The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas

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St. Mark's School of Texas
10600 Preston Road Dallas, TX 75230
The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas

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The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas

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The mini city upstairs

Upstairs+at+Daviss+house+resides+a+miniature+city.
PHOTO / COURTESY VALERIE DAVIS
Upstairs at Davis’s house resides a miniature city.

Math teacher Valerie Davis has a little city in her house. Thirty buildings. Hundreds of residents. It even includes castles and magical brooms. 

She likes to say everybody’s got their little things, but Harry Potter flying through a borough of New York City built with thousands of LEGO pieces, isn’t that little.

When Davis first came across legos, she only thought of them as a couple of blocks that could keep her 8-year-old son busy. Yet Davis found herself becoming more and more interested in the detailed and painstaking process of turning a mess to a monument. 

“When he was young, we’d get sets and I’d say ‘Oh look son, you need this!’” Davis said. “But really it was an excuse for me because I wanted it.”

Davis had put the old sets in a closet when her son grew out of playing with toys, but five years ago, her passion for LEGOS led her to yank them back out. Now, she has easily over 100 sets, with some taking several weeks to finish.

“I was just building Gringotts, a building from Harry Potter, and it was a busy couple of weeks,” Davis said. “What’s nice with Lego is the sets come separated into bags. I’ll sit down and do the first bag of pieces then stop for the day because that’s all I had time for.”

Davis actually introduced Assistant Head of Middle School Jason Lange to the world of LEGOS. During a Texas winter storm in February 2021, Lange bought a 9000-piece replica of the Colosseum. Now he brings his large LEGO constructions to campus to be displayed. The Green Library currently has three installments of his LEGO art: the Titanic, Eiffel Tower and Concorde Plane.

“I built the colosseum and was surprised at just how detailed and thoughtful these LEGO sets can be,” Lange said. “I bring them here to school and display them, so students can admire and appreciate them, and hopefully be inspired by them.”

The two teachers use these Lego sets not just to show off to their students but as a break from their phones and everyday life. 

“They’re very relaxing; I can sit there and tune everything out,” Davis said. “It’s very organized. I’m a math person, and I like my nice sequential order. I joke that it’s an illness, but, really, it’s a wonderful rabbit hole.”

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About the Contributor
Doan Nguyen, Staff Writer