woodworking classes, black woodworker

I recently took a course in Linocut printing. I was a student again, and oh boy…..out of the class of 15, I was probably 15th or, generously, 14th…it was hard and humbling to be the newbie, but I learnt so much.  Here are some notes I made about being in class that might help you as you prepare for a class here at the Florida School of Woodwork.

FOLLOW YOUR PATH. Don’t compare yourself to others.  Some will be better than you, worse than you (not many), on a different path than you, but it doesn’t matter; it’s your journey.

“Comparision is the thief of all joy”

Remember, learning is cumulative, so try everything, glean, listen, and have a go; enjoy your path. Seriously, love your failures – while they make you feel vulnerable, they are the best learning moments.

EGO.  Check it at the door. I’m used to being good at what I do, and in a way, it was liberating to be “the one who struggles”.  There is nowhere to go but up :). Every achievement felt like a big one.

PHYSICAL & MENTAL. Remember to take breaks.  You are using brain rocket fuel, and it’s hard to be on full burn the entire day.  Work with what you have physically.  My hands and eyes got tired – I couldn’t work till midnight as some did, but I didn’t want to either.

I also found that I needed downtime from the social aspects of the class…it was breakfast, lunch and dinner socialization.  My brain was so busy learning I ran out of words.  I was that student that disappeared with their sandwich and sat on the lawn.  I felt embarrassed about it, but I needed downtime.

BE IN THE ZONE. Block out your regular life as best you can. At one point, some news from home scattered my concentration, and it was really hard to dial back in.

DOCUMENT. Take more notes and photos. I got too carried away with the “doing” because it was fun, but now that I’m back home, I wish I had a bit more to refer back to.

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