The Art of Doing It Again

I can’t believe how good it feels to be back in school. I have new students I’m excited about, old students who I’m happy to see again, and a few who are presenting new challenges.

A recurring delight is kids reacting to gaining permission to fail. They’ll move from a visceral fear of learning a machine to having fun with it sometimes in minutes once they realize that it’s not a test, that they can just try something to see how it goes.

Camille makes her first cut with the lathe. I need to build a portable platform for the smaller kids to get their weight above their tools.
Mel takes his first shot. He was just visiting the class for fun. We’re working on an independent project where he’s learning 3d design in order to become an engineer.
George has gone from extremely shy and quiet to cautiously communicative in just a week.

Additionally, Veronica, a graduate who I’ve always loved having a student, came by to talk about doing some work in the school in the future. She’s writing excessive college application essays, planning YouTube science videos, and thinking hard about her place in the universe.

Richard, now 13, was wiped out with COVID with his whole family while moving house. I’m so happy to see him back after missing the first three weeks of school. His younger sibling has been knocked out and is still sick after almost a month. The family was in the middle of moving into a new house when it struck. I’m concerned and he’s stressed, but today was his first day of school and we had some time meditating before his class with me. I think he might have needed that. Or more.

Finally, a fellow teacher is taking one of my classes. Here they are on the lathe, themself, learning how it works. They’re working hard on making a frog sculpture now. I wish the schedule worked out so I could take their class, too!