Sunday, January 31, 2021

Ugly but beautiful

This metal monstrosity is something I made along with all the other students in my 8th grade shop class at Monroe Junior High in Omaha Nebraska.  My time in shop classes  was curtailed when I entered a college prep program at Benson High School, home of the bunnies. Being "college prep" meant no more shop classes, which is actually quite dumb, a course of study designed by those who have no awareness of the value of concrete learning or the immense value of student engagement.

This bent metal object is intended to be a wall hung lamp. It was too ugly to be hung in my parents home, but was kept on a shelf in the basement as evidence of learning. It was intended that it be electrified and that with a socket, bulb and shade it would illuminate more than the moment in which is was made.

And so we must look at it with fresh eyes as would a parent or shop teacher. Note that the bends required attention to symmetry. Note that in order for the parts to be accurately attached to each other, holes had to be precisely marked, drilled and riveted. 

As Otto Salomon had described, the value of the student's work is in the student as he moves on through life as a creative human being, not in the object made, which in some cases like this may be more beautiful than what one can see with bare naked eyes.

Does it seem odd to you that the only tangible evidence remaining in my life from my time in Junior high would be the things I made in shop class? 

Can you see the value in schooling being kept real? And that it be infused with reality from pre-K though university? Do you mind if I state once more that there's a difference between virtual learning and virtuous learning in that in the latter we attempt to be of real service to each other?

Schooling can be ugly and boring or beautiful. It's our job to fix it.

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

1 comment:

  1. I so appreciate the philosophy and skills in your program Wisdom of the Hands
    It is a master class for children.
    The students are very lucky to get to experience you as a teacher.