The university having already begun using the new facilities provided by Uncle Mitch, I was home early from school one day so I sat outside the building, watching as crowds of students left the building and cross the road to the main part of the campus, at the conclusion of another lecture.
“Hey Kid, what are you doing hanging around here, this is University property ya know?” one student said when he noticed me sitting on the end of a limestone block wall, “Well that is technically incorrect, the university leases the property for University purposes,” I respond.
“Bloody smart-arse kid, how would you know if this is owned by the university or not! If the Uni uses it, then it must be owned by the university,” another student said joining in the conversation, “Whatever dude, you are wrong thou, this building is privately owned, and on lease,” I replied, as I saw Uncle Mitch approach in his car, and gave his horn a short burst.
“Hey Mr, do you own this kid? You need to keep a leash on his smart arse mouth,” one of the students commented to Uncle Mitch, “I suggest that you kerb your mouth Mr Hutchins, if you wish to go places in the future,” a lady said as she stepped out of the building and stopped to hear what is going on.
“Yes Ma’am, it’s just that this kid is bragging that the university doesn’t own this great new building, he says it is leased,” one of the students said, “That is correct Mr Ormond, the University does actually lease this property, and the gentleman in the car is not only the owner, but he is the architect who designed the building, so I suggest you apologise to Mr Garrison and his nephew right away, then get to your next lecture,” the lady said.
Left shocked at what they heard, they said nothing and kept walking. “I apologise on their behalf, Mr Garrison, they should not be treating people like this, I will make sure they return with an apology,” the lady said to my uncle.
“It is fine, Ms Prentis, it was just young men trying to act more superior than others, I will be taking no notice of them, and I will be instructing my nephew to do the same. Come on Tobias, we have dinner to cook and homework to do,” Uncle Mitch said as I climbed into the car, and made the less than one block journey to home.
I headed up to the Penthouse ahead of Uncle Mitch, who stopped downstairs to answer a call, and he arrived just he his near the end of the call. “A very interesting proposal Ms Prentis, and I accept the challenge, I will speak to you next week, goodbye,” I heard him said.
“The same lady from earlier?” I asked, curious to know why she called. “Yes, an interesting situation has arisen from that little episode over at the other building. The Uni students that were giving you a hard time are second year architect students, and the lady, Ms Prentis, has asked me to co-grade that years students current assignment, which is to design a public building with just two levels and covers an area of 2000 square metres in area,” Uncle Mitch announced.
“Oh, this should be fun, I hope you fail them all,” I replied with a big grin, “No, I won’t do that, but I will be very strict with my assessments, she will be dropping them off to me next week, for me to look at,” Uncle Mitch said.
When I arrived home from school the following Tuesday, Uncle Mitch was already home, and he had a number of A2 sized papers scattered all over the dining room table. “Are these the Uni students’ assignments?” I asked as I dropped my bag at my feet, and began to circle the table, looking at the different plans.
“Your backpack in your room please, master Tobias,” Maria said from the kitchen, “Yes Ma’am,” I replied, as I walked over to my abandoned backpack, picked it up and carried it into my room, dropping it on my bed. While in my room, I changed out of my school uniform, before returning to the dining room.
“How long have you been looking at these, Uncle?” I asked when I had returned, “most of the afternoon, some of them are good, and some are just sloppy work, with a lot of errors,” Uncle said to me, as he jotted down some more notes in his pad, before flipping over the page and searched for the next design, before taking a good look at it, and shaking his head, then writing down some more notes.
“I have an idea, do you think that by Friday, you could draw up a plan of a public building to the same specifications that Ms Prentis has asked for, I would like to get her view point on the additional plan,” Uncle Mitch said to me, and I grinned broadly, “You bet I want to, can I use your Workshop and supplies please?” I replied eagerly, “Yes, you have free access to it all but only when I am not using it, now off you go and do your homework first, then you can start on the assignment,” Uncle Mitch said to me.
For the next three evenings and 3 mornings before school, I worked hard on my design, making sure that I did everything perfectly, as I had been taught in my Tech Drawing classes at school, and VET classes. And as I was heading out the door for school on the Friday, I handed Uncle Mitch the finished drawings.
“I have a note here, asking for you to leave school early this afternoon, to attend a special appointment, so come straight home, as we have a meeting with a certain Uni class this afternoon,” Uncle Mitch said to me.
I smiled and gave him a hug before rushing out the door to catch the bus to the city, then the train to school, which in total is a 45-minute journey each way, every school day. I was looking forward to next year when all I will have to do, is go down the elevator and across to the other building to get to my classes.
“Before I hand back your assignments, I had a colleague look at each of them and he has made some comments for each one, but these comments are not part of your grade for the assignment, which was entirely my doing. Having looked at his comments, I am in agreement with every single comment that he has made for each assignment,” Ms Prentis said to her students, just after Uncle Mitch and I sneaked into the lecture room and sat at the back, out of sight of the students.
“…Right, any feedback on my colleagues views on each assignment,’ Ms Prentis asked after she read out all the comments, “Yeah, I think that they are fairly harsh, and does this colleague of yours have the training and skill to make such comments on our work?” one of the students asked.
“Yes, he does actually, he has over 15 years of experience, and he was the top student in his class when he did this same course at this same campus,” Ms Prentis said, “So, you say that you agree with his comments? Did you take them into consideration when you graded our assignments?” another student asked. “No, because I had already graded your assignments, before I handed them over for his views.
Now as well as this class doing the assignment, one other assignment was received earlier today, and I am happy to say, that he did a lot better than many of you, and received a B+ grading from me, even though he is doing his VET Building Design Advanced Diploma and being a Year 11 High School student, doing Technical Drawing as one of his subjects,” Ms Prentis announced.
“What is the purpose of allowing him to do this miss? Are you trying to shame us?” one student said angrily as he stood up. “I suggest you calm down and take a seat Mr Ormond, as it was because of your big loud mouth that put you in this very situation… Mr Tobias Garrison, please stand,” Ms Prentis stated.
“Students, this is Tobias Garrison, whom some of your class mates met earlier in the week, when they were bad mouthing him in public, the gentleman seated beside Tobias, is his Uncle, Mr Mitchell Garrison, the chief Architect who designed this fine building complex. “Congratulations Tobias on a wonderful job on the assignment, and thank you to Mr Garrison for his professional evaluation of your assignments today,” Ms Prentis said, as Uncle Mitchell stood, and smiled, before heading out the door, with me close by.
“Wow, that was really interesting, I hope they learn something today,” I commented, “Yes, I do too, now let’s head home and relax for the weekend. Oh, and by the way, I received word from the police, that they have captured and charged your stepfather, and it appears that your mother did not approve of him assaulting me.
She texted me, to let me know that she had left him and fled with the children, to a new and safer home, in New Zealand, and I have sent her some money to cover her travel and living expenses for a short while” Uncle Mitch replied. “Well I am glad that she left him, and I hope she has a good new life,” I responded.
Thanks for reading my latest Story. Q
Copyright January 2020 Preston Wigglesworth All Rights Are Reserved