Our Year of Connections, Beginning with Coin

This year we want to dive deeper into what it is we really want to know and to do that, we need to ask questions and seek answers. As a way to begin this journey of questioning, instead of brainstorming ideas around “coin,” we brainstormed the specific questions we are interested in answering. Three full chart papers later, there are still questions not written down here that fill their journals from their personal brainstorms.

The Teal Band is an experienced crew in the shop, even our new additions are experienced thanks to Tinkering experience. While it is important to have a refresher orientation in the shop every year, this experienced crew was ready to take on shop orientation 2.0, the next steps, with Brendon, Gever and Evan.

We received a lesson from Gever on precision cutting on the chop saw. The word of the week at Brightworks is “kerf.” Kerf, the groove or slit created by cutting a workpiece; the width of the groove made while cutting. We now understand the importance of the placement of the blade to our measurement to get proper dimensions. 

Evan spent time sharing new ways to more strongly and cleanly screw together two pieces of wood. These ways of joining wood will take this year’s projects to new levels and I expect to see a lot more countersunk screws.

How can you cut out a path or a complex interior shape on the band saw? With Brendon’s support, we learned ways to explore interior angles that allowed us to get into tight corners. Geometry continues to play a huge part of our experiences in the shop.

Shop orientation 2.0 included cutting mazes on the bandsaw. It’s certainly not as easy as you’d like it to be.

To launch into our reading of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, we listed off what we know or think we know about Native Americans and middle schoolers, two things that speak to the main character Junior. Throughout our reading of the book, we will continue to look at Junior’s experiences as a Native American from a Reservation going to a “white school” off the rez, and how he values his experiences, his culture, and those in his life.

Along with reading The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, we are listening to the book 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life by Cami Walker. This is Cami’s story of how giving transformed her life when she felt she had nothing left to give due to her illness. The Teal Band will be spending a lot of time this arc looking at the ideas of value and personal currency. Along with listening to the book, the Teal Band is also taking on the challenge of giving 29 Gifts in 29 days and we invite you to join us.