Whew, I finished the first week! I've got 4 sets of students, and a group of
drop ins.... One group was like hearding cats.... I should have been so
lucky... After the first week my "view from the front" is that about 40% of
the students have some motivation, about 40% range from being dark, cool and
withdrawn, to only having a benign interest in learning; the remaining 20%
is split between kids that are really interested, and a few real trouble
makers - sometimes the same kid...
As for a "crisis of the week", I had a group of 'drop in' kids - they work
for about a half hour during their lunch... and when they all left I noticed
that one of them had just tagged the class door with spray paint. I
followed them all out, asked who did it, and of course, nobody knew. I then
said that the lunch work period was voluntary on my part, and that the shop
would remain closed for lunchtime work until the responsible person came
forward. I had the kid clean up the paint, and told him I may make him
paint the door.... I've reconsidered that tho' - I want to be more
constructive... maybe making some push sticks.
All of the kids in the classes have issues.... I'm learning that I am going
to have to modify my instructional methods - short attention spans, lack of
ability or desire to read and study.... kinda scary in a way to think of
where they will be in 10 years. I am trying work in other instructional
elements when I talk about how to do something, and there are some glimmers
there... One young gal, very headstrong - knew everything, but not the NAME
of things (WTF??).... she didn't know which machine was the drill press, or
the jointer, but she could use them and her skills seem competent - anyway,
I told her the history of the circular saw, and how a shaker seamstress
invented the circular saw blade in the early 1800's - and that most modern
saws all owe something to the lady - She *really*
liked that story...
Another kid made a sword (THERE's the pointy stick connection) and I had to
explain, in some detail, why I wasn't going to let him take a 4 1/2" long
oak spear out of the classroom. The "kid" is about 6'2" over 200" aryan as
all get out with a mohawk, tats and a large inverted red star tatooed at the
back of the base of his neck. By the time his Senior year comes around, he
will have to turn sideways to make it through the door. I'll bet he already
has plans for a Trebuchet!
Apparently, I am also "righting the ship" in terms of keeping things
woodworking related - things seem to have been quite lax under the earlier
instructor. One of the kids asked me where the weight bench was - I guess
they had a weight bench in one corner - that explains the EZ Curl Bar that I
found behind the Shop Bot and the chart showing bench press results. Gone
also, I guess, is a "project car"(?).... I'll be getting rid of the carved
mushrooms and marijuana leaves that were done on the shop-bot. If any of
y'all need some of these carved on 6/4 clear pine let me know. You don't
have to worry about finish, either - they've already been burned with a
propane torch, wire brushed and covered in polyurethane. Some of the
marijuana leaves have had the incised portions painted in green. This is
okay, but in my opinion, the oeuvre of these examples lacks the depth that
the purple and read highlights that only Northern California KGB is *known*
for. If I can find a student's name on these lesser examples, I will inform
the local 215 Compassion Centers and I will grade accordingly!
All said, I'm going to go back next week, hehe... The class prep work takes
more time than I thought!
We don't need no education....