Thursday, May 05, 2016

schooling in a nutshell

I am nearing the end of the school year, and the month of May is always packed with extra activities. My students are finishing their box guitars. Some are on the funky side. Some are very nice. The kids are proud of their work. Some may not get finished. But I can only do so much.

Today I will work on guitars and ukuleles in my own shop and attend class with my lower elementary school students in the afternoon.

Official word is out that The Eureka Springs School of the Arts received a large grant to build a wood shop on the ESSA campus. It will consist of a machine room, a bench room and a lathe room, and I'll be involved in the planning over the next year in addition to my usual work. The new facility will allow for at least two concurrent classes and allow for year round classes in wood carving, box making, furniture design and wood turning.

The grant has a matching component in which community members will be asked to raise nearly $100,000 to buy tools and equipment. Woodworking has been a popular field of study at ESSA and in the past and during this summer, my Clear Spring School wood shop has been used for adult classes. The new adult sized facility will bring new opportunities for both schools, for the community and for the region.

May is also fine arts month in Eureka Springs, and while I'm uncertain what "fine" arts are, I'll be a participant in the White St. Art Walk on May 20 and on the weekend before, May 15, will be involved in helping my wife with Books in Bloom, the literary festival that she co-founded about 10-12 years ago.

So what shall we do in school? Comenius had a simple formula. He said:
As to sound learning, it admits of a threefold division; for we learn to know some things, to do some things, and to say some things; or rather, we learn to know, to do, and to say all things, except such as are bad.
There we have it in a nutshell, except that I would not divide such activities in equal measure, for with doing comes knowing at a deeper level, in in doing you are given things worthy of talking about.

Make, fix, create,and extend to others the love of learning likewise.


  1. Congratulations to ESSA!

  2. Thanks. A new wood shop is a major milestone!

  3. Truly. And since you can plan how it's laid out it should be a more efficient place to work.