Tuesday, June 26, 2018


I made it through the first full day of class forgetting to take any photos. I will try to do better today. The students have been successfully cutting mitered joints, planing wood, resawing on the bandsaw, and figuring ways to personalize their boxes.

I know it must make some curious. If the hands make you so smart, how can some folks in the trades be so foolish in how they vote against their own best interests. Examples: Live in a farm state? Vote for candidates who are philosophically opposed to farm support. Live in a poor state? Vote against those who would preserve food stamps, medicare and the affordable care act. Live in a poor state, badly polluted by industry? Vote for candidates wanting to cripple the EPA and make it easier for industries to pollute. All sad situations, but very true.

I attempted to explain a a few things during the aftermath of the 2008 election, as our nation was on the brink of economic collapse. I used our old friend Joe the Plumber from the 2008 election campaign as an example. My point is not to offend, but to stimulate thought.

Schools seem to operate a Harry Potter type sorting hat. These selected students will be going to college, so let's not give them the hand skills that would refresh and enliven their understanding of the real world. We'll keep those students mired in the abstract. These other students are not going to college, so let's narrow their interests to vocational pursuits. After depriving them of the confidence to penetrate the complexity of the real world, they can be managed by wedge issues to vote against their own best interests.

Now Donald Trump's administration wants to combine the department of labor and the department of education. Perhaps his idea is that the only purpose of learning is to feed folks to industrial employment, and not to think higher thoughts. But the desire to figure things out through poetry, and the arts, is what makes us human. And these things are just as important as industrial employment.

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

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