Shop Class III


blog post
I admit to having the perception that girls would be more cautious than boys and more likely to follow all safety rules when they were permitted in shop class by eighth grade elective choice in 19741Just reading that sentence made me nearly out of breath.. I was mostly right, about the safety rules that is.


Belt sander lesson
I’m not sure if this occurred with the first set of girls allowed in the shop class or a later time. One cannot assume or predict that every possible safety violation scenario would be covered in machine tool lessons.

There were a number of days that girls couldn’t or chose to not work with power tools and sometimes hand tools. Inappropriate by shop rules clothing, unsecurable hair, and other random reasons trumped many permitted or excused out activities. But some of the rules befitting girls applied to boys also. Long hair, for instance, wasn’t a social issue-it was a safety issue.

Oh – the belt sander lesson. I demonstrated every hand tool and power tool and some power tools several times. One of my demonstrations for several machines was showing the danger of trying to machine small parts with big machines. One great temptation was to sand small parts with the belt sander. My demonstration showed that small parts were too often pulled into the gap between the belt and belt table. To make that demonstration safe for me, I used a stick to hold the small piece.

The sound she projected was more of a shrieked curse word than a blood curdling scream. I knew immediately from where it came. It wasn’t the first time I’d heard vocabulary generally unacceptable for polite society from her. It took only seconds to see the damage to her fingertips-two of them. I asked what happened.

She said, “I didn’t think my (expletive) fake nails would come off when I was rounding them because they were glued on.

I sent her to the nurse and wrote a referral for using obscene language during class time. When I called her mother, she used more of the same expletives than her daughter.


Perceptions of the Principal – IX
Allison in second grade:
The principal is the person who sits in the office and gives morning announcements. He waves at me when I bring the lunch list to the office.
Perceptions of the Principal – X
Arlie in second grade:
The principal is the person who sits in the office and gives morning announcements. I see him when I get my tardy slip. My dad says she is in a meeting whenever he calls the school. My dad didn’t want to talk to her when she called during a Blazers game.
Perceptions of the Principal – XI
Allison in third grade:
The principal is the person my dad said he was in college with. Mom says she’s a snot.
Perceptions of the Principal – XII
Arlie in third grade:
The principal is the person who talks to you when you mess up in the buddy room. Ms. Crampon. has it in for me.


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