Thursday, March 13, 2008

I am up too early this morning. My wife sprang out of bed remembering an early morning meeting in another town. I'm packaging information to help the North Bennet St. School in Boston reconnect with their sloyd past, which is an odd turn of events since the North Bennet St. School was the starting point for my own journey into the heart of a long forgotten educational heritage.

I got a phone call from a mother in response to the article in the Democrat-Gazette. Her son, now a college student studying engineering has an irrepressible love of woodworking and the article led her to call and ask what she could do to encourage it.

There are two areas in which our imaginings create our futures. As parents we have hopes and ambitions for our children's success and we watch as they travel the prescribed path, step-by-step. They enroll as college prep, of course. We can't imagine their success without college and we make sure their feet are placed on that path whether they are reluctant or not. We watch their grades and homework and run them off to their ACT and SAT examinations and then universities with our fingers crossed as we launch them into the unknown.

Then there is the other area of imagining. Children must do their own. Parents, knowing neither their children's hearts nor their own missed opportunities, having been pushed and damaged themselves, push their children on toward futures the children are poorly prepared to imagine, we have kept them so tightly scheduled within bounds.

The North Bennet St. School was in my thoughts as I spoke with the woman about her son. There are so few mothers and fathers in the world who can imagine broadly enough to encourage their children toward lives of craftsmanship. We have so disparaged and negated the significance of the human hand that we have damaged our collective imagination. But there are irrepressible creative urges that children feel in their hearts and souls that lead them to imagine things their parents cannot.

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