Monday, March 17, 2014

lost in wonder

We had yet another snowstorm yesterday, with about 6 inches of heavy wet snow. The ground temperature was high enough that it melted on the roads, but blanketed the grass, the forest floor and the trees, that are beautiful under the weight of fallen snow. This morning I'm taking a friend to the airport in Springfield and going to Grizzly to buy a replacement motor for my 6" x 48" belt sander.

The following is from John Dewey's School and Society:
"When occupations in the school are conceived in this broad and generous way, I can only stand lost in wonder at the objections so often heard, that such occupations are out of place in the school because they are materialistic, utilitarian, or even menial in their tendency. It sometimes seems to me that those who make these objections must live in quite another world. The world in which most of us live is a world in which everyone has a calling and occupation, something to do. Some are managers and others are subordinates. But the great thing for one as for the other is that each shall have had the education which enables him to see within his daily work all there is in it of large and human significance. How many of the employed are today mere appendages to the machines which they operate! This may be due in part to the machine itself or the regime which lays so much stress upon the products of the machine; but it is certainly due in large part to the fact that the worker has had no opportunity to develop his imagination and his sympathetic insight as to the social and scientific values found in his work. At present, the impulses which lie at the basis of the industrial system are either practically neglected or positively distorted during the school period. Until the instincts of construction and production are systematically laid hold of in the years of by scientific methods, we certainly are in no position even to locate the source of our economic evils, much less to deal with them effectively."
No doubt the pinheads of today would claim that Dewey was a socialist and that therefore his methods were not to be trusted. They would have said the same thing about Otto Salomon for having a concern for the dignity of all labor. As a craftsman, I know the pleasure that can be found in making beautiful and useful things, and I've heard from friends that they feel something missing from their own lives. There is much to be said for simply plunging in to some kind of creative opportunity.

Make, fix, and create...

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