After a nearly 20-year hiatus, I bought myself some paints and set up a table in the basement for painting miniatures. For those not in the know, these are the little figurines that are often featured in tabletop role-playing games.
I got my first box of minis in sixth or seventh grade. They were made of lead back then and I painted with oils and turpentine. The hobby has come a long way since then. Minis are made of safe metals, plastic, or resin. A plethora of acrylic (water-based) paints are available now, and YouTube, of course, features endless hours of tutorials.
My first two minis are somewhat random. A camel that I started in 2001 but never finished. And a disgusting giant rat. (Iâ€™m rusty, so I wanted a model that would be tolerant of errors.)
On Friday, I had to give a series of short presentations about the middle school GSA to students in every advisory in the building. I was with my two wonderful colleagues, Kate and Vito, who have been co-leading the group with me for the past few years. Over the course of 90 minutes, we gave the presentation to a dozen different groups of students. We tried to keep it high energy, so we were running a bit ragged by the end of it. One of the last groups, however, made my day.
As we wrapped up our presentation, a girl called out, “Mr. Roy, are you Griffin’s dad?” I said, “Yes I am. Why do you ask?” She responded, “He is the nicest person I have ever met!” At which point, a bunch of other students chimed in in agreement.
This wasn’t surprising in the sense that I feared that Griffin wasn’t niceâ€”my sense has always been that he is uncommonly kindâ€”but it is rare for seventh graders to put themselves out there to compliment a classmate so publicly. Moreover, it helped quell any lingering anxiety about how he is settling into his new school.