How do you find out that you can’t build a chicken coop?

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Some little chicks, looking for a home.

I have the answer to this ancient mystery. You find out exactly half way through the construction process. That is, you find out after you have started to build. You suspected as much before – now you know. These five chicks were hatched at my school by some primary students. When I agreed that I would build a chicken coop for them (How could I say no?), how was I to know that I couldn’t (notice the use of past tense here) actually  do it. Well, I am halfway through and it is now dawning on me that I have just created the world’s most structurally unsound 8ft cube.  But, don’t despair for me just yet, as I think I have also just realized what questions I need to ask and I have a plan. I understand quite a bit more about structural integrity as a concept now than I did a week ago, and I have a good reason for wanting to find out – little fluffy reasons in fact. Have I failed – no. Am I a better chicken coop builder now – yes, marginally. It is a good reminder of how powerful mistakes and detours can be in the learning process. When I finish, I will post a photo of one of the least aesthetically pleasing, but sturdy, chicken coops you are ever likely to see, but I won’t quit my day job just yet.

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