September 8, 2023

Aly Gulamhusein
2 min readSep 9

It’s been over a week since I’ve been to the workshop. I was reminded that I’d been away when I got my box of new materials in the mail. The package has some weight to it.

All week, I’ve been saying that I’ll take the workbench apart, put it in the car, and drop it off at the shop, even if I don’t put it together. I managed to take it apart, but all of the pieces have been laid out on the balcony for the last few days. I was determined to go tonight until we got home and decided to take a nap. I slept for at least three hours. It could’ve been closer to four but I’m not sure when exactly we crawled into bed. It might’ve been around 4:00.

For dinner, we ordered pizza.

I had pizza for lunch, too. That pizza we made several days ago, and my stomach has been trying to expunge it since noon. Trying.

I expected this first week to be an adjustment. I’m not surprised that I’m tired and a little irritable. In the mornings, I keep forgetting things at home. When I get home, I’ve forgotten something at work. It’s a piss-off until I get doing something else and don’t need whatever it is that I’ve forgotten.

My mind is adjusting. This morning, I had a conundrum about whether to use my iPad to write down my daily to-do lists and notes or to use a student agenda that I picked up. In all likelihood, it’ll end up being some hybrid of the two. I’ll have to start carrying around a pencil to use in the agenda. It’s hard to make changes with ink.

Interestingly, the stylus I use for my iPad is called an Apple Pencil. “Apple Erasable Pen” doesn’t have the same ring to it.

While outside during my after-school duty, I was thinking about how to cast driftwood in epoxy resin. It seems straightforward enough until you walk through the process. Each step depends on the last. How will I make holes in the resulting blanks that are through the centre of the wood and not the wood-cast-in-resin blank given that the driftwood isn’t straight? If I drill holes in the wood first, how do I keep resin out when making the blanks? How can my 3D printer help me?

My mind, it wanders. The direction I had over the summer has been replaced with an endless assortment of questions to answer and random decisions to make.

The workshop feels like the place I need to go to. I’ll find myself in a place dedicated to one pursuit. My disconcerted thoughts are a cleansing, not a collection. The thing about turning is that you’re taking wood off of a blank, a starting point that has been ironically named. It’s also the best description of where I aim for my mind to end up.

Originally published at on September 8, 2023.

Aly Gulamhusein

Life is full of interesting events and experiences. Sharing stories about them helps breed a collective understanding of what we’re all doing. I’m into that.