Wednesday, February 05, 2014

back in Arkansas, welcome to snow...

I have returned to Arkansas from West Palm Beach, Florida, having missed days of snow and cold. Arriving home we had about 6 inches of undisturbed snow on our gravel drive.

From what I've heard, our winter is far from over yet. We expect some snow tomorrow and then more next week.

Woodworking education was said to build both the character and intellect of its pupils, but what was meant by character? Is it something that one might easily define? And for each individual? William James said the following:
“But let us now close in a little more closely on this matter of the education of the will. Your task is to build up a character in your pupils; and a character, as I have so often said, consists in an organized set of habits of reaction. Now of what do such habits of reaction themselves consist? They consist of tendencies to act characteristically when certain ideas possess us, and to refrain characteristically when possessed by other ideas.” -- William James. Talks To Teachers On Psychology; And To Students On Some Of Life's Ideals, 1899
I guess that's about the best you can get from a psychologist. But I think most of us can recognize character in the characteristics of moral behavior... that is, behavior that considers the interests of others, as nearly on par with the interests of self. It is my suspicion that most children, having once been given the opportunity to serve others in some way, however small, will seek to repeat that service for the sake of both the recognition it offers and the sense of power and purpose that it displays. When children in Educational Sloyd were given the skills to produce something of value and usefulness in their homes or in their communities, they got something from it, becoming thus transformed in self image from children to makers and craftsmen.

 Make, fix, create, and help others to find their own character in craftsmanship...

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