Monday, November 12, 2012

NaNoWriMo and Coordination

Two things:

1. I am the new coordinator of The Denton Affair. Or I will be, once Aaron leaves on the 24th. I am already taking over some duties, though, like training.

2. I am doing NaNoWriMo again. I promised myself I wouldn't, but here I am. I thought I'd share an excerpt in lieu of any drawings I haven't made or photographs I haven't taken. Keep in mind I'm not really editing much as I go, that's what December is for.

In 2004 at Sycamore Junior High, in the eighth grade, you had to take one of two classes: home economics, which involves cooking and sewing, and technical education, which involves woodworking and learning to wire a lamp. Guess which one I took?

I was the only girl in a class full of boys taught by a man. We had assigned seats by name, and the three boys at my table didn’t seem quite sure what to do with me. So they duly ignored me, and I them. I was quiet more or less that entire semester, unless I was answering the teacher’s questions. I learned more about the minds of fourteen-year-old boys than I ever wanted to know. I also learned to make a chessboard, to create and wire a lamp, to design a weight-bearing bridge and a slim aerodynamic racing car (mine came in second in the class, the wheel axles weren’t quite straight so it lost in the final race).

The chessboard was the final project, and we were allowed to choose our wood. Every boy in the class chose dark walnut and pale pine. I went for cherry and maple, two woods that looked almost the same under the wood shop fluorescents. I remember not wanting to do what everyone else was doing. I wanted to be able to distinguish my product from everyone else’s. When I asked Mr. Hafer for my wood choices, he looked at me and then said, “That should look really good, actually. The cherry will darken over time.” He never told me that I ought to be doing walnut and pine. He just let me do it. In retrospect, maybe he didn’t know quite what to do with me either, but in any case the autonomy he granted me was just what I needed.

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