I just read Dennis’ entry about the Western Design Conference he went to (yeah I know I’m behind) where he described himself as a “mediocre woodworker” and that statement struck me as representative of LumberJocks.
Many years ago, in my formative years I wanted to be a musician. In my local area I was actually pretty good and had a bit of a reputation. Based on my interests, I went to a specialized school that would allow me to take college level music courses while still in high school. I thought I was pretty hot stuff.
Until I got there.
When I arrived, I found that the music department had a full symphony orchestra, 3 wind bands, 2 stringed orchestras, 4 choirs and a variety of specialized performance groups. After my audition, I found myself placed somewhere in the third level band. This small pond fish had just arrived in the big waters; what an eye opener.
It was probably one of the most educational experiences of my life. To realize that there is always somebody better was a valuable lesson.
Among my circle of acquaintances, I am quite the woodworker. Of course none of my friends actually do any woodworking so the pond is quite small. Once again I was a big fish in a small pond. When I first came across LumberJocks I was intimidated by what I saw and equated it with my high school music experience.
I was right.
This small pond fish had ventured into the big waters once again. The difference here is that the big fish don’t flaunt their bigness. Instead, they generally behave themselves as older siblings rather than superior species. The folks here are aware of their skills and proudly display them (as they should), but do not let their advanced knowlege become a status symbol.
I am enjoying my time here and learning skills and attitudes that can only do me good. If I behave and pay attention, I’m looking forward to the time when I too can be a “mediocre woodworker.”
-- Working at Woodworking http://www.VillageLaneFurniture.com