It is now the end of my fifth week of class of what is technically the first semester of my senior year. Granted, I have had senior status since my second semester here because of of all my fall through units. It is weird that in less than a year, if all goes well this time of my life will come to a close… but I have no intention to muse about that part of the future. No, I am writing an apology to no one in particular.
I had every intention of writing prolifically during my winter break. That did not happen. I did a little bit of scribbling and jotting, but nothing of substance. To be truthful, I was completely wiped of all my desire to writing after the fall semester. Between my research methods class, rhetoric class, gospel of John final I found it hard to pick up a pen or open a book. So I did not. I am not ashamed of that fact, I felt I found some other ways to be productive at home.
I spent a good chunk of my time doing three things; these things are what that cleared my mind and I believe allowed me to decompress enough to be ready for the spring semester. First was catching up on television and exploring Youtube instructional videos. Second was at the gym; between Thanksgiving and Christmas break I only went to the gym 3 times in three weeks; I felt so good to be back. The last thing was working with wood in my father’s shop.
I love working with wood. It is a beautiful material to work with with simple tools. Cutting stock can reveal a beauty that is otherwise concealed. Even in today’s age, people appreciate the natural beauty of wood. I like that I can shape it with basic tools and yield appealing and functional items. As a child, some of my earliest memories was sharpening sticks on the concrete for a bow. Now, I can construct many more things.
I love the design aspect of crafting; I could easily be stuck in the design process and never get to actually production. This break I just went at it; I rough sketch a design and allowed myself to modify and deviate for the plan. I learned how skin a cat 4 different ways (just a figure of speech); I build at least 5 boxes, none was like the other- different wood, different joinery, different lids/tops, different purposes.
The work I do for school is not tangible. I have papers and tests; I can spew facts and tell you about theories, but there is little I can show people. I cannot show how I have channeled my creativity or my desire to create products that fill a purpose in the classroom. Now I have pictures of what I can do. I can carry my resume in my pocket. It is easier to explain than the application of communication to most people.
I have ditched my traditional wallet for a card case i built. I pull it out and people want to know more about the case. I can say I built that and it is enjoyable to see their eyes light up- It is inspiring to think that I can create something that people want to buy.
Am I saying that I want to drop out of school? No. I am almost done and what I have learned so far is invaluable. But there are days that wonder why I started school and desire to work with my hands to create items that people can use and enjoy. I am constant in tension with my career decision; should I have done what is done to end up here. Time and time again I come to the conclusion that what I doing currently and have done in the past will play a part in my future; what that actually looks like, I do not know- it is just one foot in front the other, constrained by light of the torch in my hand lighting the path.