Back to School: Day 1

As it turns out, we picked a good time to enroll in Building Construction Technology, because, even though Polly and I are starting mid-trimester, we still arrived on the same day as all the new equipment—band saws, lathes, tables saws and other machines that look like they could dismember us without skipping a beat. The entire suite of equipment is a glorious harvest gold, as if it was designed for shop class circa 1971.

Today, the class had to reorganize the shop to accommodate the machinery. This project entailed disposing of an estimated 10,000 tons of crap that had accumulated over the years. My inner estate-sale shopper was twitching in the face of so much equipment with names like Powermatic and ElectroMax, and I couldn’t help thinking I could repurpose these industrial relics into lamps and whatnot. In the end, I resisted the urge to Dumpster dive, and I’m hoping the creative urge to fashion a terrarium from a vintage transistor will resurface later in the trimester, when I might be prepared to channel it into, say, a bat box or a tiny house.

At lunch, I took a test on a computer, to see if I could place out of the math and English requirements. When I succeeded, I felt a swell of pride that was both unfamiliar and short-lived, because minutes later I learned that fluency in the Pythagorean theorem and AP Style has approximately zero relevance when it comes to mudding sheetrock. Fortunately, my classmates taught me how to slap the mud on the wall and scrape it smooth. Someday maybe I can return the favor with my mad geometry and grammar skills. Until then, I will take an Advil and watch Treehouse Masters until I fall asleep, which will likely be before 7:30 p.m.

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