Friday, February 22, 2013

Tech projects

Chris was one of those people that was both left and right “brained.”  He did well academically and was artistically creative as well.   

This showed itself in his art and math and science classes but especially in Tech class where the two sides tend to merge in order to complete projects.  So a couple of weeks ago I had a visit from one of Christopher's teachers.  I thought it was so nice for him to reach out and see about getting together.

I knew who he was as soon as I saw his name in my email, I met him twice at the high school open house in previous years.  Sophomore year I made a point to say hello and asked him if he knew my son. "Yes! I do know Chris" he said at which time he pointed out where Chris normally sat.

Turns out Chris had the same teacher his junior year for a completely different Tech class.  I went to the open house again that year but didn't  bug Mr. Nagy with more chatter about Chris as I already knew he was aware of who Chris was. (Seems I have a pestering need to know my boy’s teachers and know them by name...).
Mr. Nagy told me it was not typical for him to have the same student two years in a row.  I'm glad he did.  I think he is too. Seems there was plenty of time during those formative years for a relationship to grow between them.  He shared some funny stories with me about my sweet boy which had me in stitches as I could see things playing out in the classroom.  Of course all of this is new to me because Chris rarely shared his school day with me.  Usually "nothing happened" as it probably does in your house too...
Here's a pretty typical conversation between Mr. Nagy and Chris, it happened more than once:

As Chris was sneaking bites of his pb & banana sandwich at his desk doing his work Mr. Nagy would approach:

"Chris, what are you doing? You know you can't eat in here"

"Mr. Nagy I'm starrrrrrvinggg", he’d say with the twinkle in his eyes and that lovable smirk.

"School policy is no food in here, you know that. When do you have lunch?"

"Right after this class!"

As Mr. Nagy walks away rolling his eyes.
I thought that was great.  I made that pb & banana for him, almost every day!  I'm glad I did. I think it's cute he couldn't wait to get to the lunch room and gobbled up his sandwich ahead of time.  It makes sense to me now when I hear his friends tell me he helped them eat their lunches too because now I understand his was gone!

Another quick funny moment:

Chris sat next to a boy named "Nate".  He decided, on behalf of everyone in the class that Nate needed a nickname.  Why? Who knows? Maybe Nate or a classmate will chime in and tell us but in any event Chris said he did.  So, as the kids were (supposed to be) working on their Tech project Chris hopped on the Internet to Google something like "words ending in Nate".  It opened a flood gate of options... Procrastinate, reincarnate, innate, donate, hibernate... You get the picture!  Yes, it seems everyone got in on the discussion - so much so Mr. Nagy remembered it happily.  I hope he picked a good one for you Nate :-)

So, I'm posting some of the things Chris created in Tech class.  They may not seem too tough but according to Mr. Nagy some of these things were really difficult.  They weren't woodworking skills learned with those kind of tools, the classes Chris took were geared toward Engineering (the avenue I was pushing for...)  The lettering cutouts in the "CS" and "SHEN FOOTBALL" squares were done by a machine programmed using coordinates on the computer.  
The chess board was a tough one too.  I know that took a long time and Chris was proud of it.  I remember him explaining how he did it to me but I'll need a refresher from his teacher on that one...

An interesting "find" in the Tech classroom was what inspired Mr. Nagy to email me.  Seems he came across the resin mold that belonged to a project of Chris'.  What makes it interesting is that it was from junior year and also that it never got melted down to be reused like all the others.  Why is that????  How come I've had the finished mold on display in Christopher's room all this time and now Mr. Nagy brought me the receptacle that molded it? The two pieces are back together!  Take a look. :-)

I don't find it coincidental at all.  I feel blessed and fortunate.  I believe it's a "Christopherism" at its finest.  He's funneling humorous stories and works of art through those around him.  I feel he's telling me he's OK and he causing us to smile on his behalf.  To me that's just wonderful.

Thank you for reading.


  1. Great post today... filled with so much light and hope! Thank you for writing. :)

  2. Good Morning Regina. As soon as I looked at the picture of that mold, I saw X,s, an O, arrows and a smiley face. All of those symbolize LOVE. Chris will always find ways to continue to send his love!! Have a wonderful weekend :)

  3. Regina...once again I find that I need to hear what your saying...I am having a rough time right now with my 14 almost 15 year old in school...grades slipping into the 70's and I am not happy about that...for like you I want him to get into a good college and I know that they look at grades from different years....but you remind me once again how I need to savor all things...learn from them and love him each and every moment good or bad. Being a Mom is the hardest most rewarding job there can be....thank you for being you and love and prayers to your family.....Kathy

  4. Regina,

    I think this is wonderful that his teachers are reaching out to you too. Back to the 100% blog, there is no doubt Chris lived his 100% and more!!! What a guy! He really did touch so many lives. How wonderful of you to meet with Mr. Nagy too I am sure he is happy and it helped him heal a little over the pain I am sure he is feeling too!

    Being a teacher and a coach, I have students in my office all the time(well girls I am a PE teacher and my office is in the girls locker room,LOL)...only they come in and eat MY lunch...hahaha I keep popcorn, pretzels, oranges, apples you name it extra in my office because these kids are always hungry!...and the stories...boy do I have some funny stories that I am going to make sure I share with their parents I know it would have them in stitches too!!!

    Teachers have the privilege to get to know kids on a different level and we are blessed to see their personality's truly shine. I am glad you got a feel for what Chris was like in school, and I am sure you are pleased!!! Again it does not surprise me Job well done Regina!!! You raised a fine boy!!!


    Enjoy your day!!!

    God Bless, XO

  5. I'm a dressmaker and I can honestly say, creating patterns on the computer is a lot harder than it is to do it by hand. These projects of Chris' are impressive! But my personal favorite is the polka dotted baby dragon. The media is so focused on Chris' football career at Shen, but I love to learn all of these other elements of this multifaceted kid. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Good Morning Regina!

    Your writing today continues to show what an all around kid Christopher truly is! I love how you are phrasing the different aspects that made up Chris as "Christopherisms". I believe he is smiling down with love and pride that his mom is getting his signals. I would imagine Chris had a lot of you , Regina, in his ways and personality. We often here the term "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree" and the phrasing usually has to do with negative personality attributes but in your case I think Chris embodied all of your "good apples' and he is as proud of you as you are of him.
    May God continue to Bless You and Your Family!

  7. Regina - when I look at this mold I see happiness and love. I see X's and O's and arrows pointed outward where Chris is showing his love for you, your family and all that surrounded him.

  8. Regina, Thanks for mentioning Chris and his band of merry men in tech class. I can count the number of students I have had two years in a row on one hand and Chris was a genuine gift. He was a hard worker, always payed attention, took advice, gave advice, and was warm to others, his only downfall was that he smelled like peanut butter! I feel blessed to have known him. Thanks again, Terry Nagy

  9. I'm glad I waited a bit today to respond because Terry Nagy's response to your blog made me even more impressed with his reaching out to you. Not only that he reached out and shared the projects with you, but that he shared the stories. I love when teachers go that extra mile for a parent.

    I smiled at each project and imagined "squirt" intently hovering over each creation (now adding the smell of peanut butter to the image thanks to Mr. Nagy's message above) and I got such an overall warm feeling. To sit back and take the images of Chris that I have seen, sweaty and all footbally to techy is just so amazing. And I'm glad you now have his projects, as more treasures. I love the polka dot dragon. I looked at that with very tired eyes this morning and it brightened my day.

    I would be interested to know more about what sparked the resin mold that appears to be a football with the X's and O's and arrows... What was the "project"? Maybe Mr. Nagy or even you could explain why that was made. To me, it looks like a football and the X's and O's make sense... I'm glad it was still in the Tech Room so it made it's way back to you. What a teasure!

    I received this email, in December, from one of my daughter's teachers and your blog reminded me of it, and also back to the friendship blog. Ally is going to miss the teachers more than the students when she graduates, I think... This isn't the first email I've gotten from a teacher about her. I keep them all. It warms the heart, doesn't it? This after she had a 40 minute conversation with the teacher, all in Spanish (as part of her speaking mid-term):

    "Ally is one the most fascinating, endearing and talented students that I have ever had. I love to showcase the many talents of my students and when Ally played for us a few weeks back I was so moved that I was misty eyed. What an amazing child. A few years down the road I will retire and I know that I will miss having the opportunity, or better yet privilege, to meet and teach such extraordinary young people."

    Thank you for sharing the techy side of Chris.

    God bless...

  10. As always Thank You very much for sharing another amazing thing about Chris... Hope you have a Great Weekend.

  11. Regina,

    Thanks for sharing another piece of the puzzle of Chris' life. I so enjoy learning about him. Thank you also for sharing about Terry Nagy, I love teachers like him! It is so awesome he found Chris' mold and it was no coincidence! Loved all the art projects!

    Thanks for sharing today.
    hugs and peace

  12. I love bananas and peanut butter together but I have never had them on a sandwich. Guess I will be trying something new this week! I hope my 5 year old likes it because it is a pain to get a little bit of peanut butter on a cut up banana, it slides right off!! :) Nice pieces of art by Chris, very nice treasures!!

  13. What a wonderful thing for Mr. Nagy to reach out to you, and nope - no coincidence that he still had a mold of Chris' when others usually get melted down. I also see the X's and O's. More signs. :)

    I'm certain my son Zach had a Mr. Nagy when he went to Bishop Maginn. I wonder if it's the same teacher? I also wonder if that peanut butter and banana sandwich had a little Nutella on it? Yet again, your post leaves me with the munchies. ;)

    All the best to you, Regina. I've been busy moving (just around the corner but OY!) and finally get to sit down with the nice warm laptop on my aching knees from all the non-stop running and the first thing I wanted to do was catch up on your posts. xx JM