Friday, September 01, 2017

carving and turning pens...

We are in a push to sustain cursive at the Clear Spring School... a thing hampered by the digital age. So today I will have students from 4th grade up, whittling and turning their own ink pens. It's a project we have done before and here's a quick tutorial from the blog on setting up the lathe and preparing stock:

A radio talk show, 1A with Joshua Johnson and expert guests asked the question yesterday whether the smart phone has destroyed a generation. Guests noted a rise in psychological problems associated with smart phones and a general unpreparedness for adult life. They described a looming mental health crisis.

The value of digital technology is unquestioned by most parents and educators, but is strongly questioned by developmental psychologists whose research has noted a dramatic rise in anxiety and depression directly correlated to excessive engagement in "smart" technology. While young parents may choose to use their smart phones as toys to interest their toddlers and keep them distracted, the health of their children demands that they make other choices. Many would be truly alarmed if they were made aware of what they are doing to their kids.

A direct means to counter digital technology in which the smarts are in the machine and not in the student, is to engage the student in making useful and beautiful things. By crafting lovely work, the intelligence is firmly anchored in the relationship between head and hands. We desperately need all the smart, psychologically resilient kids we can get.

Besides writing with cursive becoming a lost art, reading cursive has been lost as well. A modern student looking at the Declaration of Independence would find it indecipherable.

Yesterday I met with our ESSA director and members of two woodturning groups about building our ESSA woodturning program. My experiment with Sam Maloof's formula continues. One more coat of finish will build up to a deeper effect. You can buy Maloof's finish all ready mixed in the can. Or you can mix your own from simple ingredients at much lower cost.

Make, fix, create and increase the likelihood that others learn likewise.

1 comment:

  1. My sister in law who supervises a large number of workers at a local company doesn't have much good to say about the young phone addicts when it comes to work ethic. They are always surprised when she tells them that they are being paid to do a job, not spend time on their phones reading their Facebook feed.