (if you're not Australian, Bunnings is a giant hardware warehousey place). And it should "get me over the line".

Now, Bunnings is not my natural habitat. In fact, it is quite the opposite of my natural habitat. I prefer sipping macchiatos in some street cafe, or cooking a tagine, to anything DIY. Yet, I was so pig-headedly determined to do this, I headed down to Bunnings without a second thought as to how I would actually do this.

OK, 4mm MDF. Firstly, what IS MDF? Apparently it's this wood-like sheet. OK, do we have 4mm MDF? Yes, we do! Here's some! My, that's a large piece. OK, I'll take it! $10.50! So far so good!

OK, take my large sheet of 4mm MDF to the car. This will fit, won't it? Errr..... no, it doesn't. Maybe if I jam it in there. Nope. Half of it is hanging out the back door. Hmmmm. This was a mistake. OK, go get a Stanley knife, cut it into two pieces. No problem.

Back into Bunnings. Stanley knives? Over here, sir. Yep, I'll take that one. Pay. Back to the car.

OK, where's the blade? Ah, Rob, that thing you thought was the blade was actually the cardboard packaging just to show you what the blade would look like. The blade is inside the knife. How do I get inside the knife? You unscrew the screw. I don't have a screwdriver.

Back into Bunnings. Screwdrivers? Over here, sir. Yep, I'll take that one. Pay. Back to the car.

Hack hack hack at the board. This really is not working. I'm such an idiot. People are watching now, a) because I'm a total idiot, and b) because the open door of the car that I can't shut because a metre and a half of 4mm MDF is sticking out of the car is taking up a prime car park, thus depriving shoppers of easy access to Bunnings.

Friendly chap says "that's not going to work, is it?". "I don't want to talk about it" I say through gritted teeth. Hack hack hack. "Where are you taking it?" he asks?
"In town" I reply.
"I can take it on my ute and drop it off in an hour if you like".
"I didn't really think this through", I say sheepishly.
"Errrr.... no" he says.

So he loads up a half-hacked piece of 4mm MDF onto his ute and I drive away, vigorously slapping my forehead.

Home. The nice man delivers my MDF, which has now split in half. Paint an undercoat. Paint with chroma-key green. Paint again.

Somehow take it to school, along with worklights.

Guess what?

It works!

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