My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #649: And . . . . We're Off!

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 03-23-2012 10:59 AM 1486 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 648: A Tough One Part 649 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 650: We Got So Much Accomplished Yesterday »

I am preparing for another day on the treadmill today. It is Friday already and it seems that the week was spent either running or in negotiation. It’s these ‘unseen’ things that really seem to bog us down at times. But they are all for a reason and all functional, and part of the work and our lives.

Yesterday was another busy one. The lecturing went well. I talked to two classes for an hour each and while I was quite nervous in the beginning, once I got rolling things moved quickly and I don’t think I even looked at the clock once after starting up.

Of the two classes, only one boy fell asleep. I thought that was pretty good and took it as a compliment.

It had been a long time since I was in a school, and I had never attended any classes here in Canada. My own daughter only attended high school here for a few months and during that time, she had me drop her off far enough away so that I didn’t embarrass her (except on the nice days when I could have the top down on the Mustang, of course – then she had me drive right up to the entrance!) :)

Growing up in the Chicago public school system, I noticed a huge difference now. The teacher had a computer on her desk and used it for attendance, scheduling and most everything else. I had to check in at the office on arrival, as I had to do in the States and there was a bit of security that was to be observed, although I don’t think it was as tight as I remember in my kids schools. That was probably due to the difference between rural Canada and a suburb of Chicago, where many of the schools now even have metal detectors.

One of the most ‘surprising’ moments was before the day started, over the loudspeakers they played “Oh Canada” while everyone stood at attention. After growing up to “The Pledge of Allegiance” that is recited in the schools in the USA, it was a clear reminder that I wasn’t in the States anymore (something that I usually don’t think much about anymore.) Perhaps it was the nerves that made me feel so odd.

The talks went OK, I thought. Overall, I do believe that I was able to engage with the kids for the most part. Hearing myself talk about my own grown children made me feel old, though, as did some of the other things that I mentioned. They didn’t seem to shut me out or look bored, and I even received a couple of intelligent questions which showed me they were actually hearing what I had to say. I feel that if I could even get them to think about things for a bit, I have done them a service.

I found the most response when I could relate stories about my own kids to them. Perhaps it was closer to their own thinking and something that they found they could grasp and identify with best. I was even able to make them smile a bit on occasion, and while the subject matter was serious, I did try to lighten it a little by throwing in a little humor from time to time.

I think the most important lesson that I tried to get across was the importance of their own self-esteem. The way we all look at ourselves hugely affects how we are viewed by others, and ultimately our actions. I want these young people to understand that with a good and positive view of themselves, they are able to accomplish just about anything and conquer the world. Anything is possible.

So many people (young and old alike) are affected by those that surrounded them. Be in in the work place, with friends, or even in relationships, having negative forces near you weighs heavily and begins to chip away at your true self. The ninth graders that I spoke to are in such a volatile stage in their lives, and teaching them (and even raising their awareness) about these negative influences can have a tremendous impact on their happiness and their own success in their lives. The wrong friends or partners could literally make or break them at this time in their lives and I think it is vitally important to give them options for living a positive and productive life, and still enjoy others socially. Recognizing the signs of friends and relationships that are destructive is a good place to start. It is a cause I believe in.

When it was over, I felt that I did get through some ideas to the students. I feel that if even one of them files what was said and later on pulls on the information or even just stops to think a little before making a decision, than I have done a good service. It felt good to ‘get out there’ and talk to the kids and I hope that more opportunities for me to do so arise. If my own experiences can be of help to others, than I am very willing to share them, as I do here. It feels good to give back.

Today is going to be one more crazy/busy day.

After the gym, we need to head to Digby to pick up the wood I ordered for the kits and also the glass pieces for the tops of the new dressers. Hopefully we won’t break the glass and it will make it home here without incident. Even though we have Keith’s dad’s SUV, we need to rough cut the wood to fit better. I also have another appointment in Digby while we are there.

We are then heading home here to drop off the glass, wood and car. Then we need to head to Yarmouth, which is in the opposite direction) to pick up my taxes and do a couple of errands there. I need new tires on the Mustang and I have to go to the usual place we order them from and pick them out. While I did take it out for a quick drive the other night, I don’t even want to drive it on the tires that are on it now. The sooner I get them replaced, the better and I would rather be safe than wind up in a ditch or worse.

That should just about kill the day. I did get my box out to Artist’s Club yesterday, so that is all said and done. Once I get the wood here for the pieces, I can get started on cutting. I spent what remainder of yesterday that I had drawing up the best configuration of the pieces to lay out so that I used the wood most efficiently. I think that the cutting should go well and I also think I will actually enjoy the time at the saw. I still look upon working on these a great opportunity and I am approaching the job with a good and positive attitude. I think it will turn out very well in the end.

The sun is up now and it looks to be another beautiful day. It is a good day to do this running and after today, I plan to bunker up for the weekend and actually get some designing work done. (What is that again? It had been so long, I almost forgot!) From what I hear from you all, many of you are also experiencing nice weather too. I hope you are able to take advantage of it and enjoy it and it carries through to your weekend too. Life is too short not to enjoy the day.

Drag your thoughts away from your troubles… by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.
Mark Twain

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

3 comments so far

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3046 days

#1 posted 03-23-2012 09:36 PM

Kids minds are like sponges, they absorb a lot on occasion and little (like the guy who fell asleep) all you can do is try to impart good information and hope for good absorption. I admire you for doing this!

P.S. Love the cat walker!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View HamS's profile


1829 posts in 2417 days

#2 posted 03-23-2012 09:41 PM

When I saw the headline my immediate reaction was, I’m always off just a little, what else is new? I am glad the school talk went well. I work with kids that age and a bit older in the theater group and it is amazing how good the kids that try are. I mean both in their behavior and their abilities. I think it is crucial that there are adult examples other than their parents that they can connect with even if it is only an hour in a class.

-- Haming it up in the 'bash.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2948 days

#3 posted 03-24-2012 09:15 AM

I really did enjoy talking to these kids. Like most issues, awareness is the key. Teaching them that there are definite signs that they need to watch for and things like that could help someone many years down the line. It felt good to be able to talk to them and they did seem open to what I had to say. It was a good day. :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics