Updated: Jul 22, 2021
Different is the best way to describe me.
Bricks And Clay From Paper:
I’m the bag lady pulling a red wagon with a bucket and shovel out in the rolling barren hills of my small rural town. Different is the best way to describe me.
You might see me with a black trash bag emptying all shredders of their paper, or along the side of the street pulling a little red wagon full of used-never new- printer paper, and you may see me on the distant hill with a shovel, bucket, and determined face searching for raw clay.
Why? I make bricks with shredded paper, furniture with used printer paper, and garden walls with clay. Everything I do seems to have a functional purpose.
Through trial and error, I finally made the perfect brick from paper. I laugh when I examine my final product. The shredded paper I use is from all the junk mail that comes in the mailbox. I wonder if these companies know how valuable their junk mail is for me.
So now you’re asking what triggers someone to decide to make a brick from shredded paper? I desire to finds ways to re-use things instead of buying new. If I need something, first, I try to figure out if I can make it myself.
I make paper clay with the shredded paper, mix it with a bit of cement, shape it with a brick mold, and dry it for a few days. The paper clay is for absolutely anything and everything indoors. Adding cement makes it suitable for outdoors. I’m using the brick to make garden beds right now.
Red Wagon’s Are Not Just For Kids:
My main transport is my feet. I walk to work every day. I found it is easier for me to pull my work tools in a wagon, so that’s what I do. I don’t need a parking space, never need to fill up with gas, and can pull my wagon right into my workspace.
My profession is elementary school teacher. I’m the teacher pulling the red wagon to work.
I saw so much paper thrown away at work. I wondered if there was a better use for it than tossing it. I began to research the idea and learned how to create furniture, baskets, and purposeful products with used paper. When I need something, I often analyze if I can make it from paper. It’s been a fun experiment.
Mud Pie Is For Everyone:
One day I looked around the rural and barren area where I live. No trees, No water, No rocks, a desolate-looking place. Tons and tons of dirt hills. I began to research and learned there is clay everywhere in the soil. I go out and fill a bucket up with dirt and sift through it to harvest the clay. It’s a beautiful clay, and I love how it molds to what I want. It’s held up well over a few years outside as walls for a garden bed. I love the look, the feel, and making something useful from what’s around me.
“You’re A Teacher?”
One of the things I’m proud of is my teaching career. It’s been a challenging journey every step of the way, from college graduation to the first electrifying moment of turning the lights on in my own classroom, to now when I am looking retirement dead in the face.
I don’t look like what most people visualize a teacher should look like, so people are often surprised when they hear I’m a teacher. To tell you the truth, if I get my clothes on right, I’m doing well. I’ve worn a dress all day at work without realizing it was inside out.
I think I will always be a teacher even when I’m retired. I enjoy planning and preparing online classes and will step into the online course creation world once I’m retired from the traditional classroom.
I love the many parts of me. I teach, write, and play the piano and drums. A drum set sits in my living room, along with two pianos. I’ve taught every grade in elementary school, Junior High choir, and High School piano. I ran the children’s choir at church until I became too ill to travel the distance to get there. I live across the street from the school where I teach, so getting to work is very easy.
If You Can, Anyone Can
I’m Autistic. What is common and easy for others can be very challenging for me. I realize this and allow for the extra time I need to master a task. Having communication with someone is a significant challenge for me, and planning goes into a simple exchange.
Being a teacher, Autistic, and having communication struggles is such a heavy burden. Things are not so easy. Planning, practice, practice, and more practice go into just about everything I undertake to do.
I work very hard at doing well what most people see as commonplace. In the past, I played the organ for church service. It was overwhelming, and I worked hours every day to learn the songs. No one knew how hard I worked at it. So, when someone said, “If you can sit up there and play the organ, anyone can.” It crushed my feelings and self-confidence.
Me In A Nutshell:
Born in Utah, living and teaching in California, spiritually-minded, goal-oriented, Reiki Master, Body Code and Emotion Code Practitioner. While working full-time as a teacher, I also had my own healing practice and actively pursued a Ph.D. in Quantum Physics and its use in integrative medicine.
I fell apart from Burnout, trying to burn the candle at both ends, as they say. I dropped out of the Ph.D. pursuit and closed my healing practice. Now I focus on retirement, writing, and being as unique as possible. I have one son who is finishing up his degree in computer science. I have two beautiful grandsons. They live in Idaho.
I am a forest-loving, river-wading, nature lover married to a person who thinks he needs to cut down every tree he sees and spray pesticides, so he never has to look at an insect.
We had one of those bizarre weddings where we met each other, exchange names, and ran off to the courthouse to say I do without really knowing one another. We’ve been married for 14 years now. Hard to believe.
He is my best friend, but it was no easy path to reach where we are now. Respect for each other’s differences has been a great asset.
Thank you for reading my story.
Remember the gem you are,
Bobbi Lynn Gibson
Wonder, Explore, Experience!
I share my Journey…. I explore curiosities! I Seek Answers! I Problem Solve Life’s Challenges. I’m an educator, online course creator, and writer.
Please check out my Autism Strategies course.