Tuesday, March 20, 2018

At work in my home shop

Yesterday was the first day of spring break so I began taking photographs of materials preparations for teaching wood working to kids. The process involved ripping spruce 2 x 4's into material for box making. Spruce is particularly good for woodworking with kids, as it saws easy, and nails without splitting unless you get too close to the end or an edge. It is also available at most lumber yards. It sands easy, and being light colored, it can be decorated with markers or paint.

I also worked on walnut boxes as you can see in the photo. One of these will be used as a gift at the University of Arkansas and the others will be sold.

What is it about the hands that people don't understand? In addition to making us smart and standing in when other senses fail, they have a direct effect on our feelings of well-being. Kelly Lambert had called that effect "Effort Driven Rewards," and her research shows that when rats have to work for what they get they are happier with less stress than when life is made easy for them.  That explains a few things about us. When we are actively creating something by hand, we feel better. And so, since hand-work is a means toward mental health, that's reason enough for all children to do hands-on creative activities in school. If not woodworking, they should at the very least learn to cook and care for each other.

When Jacquie Froelich from our local public radio station asked what I hoped might be the outcome of our cane making project, I told her that I hope one of our students would see some elderly person at our local grocery store relying upon one of the canes they had made. That would be full circle.

In the few days since we delivered the canes, three have been given away by the doctors to people in need. At that rate, the supply will be exhausted in as little as 9 weeks.  That may give us an excuse to make more, or to make this exercise and annual event.

Today I meet with folks from A+ Schools to begin planning for a possible fall fellow's retreat.

Make, fix, create, and assist others in learning lifewise.

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