Monday, January 13, 2014

values and craftsmanship...

From the Children's Library of Work and Play, Carpentry and Woodwork
A genuine craftsman
You don't have to preach honesty to men with a creative purpose. Let a human being throw the energies of his soul into the making of something, and the instinct of workmanship will take care of his honesty. A genuine craftsman will not adulterate his product. The reason isn't because duty says he shouldn't but because passion says he couldn't. -- Walter Lippman
Sometime in the next 5 days, Judge Connie Griffin will announce her decision on whether or not AEP/SWEPCO will be allowed to build a massive high voltage power line through my community. I first want to thank her for the gracious manner in which she has addressed each of us and made certain that we've felt we were being heard. We know that it will, however, come down to a matter of law. The state law proclaims the importance of our small local communities, and that the economic, environmental, cultural and historic resources of our small local communities must be considered. AEP/SWEPCO ignored the serious concerns of our local community in its environmental impact statement on the project has been proclaimed faulty by agencies of both the state and Federal Governments. These agencies include the Department of Arkansas Heritage, the Department of Arkansas Tourism, The National Park Service, and the US Army Corp of Engineers.

AEP/SWEPCO seeks is the right to take through eminent domain, properties owned and cared for by individual citizens of Arkansas which should only be allowed when the greater needs of the citizens of Arkansas cannot be met through other means. In this particular case, the need for this power line has not been proved. In fact, what has been proven is that the power line is not necessary, despite SWEPCOs multitudinous verbal fabrications to the contrary. When completed with a second 345 kV circuit, it would supply over 8 times the amount of power currently in use in this county while they claimed it was only for our reliability. Demand for electric power in the US has declined for the third year in a row, even as the US has clawed its way out of recession. Distributed power generation from the installation of solar panels threatens the basic business model upon which AEP/SWEPCO plans to pay for this power line.

If this power line goes through, citizens of Arkansas will be left holding the bag, with an electric distribution network none of us can afford. By now, I'm certain Judge Connie Griffin will be carefully composing her text. I hope the APSC and the power company have learned a few things from this case. Those of us in opposition to it certainly have. What we have here in the beauty of our forests and meadows, rivers and streams of Northwest Arkansas must not be taken for granted. There are those who have yet to awaken to the beauty we have here. In the meantime, my fingers are crossed that Judge Griffin rules against SWEPCO in this case.

I know that some might consider this case to be off subject for this blog about hands-on learning. The way I see it is that learning lessons hands-on in early life, increases sensitivities of all kinds in later life. The planning staff at AEP/SWEPCO has been completely out of touch. Where was Froebel's Kindergarten when they needed it most?

The following is:
The Sacredness of Work
The house-builder at work in cities or anywhere,
The preparatory jointing, squaring, sawing, mortising,
The hoist-up of beams, the push of them in their paces, laying them regular.
Setting the studs by their tenons in the mortises, according as they were prepared,
The blows of mallets and hammers--Paeans and praises to Him!
-- Walt Whitman
Froebel's 3rd gift.
You will notice that without an understanding of the vocabulary of woodworking, Whitman's poem would be meaningless. Today in the CSS wood shop, the upper elementary school kids worked on their woodworking vocabulary. They also turned on the lathe and worked on independent projects.

I began making boxes for Froebel's 3rd Gift, as an exercise in my own hand work, that can be used by our pre-school and kindergarten students.

My High School students and I have begun a class in  box making.

Make, fix and create… teach others to do so, too.

1 comment:

  1. Chris6:18 PM

    I just started watching Ken Burns' documentary on the National Parks again. Securing the rights of our posterity to enjoy the beauty of the natural world should always trump the greedy thirst for profits. There will always be a few who would exploit or desecrate these places for want of selfishly personal wealth. Thank you for pursuing this cause.