Out of the Woodwork: A Puzzling Beginning


How one woodworker got over her fear of dismemberment: more fear.
By Micaela R. Evans
Page: 80

From the February 2009 issue #174
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Industrial Technology. That was the name of the course I took in the autumn of 1993. Beats me as to why it was entitled thus, because anyone with two brain cells to rub together could easily see that it was really woodshop, but I’m guessing that it was an offering to the gods of political correctness. The two capital letters and the extra six syllables weren’t long enough to hide the power tools, the piles of lumber or remove the scent of freshly cut wood from the air. This was woodshop, no doubt about it.

When I first entered the shop, I was a scrawny little kid, on the verge of turning 13. I hadn’t worked with tools before, because my dad was not a mechanically inclined kind of guy; and even if he were, as one of a multitude of girls, I wouldn’t have been expected to help him. Also, thanks to the vigilant efforts of the teacher, Mr. Ferguson, who had spent several class periods beforehand instilling in us what he called “a respect for the machines,” I was scared stiff. Tales of hair being ripped from scalps, fingers crushed or clipped, blades flying free and slicing through bodies like a hot knife through butter haunted me for several hours after the bell had rung.


From the February 2009 issue #174
Buy this issue now