The Road to SkillsUSA

Team TCATN heads to Chattanooga on April 10, for the SkillsUSA competition. I’m not good with sports analogies, but I’d say this is every bit as exciting as a preliminary a cappella competition in Pitch Perfect. If we win, we go to Nationals.

Needless to say, we’re buckling down to get ready. This week, we did a grueling and optimistically named “10-hour” online OSHA training course, which took 12.65 hours. Even worse, I bought regulation khakis. Jake from State Farm meets SkillsUSA.

Meanwhile, we’re rapid-fire building structures to practice carpentry, masonry, electrical and plumbing.

We get better with each project, but it never ceases to amaze me how many mistakes we can make in translating paper plans to wooden structures.

At SkillsUSA, nailguns are not allowed, so we’re hammering it all by hand. I bathed in Epsom salts and took Alleve every night this week. To restate the obvious: Building is hard work.

Josh will be our mason in the individual competition.

Gabby and Jose will lead the electrical work.

And then there’s John, cut man on the group-build team.

I will participate on the 4-person team for the group-build contest, which includes carpentry, electrical, masonry and plumbing. I’m the go-to math person. You need a stud cut for an 8-foot wall? I’m your girl. Cut that stud at 91.5 inches. That is, ask Cut Man John to cut the stud.

I am also the team blogger. Let’s hope that counts for something at SkillsUSA.

4 thoughts on “The Road to SkillsUSA

  1. I learned about you from Ann and Kay and have surprised myself with how much I enjoy reading about construction school! Good luck in your competition!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, thanks for the note. I’ve always been jealous of Ann & Kay’s passion for knitting, so I’m delighted to find something similar in the creative discipline of building and woodwork. I love how can connect people who make things out of wood and woolens!


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