Saturday, May 26, 2012

The beauty of making things

A lot of people have asked me how they can get a trolley like mine to play with. And I usually say, "Why don't you just make one?

A child finds joy making things.
An adult finds release buying them instead.

One of the pleasures of compulsively tossing out words has been hearing from others.

Quilbilly is a science teacher who, not unexpectedly, likes to figure out how things work. I like to brew beer and fix typewriters, he likes to, well, smelt iron.

He wrote a lovely post describing his students' reactions to his hobby.
He makes it sound so simple:

"You really need just four things:
 iron ore (the right kind of dirt), charcoal, a furnace, and a source of air."

He's right, of course, but it's the process that makes it joyful.

"And there is nothing more profoundly simple than staring into the depths of the coals and thinking about nothing and thinking about everything." Quilbilly

Mr. Rogers loved children for who they are, for who we are, for what we are. He showed children "how people make things," taking the magic woo woo out of technology and putting it back into people's hands. Things like sneakers, crayons, and fortune cookies. Harmonicas and pretzels, zippers and fortune cookies. Jeans. Kazoos. Dolls. Flashlights. Erasers. Tortilla chips. Towels. Plates. Trumpets. And money.

Mr. Rogers fostered interest in our world, and his passion to make the world accessible to children created far more scientists than our current efforts to standardize education ever will. Quilbill's handful of iron gleaned from dirt reconnects children to the earth and stardust that make us possible.

Thanks to my sis-in-law Jan for the heads-up of the first video, which can be found on pictures for sad children.


John T. Spencer said...

My son is currently making a massive shade hat. It's a ridiculous specimen with a touch of Dr. Seuss in it. It's still not "working" properly. But, oh, the joy he's having in making it.

doyle said...

Dear John,

Your kids are as lucky as they come! Keep sharing your stories.