Sorry for the break, I’m not good at getting things down. I wander to much. :)
Well there was a post tutorial discussion with my Right Hand Man Gordon. (I must make a note to tell you about Gordon my RHM) Pulling teeth was our consensus. Gordon asked if he had paid the full eight weeks? Worse, nine weeks. I had thrown in an extra week. Some folk who travel will often come for a weekend or two. I prefer doing it weekly and give them homework for the next. After eight weeks they really know their way around the Lathe. It also gives Shirley and I some together time at the weekend. So I throw in an extra day. Normally for grinding/sharpening of tools. With some it can be an introduction to more advanced turning such as hollow forms or nests of bowls.
If anyone is considering doing some part time tuition and want returning clients, always have a next project. :)
I wander (I must rather put notes to come back to).
So after Gordon asked for Wednesdays off and me being mean turned that request down.
So the next Wednesday comes along and “ding dong” 9o’clock he arrives ready for the next lesson. Still collar & tie. I thought he had just worn it to make a good first impression. Don’t get me wrong my Pop (Grandfather) wore a suit collar & tie, but heck he was a Joiner Foreman and that was a wee while ago. He also put on a pair of Sweet Orr Bib n Brace when he got to work, I must look out a photo. I forgot to mention that I had given him several pieces of 1×1” to practice on and bring back for me to look at. It then let’s me know if we can procede or review the piece. His looked good although I suspected a wee bit of an abrasive finish. I’m a sly old fox. It was then onto his first chosen project. They can choose from a list that I give in the manual. They are graded.
All went well and his turning progressed well and it was coming up for his final week. It had been on a very business level would be the only way that I could describe it. It was finally that day and all went well. As we said our goodbyes and shook hands. He had that look I thought I only ever saw in my sons eyes. You know the look. Please spend time with me, I know your busy but…....... Ok, you know the look.
So I said, “you can come back anytime. If you think there may be more I can show you”.
That was his first smile.
He said he would see me again next Wednesday.
So that was six years ago and he has been coming since.
His daughter phoned me to say how excited her Dad was.
I think this sums up the “Giving” part of this relationship.
The “Taking” part of this is going to be a bit of an eye opener for ME. I’m going to continue on this students journey over the six years. A lot has happened over those Wednesdays.
I’m in a wheelchair as Kelly “Rivergirl” would say I put it out there. I do want to share the possibilities with others. It has been a lifesaver for me. Yes, “Overdose” “Anger” “denial” yes the whole seven. So if someone says to me “I feel this certain way”. Don’t need to say to them, Yes me to and begin a grouching session. No, I just look nod and “Listen”. No more. No judging. No advising. Just Listening. When they are ready to ask, that is when I will help and only then. There are experts and couch experts. There are plenty of them out there. “Listeners” now they are few.
Listening is a lot like reading. You will often hear what you want to hear and read what you want to read. That is not listening; sometimes the person talking or writing does not know what they want to ask. To listen you must not try to guess what the person is trying to say or put in suggestions. Follow their lead.
Ok so Gordon thinks I’m crazy, he says “you dread him coming every week”. A few other remarks in more of a shop tone.
Eventually he opened up and what an interesting man He is an Elder in his Church, does maintenance electrical work & PAT testing for The Church of Scotland. He was an electrical engineer on the oil tankers and had seen the world. We have had many talks and laughs he has been to places in Africa that I also had. So things are going well.
We discuss everything, he aint no fool even for a Highlander(He comes fae wae up North, wild haggis country). We have made so many projects, I forgot them all. When he was getting bored with turning for a bit so I ordered a book on Bandsaw Boxes from Amazon (he had bought his own band-saw). I had never made one before unless you call a joiners brick box for oilstones a bandsaw box. I’ll need to discuss this with President of Grease Box Owners Guild (Mad’s) if he has any knowledge of this historical item.
It was great fun and he made bandsaw boxes for everyone, made one for Shirley that was a real beauty. I still must make one myself as they were all of his work. Very strange showing someone how to make something that you have ever mad yourself. All this time he is paying me for a weekly lesson. There were times when we spent weeks just sanding some of my stock items. The final straw came while sanding a huge table in Beech. The sander he was using burned out. The next week he comes with a brand new sander in the box. This I felt was a bit much. Paying me to sand My work then paying for the machinery to do it. Sort of reminded me of that American Fellow, Tom Sawyer?
So after a few weeks he finally agreed to a 25/75% split. This is something I came up with for folk who could not get funding, but Insisted in contributing towards tuition. 3hrs work for me 1hr of tuition. It sounds fair and I’ve heard (via carers or parents) that they have a pride in knowing that they are part of some bigger projects. Pre Christmas is a 99/1% split as everyone wants to make their Christmas presents. I normally have all my year end stock made by the end of October. Yes it’s a Buddhist shop, we also love Chrismas. At our Temple there is always a big Christmas lunch and prayers for world peace.
He has become very much part of the family now. In fact when my Mum came to die with us, I was a bit worried how he would take it as he had lost his wife also to Lung Cancer. He just carried on. He was always pulling her leg and visa versa. He being of the same religion and this was also good. He got to talk to her about all sorts of things as he was my Mum’s age also.
I’m wandering again, I hope I’m still on the track of “Taking”.
Rand, I’ll get to the next bit quickly. :)
In a very White Cold Scottish Morning
-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe