This week marked the first of our workshops for the semester. The workshops are synchronous online sessions of about 30 minutes and are also recorded for those who cannot attend during the 12:15-12:45 timeslot during the day. I felt honored to have my picture on the “Who We Are” slide and have realized the great behind the scenes experience that I am getting this semester from working with Beth, Michelle, & Brown. It’s obvious Beth really has a lot of insight on how to format workshops and presentations in the way that these things come so naturally to her. And Brown’s introduction to the session had a lot of impact. He did a great job of establishing our little motto (at least what I like to think of as a motto) that EVERYONE IS A MAKER by asking people to consider whether they had ever made anything - and, yes, cookies count. So do research papers - and that’s where libraries come in. As he puts it, libraries have always been centers of making, synthesizing learned information into something new, like research papers, etc.
Michelle’s knowledge of the maker world is impressive. There are some things I really love about the maker culture, as I pointed out with the quote from The Makerspace Playbook alongside my first entry. I love that the movement embraces failure. Too often times our society is afraid to try something new for fear of failure. I have myself learned to overcome the fear of failure through my creative work as a reporter, editor, page designer at a community newspaper (not always an easy or painless process) and I embrace any philosophy that “decriminalizes” failure and recognizes it as a part of the learning process. I also love the open, collaborative environment that is encouraged in makerspaces. What is the point of creation if you can’t share the product of it with someone?
Finally, Beth shared an article that addresses an exact question I had when I started thinking about 3D printing and its practical applications. Over the summer, I was riding in the car with my best friend, Bridgette, and her mother, JoAnn. Bridgette is a fellow “nerd” like me who spent the past five years teaching English as a Second Language in a rural high school system, while her mom just retired last year after 30 years as a teacher and counselor with the same school system. I was telling them about my exciting opportunity as a practicum student, but that I was having difficulty imagining a lot of practical applications for the technology. I was amazed at how easily they came up with a list of projects and ideas and I realized that I had to eat my words. As Griffey says in his article, “Once you have the power to create, the benefit is that you can create almost anything you can think of.” And, clearly, there is no shortage of ideas.