Tool Time, Old Home Week

Thank you to my high school French teacher, Paul Tuzeneu, aka Tuz, for letting me join his “Tool Time” class this morning.

A popular staple of Harpeth Hall School’s Winterim program since the Eighties, Tuz’s class was originally called Auto Mechanics for Dummies and focused on the basics of car repair. These days, with so much of a car being electronic, the best tool for automotive repair is your phone, Tuz says. So, over time, his three-week class has evolved into more of a DIY-woodworking experience.

Today was materials takeoff day, when students selected woodworking projects, wrote supply lists, and estimated costs. Soon they’ll go shopping at Home Depot, then start working with power tools in the school’s garage. When they finish their woodworking projects, there’s a pink toilet sitting in Tuz’s classroom, ready for a tutorial on flapper repair. At the end of the month they’ll learn to change a flat tire.

Oh, how I wish I’d been a Tool Time student back in the day.

It was great to be back on campus today. The class was filled with daughters of my best friends from high school, wearing the same uniforms their mothers and I wore three decades ago. So much was familiar, yet so much was different. If I had to put my finger on it, I’d say this generation of young women seems more confident than I felt at their age. I can’t help but think that classes like Tool Time—which empower young women to design, build and repair the world around them—are responsible for the change.

5 thoughts on “Tool Time, Old Home Week

  1. Found you via Mason-Dixon Knitting, but I’m also loving following your journey through construction tech school! I took a two-week woodworking class during my high school’s winterim program 25 years ago, and it was possibly the highlight of my high school career. I was the only girl, and it was bitterly cold in the shop, but I learned how to use a lathe and a belt sander and a jigsaw. I’m getting ready to dip my toe back in – got myself a compound miter saw, and my husband bought me a nice gift card for Rockler Woodworking, which I plan on using for a refresher class in the next month or two. Bring on the sawdus!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, thank you for this message. And thank you for reading the blog. Please keep us posted with updates on the woodworking course. I’m jealous of and impressed by your miter saw. I’m still building up courage to bring one into the house/garage. But I’m loving my new jigsaw. Baby steps…


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