Shop Teachers

When I was a sprout, 'bout Junior High School (weren't no 'Middle Schools' in them days) I had a woodshop teacher went by the name of Mr. Hoot - and that was his real name, too - now, ain't that a . . . never mind.
My project of choice was a half-hull model of a boat that I had read about in a book called, "Sailing Alone Around The World", by Joshua Slocum.
For any of you who haven't heard of it, and it don't matter if you're into boats or not, that book is a helluva read. This was back in the day when boys read 'Adventure Stories' and Slocum's book really fit the bill.
She was beamy and she was meant to be sailed flat. This was not one of yer fake clipper ship looking pond sailer things but a real deepwater boat that was made to go 'round the world - the boat was damned near as round as the world itself.
Old Slocum prolly put as much thought into the design of the "Spray" (such was her name and 'twas a good name for such a boat, which became obvious when trying to point too close to the wind) as that Lindberg fella had put into "The Spirit Of Saint Louis", which prolly had better characteristics to windward.
Now, the book had the loftings in it for the boat and I faithfully transcribed them onto graph paper. I asked Mr. Hoot for a fine grained wood to cut out my project and he gave me a wonderful stick of cherry.
I taped up the cut lines to the squared up board and had at it with the bandsaur. I've always liked bandsaurs and feel very comfortable with them. I guess Mr. Hoot was less comfortable with me working the bandsaur than I was and he had me cut way outside my intended lines, so as not to run my adolescent digits too close to the blade.
Well, I had a lot of rasp work to do as a result and our shop did not have proper rasps, but things that were more like metal files.
I got marked down for taking so long to get the final shape on the half-hull model.
I also got marked down for making "a really ugly boat hull, that don't even look like a proper boat hull".
At the end of our time together, Mr. Hoot said to me, " Watson, it's a good thing that you are in the college prep track, because you would never make it working with your hands".
Well, I did go to college. I went to college on my earnings from being a carpenter.
I went on to have my own cabinet shop and make some pretty nice stuff for some pretty nice people.
I still have the half-hull model of the Spray.
It looks exactly like the half-hull model of the real Spray.
Yeah, she's beamier than most boats and prolly looks funny to some folks.
But, you would think that a shop teacher would have understood.
I wonder what ever happened to Mr. Hoot?
Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker (ret) Real Email is: tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet Website: http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1
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<cute childhood ramblings snipped>

He's probably doing 7 - 15 for child molestation.
OR He joint the preisthood and became a Bishop.
:)
Myx
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wrote:

I beg your pardon?
These were meaningful interfaces with figures of authority that no doubt had a tremendous impact on my self-esteem and had a leveraging a
ffect in leading me to a distropic, misanthropic understanding of the world, which resulted in my spending many years in pursuit of non-social goals and have, no doubt, engendered a mistrust of my fellow man to such a degree as to be actionable - and that to a level of economic deprivation that has made me wish to curry favor with personal injury lawyers to the tune of thirty percent of the the money that would result from the lawsuit that would most surely result from such a bald case of those-people-not-really-liking-me and I'm here to tell you that this kind of shit can not go on as it is tooo damaging and I am fullly awarrre of myyy rigtyys and ithlskltjlwejlwkerwjelr . . .
aaarrrrgggghhhhhhhh ! ! !
(why don't we just try to forget about Spellcheck on this one)
Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker (ret) Real Email is: tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet Website: http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1
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wrote:

That just isn't called for.
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Ahhhh... Who gives a hoot?
Too good to pass up
wrote:

Remove the nospam from my address to email me!!
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29 years ago, 11th grade shop was, for me and most everyone else there, a good way to burn some time in school. That year we got a new shop teacher, Mr. "Smith" (yeah, right). He had just graduated from college and was clearly qualified to teach woodworking 'cause he had just graduated from college and had that nice teachering certificate that said he was clearly qualified to teach woodworking (yeah Charlie its your tautology in action). Anyway, I learned zip that year which was exactly as I wanted it. Various redneck bastards in that class made these nice little bats, drilled the ends, melted a little lead and filled them up - that gives some indication of the high quality of the projects being made. Mr. "Smith" was in over his head I do believe, but I certainly didn't give a damn. Fast forward a few years and my older sister's getting married. Hey, I know him - it's Mr. "Smith" (I can call him Greg now). A little BSing later after giving him a hard time about what I thought was a great year of shop, he shows me that year's 11th grade projects. There in the shop that a few years ago was home to a lot of scrap wood and billy clubs were a number of Grandmother Clocks in various stages of completion. With lots of decent detail work, turnings, and scroll work, these were nice projects that showed the kids were learning something. These were the 11th grade projects for a number of years although some years he had other similarly quality projects done. A few years ago they basically immasculated (and maybe completely closed down) the wood shop program at Parkersburg High School. Mr "Smith" (Greg) was transfered to a smaller Jr./Sr. High ( a high school shop that I don't believe even has 220 power let alone 3 phase and some sad equipment). Wood shop was "de-emphasized" and a bunch of cubes built with things like a robot arm, silk screening, hydrology lab, etc. to give students little 3 week mini-courses in various "technology education" programs. Too bad, 'cause Greg had become the type of shop teacher I wish I had had in school. As it was, I had to wait over 20 years to begin doing any woodworking.
Dave Hall
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On 31 Jan 2004 02:00:47 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@cs.com (David Hall) wrote:

