Mrs. Morgan’s room was a busy place after school even on the first Monday of the year. As we were sitting down, a freshman came in asking about his English quiz grade. After leaving him hanging just long enough to scare him, she reassured him he got an A. Once he left, we got down to business.
She pulled out her phone, showing me a picture of her summer project. To say I was surprised would be an understatement. I had expected a shot of a vacation spot or hanging out with her family. But no, with her free time she decorated a Barbie dollhouse. It appeared she had done something far more creative than I had imagined.
About a year and a half ago, she started down the road of a series of tears and various other injuries. In fact, you may have seen her walking around in a huge sling last spring. Unfortunately, her injuries prevented her from playing tennis (her favorite pastime) this summer. But instead of wallowing in her loss, she came up with a project. And what a project it was.
The amount of detail in the dollhouse is astounding and very impressive. Her dollhouse was complete with custom walls and flooring, various Barbies, and more. There was a miniature chandelier and tiny decorations in a bookcase. She went so far as to get real tile samples and have her husband cut them for the floor in the living room. Her main source of supplies was Facebook Marketplace, which she browsed for hours at night, searching for the perfect furniture and Barbies. And to finish it off, she went above and beyond and bought a Barbie airplane and horses.
She says she hopes her (possible) future granddaughters will enjoy it. Just looking at it, I can positively say she should not be worried. Whether or not that happens though she says the dollhouse was worth it because it “gave me so much pleasure.”
As she was explaining all of this, a substitute walked in. Mrs. Morgan smiled, helped her, and then invited her to come see the dollhouse. She asked if we wanted to see a “before” picture and we both looked at it slightly confused and wholly surprised. After a moment the substitute asked the question on my mind, “Did you make it bigger?” “No” she said, laughing. She had simply changed it so much it had the appearance of being larger than before.
The substitute and Mrs. Morgan then got into a conversation about the practical benefits of the project in terms of learning to decorate. Soon they were saying we should do a project like this at Lovett. A few minutes later though she had to leave.
At this point we began wrapping up our talk. The room had cleared out and thirty minutes had gone by so the school was largely silent. Before I left, Mrs. Morgan mentioned a visit from her nieces on the fourth and said I would know the rest from class.
It seemed to me, though, the real highlight of her summer was designing and decorating the dollhouse. In fact, in her conversation with the substitute she said she went to bed every night thinking about it. To which the sub replied, “You’re so creative to do something like this. I never would have thought to.” I had to agree I wouldn’t have either.
Mrs. Morgan transformed a bad situation into an opportunity to do something new and different. And after hearing how much she had enjoyed it I think we should all take a page from her book.