Wednesday, October 08, 2014

given opportunity, one thing leads to another...

Yesterday at noon as I was preparing for my class of sketchup students to make legos,™ three boys came in asking to use various tools in the wood shop. In the morning, in their study of ornithology, they had made quills for writing and had practiced their cursive by writing the mantra, "I will take time to observe the world around me."

Throughout the day a steady trickle of monarch butterflies was passing south across the school campus at a height of about 75 feet, but it was only to be seen by those who took time to observe, or those in the company of one who did so.

When the writing assignment was complete, I heard the students ask, "Where can I get some ink?" They wanted to continue practicing their writing at home.

In the wood shop, the three boys wanted to alter plastic cups so that they would fit together as a press, so that they could make their own ink from walnut hulls that litter the school grounds every year at this time.

They drilled holes in the bottom of one cup and altered the shape of the other so that one would press tightly inside the other. Then they smashed walnut hulls and squeezed the juice between the cups. They were thus able to get nearly a cup of liquid walnut juice. I am uncertain where their experiment went next, but for those readers who wonder, "Can you really make your own ink?"

Yes you can, but only if you are led to observe your surroundings and are free to act appropriately in response. This was another example of quantum entanglement, which in the realm of education can mean that children are inspired to take off on their own investigations of physical reality, transcending what is offered in schooling, for they, themselves, are altered to a fresh state.

As a teacher, I am grateful to teach in a situation in which students are free to find inspiration in their surroundings and act upon that inspiration.

On the sketchup front, all my students seem to have made the outside shape of a lego™ block, and on Thursday we will work on the inside proportions.

In my own shop, I am applying one more coat of Danish oil to boxes so that they can be shipped on Thursday.

Make, fix and create...

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