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.
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.