I went to Diman Regional Vocational Technical high school. When you go to this school you have two weeks of academic and two weeks of shop class in a month. You can choose one of many kinds during your high school career, such as auto body, auto mechanics, drafting, culinary arts, plumbing, and many more. During your freshman year you go through 8 shops the first two months you’re there. Having to pick one by the end of December. While I never actually picked the one I ended up with, in the end I didn’t mind at all. At first however, I absolutely hated it because I never went through the shop itself so I didn’t know anything about it, not even the absolute basics. Secondly I had a feeling I wasn’t going to like it. However I stuck through it because honestly what choice did I have? (fine)
I didn’t take school seriously back then so I basically did it to myself. After the placement results came in I was in House and Mill Carpentry for the rest of High School. I still remember going into the House and Mill Carpentry shop for the first time, the smell of saw dust everywhere. Still wishing I had gotten auto body like I planned. The teacher I got for that class was just not fun to be around. You barley learned without him criticizing your every action you do, this was the same for everyone in the class. Fortunately for me though, the instructor for the freshman class got transferred to the house project of the shop almost immediately after I joined it. Right after that we got a new teacher who was actually the junior instructor at the time, and he was actually the complete opposite of my former teacher.
This new teacher always used phrases that you could remember. For example, “Righty tighty, Lefty loosey” if you ever got confused on how to tighten a bit or a clamp for example. I didn’t think or realize it at the time but this teacher is who started to get my persistence going in this trade. I didn’t have initial interest of doing the project we had to do which was make a coffee table. I wondered what I was going to do, because I was already at a disadvantage compared to everyone else. Not to mention I had no real interest in learning anything from carpentry. Except safety rules, I never want to hurt myself or anyone else due to being ignorant about the machines.
First a couple of weeks go by with this new teacher. While I actually enjoyed having him as a teacher, I was always slacking finding ways not to do work all because I didn’t want to be there. I would either purposely mess up on something I had to do or use the excuse “I’m to scared to use this machine”. While this caused me a lot of grief from the teacher and some students. I just didn’t care because I didn’t want to be in that shop, somehow hoping I could be transferred to my shop of choice, Auto Body.
A few months into the shop, I began to realize how I needed to get my rear in gear or I was going to fail. This is where my persistence began to come through. Every day I kept asking my teacher questions such as, How can you tell what a good piece of stock (Wood type) is good for a coffee table? Or what kind of bit do I need to get this finish?
Despite my late start, I managed to catch up to everyone else all because of my persistence. My coffee table was finished and passed with a c+ with my horrible start. I was happy I stuck with it.
After freshmen year I knew I didn’t want to continue with this trade. However I was happy that I stuck through this for multiple reasons. I learned valuable experience that I wouldn’t have got if I wasn’t placed in this program. Also I could fix any problems that could arise and save myself a lot of money, whenever I managed to buy my own house. My persistence gave me insight on how important and useful carpentry can be. My persistence in this situation was invaluable.