I’m not ready for the new school year to begin. I went to school today for a few hours but didn’t get enough done. Going in tomorrow is going to be a pain. After work, I went to the workshop, where I managed to finish an order that I’ve been working on.
My favourite thing about the workshop is that I leave feeling like I’ve accomplished something. The last several times that I’ve gone, I’ve managed to complete something, whether it was a bowl or a pen. I don’t have that same feeling when I leave school. Instead, I find myself stressed out and embittered.
I wonder if it’s because my objective is very clear when I’m at the lathe. It’s simple and straightforward. There’s a spinning piece of wood that needs to be shaped. At school, there are more directions to go in, more concerns to manage, more objectives to plan for. Things change rapidly at school. Needs arise. The task of shaping, moulding, developing young minds is not as directly causal as is cutting wood.
In the workshop, I’ve got an incredible amount of control over what happens. The same doesn’t hold at school, where I have, what often feels like, very little control. My focus is helping students achieve goals that have been set for them. Their idiosyncrasies make the job entertaining and challenging. I have to accommodate their learning needs. Wood doesn’t ask for as much.
Originally published at https://www.bernardwalter.com on August 31, 2023.