One week a few weeks into the semester while I was teaching class in that room, three different computers went down. One had completely killed its own hard-drive, while the others were having graphic card type issues and wouldn't update the adobe programs.
It was also the same day as the computers going down that I heard about a grant that was due at the end of the day by chance. I sat down and promptly wrote a grant letter/application requesting $44,000 for new computers, internet drops, and magnetic white boards whiteboards. The grant was with the Noel Foundation. The Noel Foundation, Inc. supports the community by funding select projects that benefit the community, that provide opportunities for individuals, and that generate positive recognition for the Foundation. Priorities for civic projects include education, social services and community development.
A few weeks later Dr. Leitz who worked with the Noel Library came to my officeand said, "You got your money for your money." I stood there for just a moment and took it in. I couldn't believe it! My first response to him was "Can I give you a hug? You just made my semester." He said later, if we need money for programs too to just let him know. How cool was that? I was beyond disbelief. Still at time can't believe it happened.
The semester before the grant, I had an idea to try to make the room seem more appealing by having the walls carry some color. It was then I put out a call to current and past students to submit ideas for a mural to cover three of the walls in this long dark room. I wanted the space to be engaging. When a room is painted black with no windows, it tends to feel very sobering. Designer shouldn't have to work in sobering conditions. Over the course of time the room began to perk up. We found money for new tables and chairs and that is when the room began to transform. Check out the pictures below to see the transition of the dark bat cave that just needed a little love and time.
I am very proud of this room. Proud of all the effort put into it, by the grants, the competitions for a mural, work by the students and in the well thought-out setup. I am proud to teach in this room I helped develop from a room with stains on the floor and cobwebs on the ceiling. It is my hope that this room will run for many years and only continue to become more grand.