Friday, April 03, 2020

attempting to be brief...

As I've been attempting to convey lessons in woodworking to the students and parents at the Clear Spring School, I'm beginning to realize that I need to be brief. Many (even parents) will not read what I write, as reading has become hard for us in our twitter age.

Even with the corona virus slowing us down and giving us more time to read we seem to have lost the knack for long sentences.

But it's difficult for me to be brief on a subject I love so much and that's so deeply entwined in human culture to the point many don't know that it's there.

Wood and the attempt to make useful and beautiful objects from it are foundation blocks in human civilization.

So for those who don't like to read so much, I offer the following about the kits that Clear Spring School parents will pick up for their kids beginning Monday by arrangement with their core teachers or head of school.
  1. A labeled and finished sample of an Arkansas hardwood. The students are to  use the internet to learn more about the tree and the uses of its wood, then draw a picture of the tree or write a poem or observations about the tree.
  2. A block of 2 x 4 spruce (a common building material). Count the annual rings and give thought to how long it took to grow in comparison to their own lives.
  3. A sanding block with which they are to work on the 2 x 4 block, sanding to compare results, across and with the grain.
While we are in some difficult times, look at the spaces between the annual rings and notice that not all are not the same. Trees, too, grow through difficult times, and that the rings go on, tells us that we, too, will grow on to better days.

With the sanding block, I offer this warning to kids. Only use it on unfinished wood. Using it on other things will get you in big trouble.

I'll try to lay out assignments more simply in my future mailings. If you want to receive those mailings, use this link.

Make, fix, create, and assist others in learning lifewise.

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