I saw that dude in "The Matrix".
He was awesome !
Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker (ret) Real Email is: tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet Website: http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1
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brought forth from the murky depths:

Damn. SACOTKAM again...
=========================================================== Help Save the Endangered Plumb Bobs From Becoming Extinct! http://www.diversify.com/stees.html Hilarious T-shirts online ===========================================================
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Larry Jaques wrote...

Spilled (spit?) a cup (coffee?) on the keyboard and monitor???
Jim
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brought forth from the murky depths:

My wood shop teacher's name was Mr. Workman. He also taught me metal shop and then basic aviation over 't the high school.

I liked the bandsaur, too. I made the walnut crescent lamp. I let Mom toss it when she moved last year. A drop had broken it in two and Dad did a Nahm special when regluing it. That special yellow smear we've come to know and love on NYW, kwim,v?

that kind of story.
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In my last high school years we'd gone through 3 different shop teachers. Mr. Aspacher (I noticed if one removed the 's' and 'r' it spelled Apache, but he didn't look like any indian I ever saw). Mr. Harbison & Mr. Hofacker (you can imagine the change that name went through when we talked about him behind his back). I remember building a bookcase that turned out not to be square when I tried to attach glass doors. I think I got a D on that one. Aren't these ramblings fun? Cheers. Joe kb8qlr
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First period- woodshop. Teacher- Roger Wood. (!) Cool guy, great instructor.

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Tom Watson wrote:

My shop teacher in High School was named Mr. Stoner. No joke. Didn't look like a stoner, but was one hell of a shop teacher. Of course he would get aggravated at me when I used all of the little tricks my dad had taught me( having started woodworking at around 5 or so he had a lot of them). We finally came to an agreement that I would only do those things at home. I ended up making two very nice endtables under his watchful eye. A walnut one with Queen Ann legs and a cherry Shaker style table with a dovetail drawer(my favorite).
Anyway Mr. Stoner would rant and rave about some of the students not trying or paying attention (normal teacher stuff) and we always figured "Bah he's just a shop teacher, what does he really know". He once had us sharpen a chisel from the year before. Ugly, nicked, uneven, and beat up but we couldn't start work on any project until the face had no "facets", the edge was square and it shaved the hair from his arm. I think it took me two or three full class periods! I have a sharpening deficiency, a big one.
Come to find out he had his own shop in the Amish Village in Lancaster Pa. Pretty big tourist attraction area and he did a good bit of business. After I graduated and went into the Air Force I went back and took a look in his showroom. Quite impressive. He was an outstanding woodworker! Found out that he just liked to teach! Lucky me! He ranks right up there in a tie for the best teacher with Mr. Dull. Once again, no joke, but that's a story for another group!
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Tom, Good thing you're not in the public school system in my County these days. I could fill up the ng with horror stories. The only good thing I can say is that once and while I ran into a good teacher who cared whilst the youngun's where coming up. Although I could count them on one hand and still operate a pushstick. I'm planning to foot the bill to get my grandson through parochial school. As far as work, I'm teaching him that. He's already acclimated around the shop. Mark
Tom Watson wrote:

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Andy Dingley wrote:

I gotta know. As someone who told his principal, a Marine 1-star, to put the toad-sticker away or I'd show him how to use it, did you call him a liar in front of everyone and have your Dad come down and chew him a new one. Sorry childhood issues. Dave in Fairfax
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My shop teachers, with the exception of metal shop in Grade 7 (my great uncle Ike was the teacher... He treated me like every other kid in the class -- with respect and firmness), were universally forgettable. Can't recall one of their names, and of the wood projects I made, the horribly ugly salt and pepper shaker set I turned on the lathe are all that remain. I vaguely remember a plaque of some kind, and of course vividly recall touching the table saur blade with the tip of my left index finger.
djb
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