Monday, November 27, 2017

A slide show...

I am home in Eureka Springs after a quick Thanksgiving trip to Denver. In addition to Thanksgiving dinner with family, we visited the Denver Art Museum n Denver Public Library and were most impressed by their attention to activities for kids. If we are not providing interesting real things for our kids to do and to learn from, we are failing our future. Too much time is spent sequestered from reality, which brings me to the subject of school and where woodworking can fit in.

Everyone these days is interested in virtual reality (which is not at all virtuous)  and artificial intelligence (which is actually quite artificial and no one seems concerned about it). In the meantime, we get the big picture of things on the small screens of our iPhones, and know far too little about the actual real world that surrounds us.

Coming home across Kansas yesterday morning early with the sun yet to rise it seemed as if we were in a magical paradise of earth and sky. My wife asked me more than once, to "take a picture of that." The beauty was breathtaking. The land was flat enough, that it seemed we could observe the curvature of the earth, and that we were surrounded by a golden valley of earth and sky, but that we might never really know which was which. Of course, no phone could ever take a picture of that.

The point, of course is that in schools, children need to do real things that pertain to real life. Woodworking connects the child to a deep heritage of human development and culture. The fact that the materials come from the forests of our own communities give the child insight into nature that will not be gained from the manipulation of on screen data.

The world seems to have become addicted to tiny screens, when we need most to become more closely attuned to the real world that surrounds us.

I am working on a slide show to bring my high school students up to date on my preparation for building Bevins Skiffs. The slide show is just a glimpse of the making. The iPhone photo of the Kansas sunrise is not the real sunrise, and schooling in general  is too often a means of sequestering children from reality not preparing students for real life. Today I have a full day of classes.

Make, fix, and create...

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