Friday, June 26, 2020


I've been assembling new equipment for the Clear Spring School wood shop. We have a new planer, a new dust collector and a new small drill press that will be dedicated to making wheels. Each requires assembly. 

It's fun, reading and following instructions, finding where each screw or bolt goes and putting it in place. I was stopped in my assembly of the dust collector yesterday by the weight of one of the components. It was just too heavy for me to lift and position on my own. So friends. We count on them. We'll mask up, take care and lift the component into place. 

The new tools will make us better able to do materials preparation in the school shop... some of which I'd been doing in my own wood shop, and allow for my replacement by another teacher when that time comes.

Do we plan for such things? Yes, in a  time of coronavirus and coming change, we must.

With cases rising again across the US, and folks who think their own right to flaunt safe health practices is greater than the necessity of protecting the health of their families, communities, and the economy, we are in very deep trouble.

But, human beings have a tendency to rise anew from troubled times. And so we are entering a period of adjustment. 

I am reminded always of this quote from Jean Jacques Rousseau... 
"Put a young man in a wood shop, his hands will benefit his brain. He will become a philosopher while thinking himself only a craftsman."
There's some serious meat in that quote... Meat you can gnaw right off the bone if you can understand  first that it applies to women as well as to men. Working with our hands makes light work for the mind. It allows for the intrusion of other things to clarify the workings of thought. One thing about the quote that appeals to me is the word, "only." It implies a sense of humility. Like the glass that's half full, it is not pretentious. It admits humility, and with humility, we have the opportunity to learn a few things.

And so these are uncertain times. We, together, will make the best of what ails us.

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

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