Journal Entry #5

Without a doubt, woodworking/carpentry has brought out those little perfectionist tendencies that occasionally appear to haunt me…  This week in particular, as the time came to chisel out the mortise portion of my eight  joints, I was wrought with a sense of dread at the prospect of hacking into those beautiful smooth panels of maple that had taken the past few weeks to make. Not only did I measure and remeasure countless times before starting, but I found myself hesitating at every turn that followed; from the drilling to the chiseling…

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In the end, slowly but surely, I managed to finish one of the the two panels (i.e. four out of the eight mortises). The process, however, reminded me to be sensitive and aware of different learning styles. As I looked around the workshop, I noticed how some students charge ahead confidently with their projects, while others have more reflective tendencies. Although a portion of this is dictated by level of experience, I know that personally, regardless of how comfortable I am with the task at hand, I am typically cautious and no daredevil by any means. There have been times when people have given me a stronger push to surge ahead; some have helped me flourish, others have caused me to flounder. The challenge I see ahead for me, therefore, is to learn to have the ability to gauge when students might need an additional shove or conversely, be pulled back. Other times, they simply may need to progress at their pace for the best learning outcomes to occur. In the case of my carpentry class, I have really appreciated the ability to take one step at a time… which in the case of this week, included lugging the second panel home for homework (“my pace” happens to be very slow in this instance 🙂 ).

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