Friday, May 07, 2021

Knives and sharp sticks.

Yesterday I was told to no longer allow my students to carry sharpened sticks from the woodshop, as they failed a test, violating the rules of such things. Kids love whittling, and the level of interest they apply to sharpening sticks with a knife is amazing. But being allowed to sharpen sticks carries a burden of responsibility. Sharp sticks are not to be displayed as weapons or held in a manner that suggests they might be used as weapons. I got a texted photograph from the head of school, warning, no more, so that's that.

The rules were simple. Sharp sticks must be carried down at the student's side, not brandished, and upon returning to the main campus were to be put immediately in backpacks and not gotten out during the day, but kids and sticks, sharp or not are irresistible.

There are educational values in sharpening sticks. It takes close observation and develops hand skills as well as attention. So the new rule is simple and will be easy to enforce. Kids can whittle sticks, but they must be left in woodshop.

Yesterday I took another group of high school students to ESSA to use a forge for hardening their spoon carving knife blades. They were of course immediately in love with the place. Their knives are ready for tempering and adding wood handles next week.

Make, fix and create. Assist others in learning likewise.

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