Back in woodshop class-for the first time

Just got home from my first class of the spring semester in Wood Technology at the local community college. Wow, it's great being back on a college campus and not have to worry about mid-terms or finals, frat pledges, or choosing a major.
When I was in high school there were two distinct educational paths: the college bound and the vo-tech (voctional and technical), which included things like woodshop, welding and auto body. Generally, kids on one path never ventured into classes on the other. I always regretted never having taken woodshop, but it was just plain "beneath" us if we were headed off to college.
Now, several decades later, I find myself bitten by the WW bug and trying hard to catch up. But I could only read so many books and issues of FWW before I needed some hands on training. In an issue of a local WW rag there was an article about the program at one of the local colleges. Turns out they offer the introductory course, Wood Technology 110, as and all day Saturday (great for those of us with a M-F work schedule).
So myself and about 15 other folks showed up this morning to meet our "professor", a M-F cabinetmaker and get a tour of the classroom/shop with a half dozen large workbenches, a finishing room, a huge cabinet full of hand tools and a dizzying array of power tools. The students range in age from 18-60, both genders, some full-time students, some part-time. One guy studying for his general contractor's license is taking the class to fulfill his "art" requirement; another gal is wanting to learn how to make miniature furniture for her custom doll houses. Most of us are just general hobbyists with none to some experience.
The first few weeks will be spent doing a small, hand tool project. Then we'll move on to the corded section of the course, making a small wall hung cabinet. A lot of it, I am sure, will be redundant for me. But the rest of it will fill in some of the gaps in my self-taught knowledge and will give me a chance to practice things and ask questions on the spot. There are even rumors that there is enough student interest to offer intermediate and advanced classes on Saturdays starting in the fall.
We didn't really dive into anything today and broke early so I hung out after class to help the instructor mill the alder for our hand tool project and get better acquainted. Then I ventured over to the campus bookstore to pick up the required reading (I had forgotten what an expensive proposition that always was in college!), admired a few college girls (hey, some things never change), and drove home giddy at the thought of spending 6 hours every Saturday from now till May in a shop better equipped than I'll probably ever have. And all this for the staggering sum of $111 including my parking permit and student association fees, (though I have to buy my own lumber and glue).
So, if you're a newby to woodworking and have access to a nearby college, check out their offerings. I'm looking forward to a great semester!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Starting on Monday, this will be my 4th semester in wood shop class. After working for the telephone company for 30 years, I decided a change is in order. I was so surprised to see some of my former workmates in these classes. I started with the basic cabinetmaking class, a joinery class and last fall I took 4 classes. This semester I'll be taking 3. I'm so far into it right now, that I'm working toward my certificate in mill cabinet. My daughter, who is a junior in high school, is in her 2nd semester of woodshop and she loves it. Sometimes change is good.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

When I was in high school I was in both tracks. I started school two periods early to take shop classes with the students who left school after lunch to go to jobs in their trade. I also did all of the college courses. It was a wonderful, diverse, education and in my senior year I received shop and physics awards. Next year, I will have two sons in middle school next year and I am recommending the same thing to them. I hope that the shop courses are still available when they get to high school.
During summer breaks from college I worked as a maintenance man at a ice cream factory. It was a wonderful experience, and I looked at it as a continuation of my shop education. Both tracks have been extremely useful to me.
Bob McBreen
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Ditto to what Bob said.
I took the math/science classes, including any available accelerated courses, in high school and didn't worry about any "stigma" that may be attached in taking small engines, woodshop, and auto repair which filled out much of my electives.
My only bad experience was that the auto repair teacher hated me for some reason. He didn't feel some punk kid headed off to engineering school (I'd later switch to business) belonged in his class. I was using one of his tape measures when the spring failed and it couldn't be rewound. He told me I'd have to pay for it. I told him to pound sand. He held up my transcripts for college until I made payment. I also dropped from an A to a B because he assigned 25% of each test to an OT question, in this case, what color do deer hunters wear. I said "orange". BUZZZZZ "Blaze Orange" was the only acceptable answer. So kill me, I was 16 and hadn't had the pleasure of deer camp yet.
Joe
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.