Going to have to shut down one of our classes

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sbwertz

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With the loss of Tony last week, combined with the temporary loss of four other trainers, we had to drop the Tuesday classes for the rest of the summer. Tony's death combined with another trainer dislocating his shoulder and is out indefinitely, one who has back surgery tomorrow, one who leaves the valley every summer, and one who had a stroke, we are down from nine to four teachers. So we can only provide classes two days a week now. We have two veteran teachers....myself and my friend Lori whom I taught to turn ten years ago, and one beginning teacher with about six months of turning experience, who worked with Tony on Tuesdays, and one brand new teacher who is a very beginning turner, but a very accomplished woodworker and a gifted teacher. Two of them are visually impaired, as well.

It has really set our program back! I will be on vacation for most of August, so we may simply have to close the shop for August.

I'm pretty discouraged right now.
 
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robutacion

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Hi Sharon,

I understand why you feel like that and I don't blame you, you have put so much work, time and effort in getting these classes going but it is also a fact of life that "things" can and do change every so often for whatever the reason, is unfortunate people getting sick and or passing, I believe it has become more crucial/critical than ever that you find replacements and possibly younger people that obviously and naturally will have a lot more time in front of them to continue the work of all these older people, there is a fact that none of us is getting old by exception but rather as a rule and that is a fact that none of us can hide from.

With all that said, you may need to find a way to incentive people around the classes areas to come forward and give a hand to the program, I also understand that not everyone is suitable for this type of teaching and that is a pre-learning for the teachers themselves to know how to "deal" with the visually impaired people, themselves have to be trained to handle the required duties and I would ask any of the IAP members that are in the position to help Sharon to keet the program alive to do so, it is a cause that will make a huge difference to the visually impaired people and their feelings to belong and self worthiness.

I wish that I could be of more help...!

Hang in there my friend, things will get better. :)

Cheers
George
 

sbwertz

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George, the problem with getting young people to volunteer, is that they have to work every weekday. Virtually all our volunteers are retirees who have week days free.
 

robutacion

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George, the problem with getting young people to volunteer, is that they have to work every weekday. Virtually all our volunteers are retirees who have week days free.
Bugger Sharon, you are so right, younger people in our days do have a tough time in making a living I should have thought of that when I made my comment, my apologies...!

Retired people do have "normally" a little freer time unless they are "busy bugs" like yourself and never stop, at the end of the day the problem is unchanged, you still need more people to teach classes, I can only speculate how disappointed some of your/program "students" will feel not being able to participate in the classes and continue/finish their projects as they have probably planned.

The important thing is that the program doesn't get really compromised by the current situation that would be disastrous.

You mentioned that you would be having a break/holiday for most of August, you sure deserve it, I hope the situation will not force you to change your plans, everybody needs to recharge their batteries every so often...!

Cheers
George
 

Woodchipper

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Sorry to hear of your plight. My grandfather said when you are at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. I'm sure something or someone will turn up.
 
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Just a thought Sharon, but have you checked with your local VA to see if they might have someone interested? If you've ever been to a VA facililty like a clinic there's a lot of very nice "older" men and women who like to volunteer their time. I've been asked in the past to help at the VA as an instructor but until I move either closer to town or to town the commute kills the idea especially in the winter months. Just a thought.
 

sbwertz

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I'm a vet, too, (WAC) so yes, I know about that resource, and actually most of my volunteers are vets. It goes with the age! Also, many of our visually impaired turners are vets. (My newest trainee was a WAVE, and is visually impaired).
 
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I'm a vet, too, (WAC) so yes, I know about that resource, and actually most of my volunteers are vets. It goes with the age! Also, many of our visually impaired turners are vets. (My newest trainee was a WAVE, and is visually impaired).
Sorry Sharon, I knew you were a Vet too, it just slipped my mind. I hope you find the people you need to make things work.
 

sbwertz

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I sure miss that man. Mostly I miss his always upbeat, cheerful, generous personality.
Today was hard.
 

magpens

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@sbwertz

Sharon, I am so sorry to hear about your having to shut down some sessions at the Blind Center.
Knowing even just a little bit about how conscientious you are and how you invest so much of yourself in those activities I can sense how hard this experience is for you.
My whole working life was centered on teaching adults and I think I can understand, at least in a small way, how you are feeling.
Hopefully these comments and other expressions of understanding are a little consolation to you.
Many are thinking about you and what you are going through.
Sincerely,
 

sbwertz

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The solution we have adopted for the rest of the summer is instead of giving each student the entire two and a half hour period, and allowing them to turn several items, each turner will be limited to one hour and one item per session. That allows us to work with four students a day instead of two. (That also gives us a half hour grace period for larger items.) I am blessed with a great organizer/scheduler who tells me who I have and what they are making a week in advance so I can make sure the blanks are prepped and ready to put on the lathe and turn when the student arrives. Some turners will be able to turn more than one item in an hour...I have one 85 year old who was a woodworker all his life who can turn out six gatsby pens in two and a half hours, including finishing and assembly. And he is totally blind. He does two pens at a time on the same mandrel.
 

Gregf

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The solution we have adopted for the rest of the summer is instead of giving each student the entire two and a half hour period, and allowing them to turn several items, each turner will be limited to one hour and one item per session. That allows us to work with four students a day instead of two. (That also gives us a half hour grace period for larger items.) I am blessed with a great organizer/scheduler who tells me who I have and what they are making a week in advance so I can make sure the blanks are prepped and ready to put on the lathe and turn when the student arrives. Some turners will be able to turn more than one item in an hour...I have one 85 year old who was a woodworker all his life who can turn out six gatsby pens in two and a half hours, including finishing and assembly. And he is totally blind. He does two pens at a time on the same mandrel.
Does better than I can. ;)
 

sbwertz

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He is a wonder. Woodworking was always his passion, and he started losing his sight about five years ago and is now completely blind. When he came in the first time, he was very hesitant. He was just learning how to get around with a cane and how to function in the blind world. His wife came in with him, and was very encouraging. He took to turning immediately, and when he was finished, he held that first pen and the tears ran down his face! He said I had given him back something he thought he had lost forever. Then the tears were running down my face too!

He is in there every chance he gets...he will stop in and ask if there was a no show, or if someone got finished early. If so, he will turn something for the center to sell. He has become one of my most prolific turners. His wife would cut, drill, tube, and mill blanks while he was turning. Last year she had a series of strokes, and has had to have several surgeries for aneurysms. But she insists she will be back to help us soon! They are both from Jamaica, and I love to hear them talk...they have that beautiful lilting Jamaican accent!
 

edicehouse

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My oldest daughter has to do 100 hours volunteer work for high school. I wonder if the high schools there have a similar program.
 
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