Thanks for the kind words, Judy,
You're right-- I constantly have trouble with students who can't see
well enough to do detail work (like putting a small piece of
solder on a seam and seeing it melt and flow). I tell them quite
clearly that they won't be able to succeed if they can't see what
they're doing... evidently, they're hard of hearing as well ;>).
There is also truth to the idea that they can't "see"-- i.e., they
have not yet educated their perception to sort out the differences
that make work good.
But I also think that the average adult comes to class convinced
that crap is the best they can do. When they see my work, they don't
consider themselves in the same category, or the quality of it as
their own potential, any more than someone who takes a first aid
class expects to repair a torn ligament. If they get "hooked", then
it is generally (though not always!) a different story.
Yes, I have taught 7th and8th graders, and, yes, they can make you
nuts, but, truthfully, I love teaching kids. They're usually
absolutely fearless. And the most difficult, challenging ones are
the ones in whose lives my little rec class may actually make a
difference, so in a way I love them most of all. After all, they
need it more.
If nothing else, I know my students get exposed to methods of
thinking that may not be familiar, especially creative
problem-solving. I brain-storm aloud how to do something they come
up with that they've never done, and maybe they take something of
that away with them, even if they're metalsmithing skills are
But all of that still doesn't make them put their stuff away, or
refrain from dropping a $40-hammer on the cement, or running saw
blades through the roller mill (ouch!)
Uh, what was the question?