Friday, November 4, 2016

#ThankfulActs Day 4: Thank a Teacher


What would life be like, if we had to stumble along and try to figure everything out for ourselves, with no help from anyone?  I think I would be a bit frustrated, and I imagine that I wouldn't know half of what I do.  Instead of learning from the wisdom of others, I would be forced to come to conclusions based solely upon what I had personally experienced.  


I'm thankful for teachers--both those who are certified and purposeful in their teaching, and those who have informally taught me.  

The #ThankfulActs challenge for today is to thank someone who has taught you.  

I owe thanks to so many people:  my parents, grandparents, and children, as well as my school teachers, piano teachers, and a whole host of other people who have shared wisdom with me through the years.  As part of my completion of today's challenge, I also want to thank Robin Cassidy, who recently taught John and me how to make pottery tiles. 

Photo:  Robin Cassidy stands in her pottery studio
We were on Catalina Island and decided to do something we had never done before, so we booked a tour with Silver Canyon Pottery. Robin met us in town, and drove us to her studio.  On the way, she pointed out examples of brick work and told us the history of tiles in Avalon.  When we arrived at the studio a few minutes later, she finished the history lesson (which was fascinating, by the way), and then we donned aprons and got to get our hands dirty.  

Photo:  John turns out some tiles, as I watch
Robin walked us through the process of tile-making, step-by-step. John especially appreciated the explanation of why we removed excess clay in a certain manner; it spoke to his engineering mind.  I appreciated the fact that after Robin had demonstrated the steps, she had a paper detailing those steps for us to reference as we made our other tiles.  (She was still right there to give us any help we needed, but that paper prevented me from having to ask, "Now, what's the next step?"  It also gave me confidence that I wasn't forgetting a step.)

Photo:  Six clay tiles are out of the molds and ready to dry
Once the tiles were ready to dry, we got to pick out the colors that we want the tiles painted.  Because the entire process of making, drying, painting, and firing the tiles takes longer than the length of the tour, Robin will finish the tiles for us and mail them to us.  We should receive them in a couple of weeks.  

We enjoyed our tile-making experience, thanks to our wonderful teacher, Robin.  If you ever find yourself on Catalina Island --the same Catalina Island where the Chicago Cubs used to hold their spring training, by the way--do yourself a favor and book a tile-making tour with Silver Canyon Pottery.  

Which teacher will you thank today?




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4 comments:

  1. Fascinating experience.

    Several years ago, I wrote a lengthy letter to my sixth grade teacher, thanking her for her patience and assistance. She was well into her eighties at the time. She was MY special teacher, and I wanted her to know it. I received a sweet note in return.

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    1. What a thoughtful thing for you to do!

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  2. Would you believe that in all my years of living in southern California I have never been to Catalina Island and I would really love to go sometime! Your tiles are great and I hope you post pictures of the finished ones when you get them.

    Teachers are some of my favorite people and I mostly mean school teachers. But today I think I will thank my husband, too. He got me started with computers and has taught me so much. I don't say thanks often enough.

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  3. What a fun excursion and workshop to do there! It will certainly go on my to-do-list for a California-holiday.
    I also had a wonderful teacher at my primary school who taught me to write and talk proper Dutch. He was very good in explaining how to figure out the correct spelling of all the conjugations (a very difficult thing in Dutch compared to English or French or German) and I'm still very grateful for that. My older sister had him too and is equally good with this. My younger sister and brother had a different teacher and are much less skilled in this (as the rest of the Netherlands it seems...)
    He is still alive, well in his 80's, and you gave me the idea to let him know how much I appreciate his teachings and guidance in my youth.
    He always called me "little white one" and it wasn't until I was in my twenties I figured out it was because of my name. Bianca means 'white one' in Italian. Thanks for reminding me... Teachers should be celibrated more often for sure!!!

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Thanks for making this a conversation. I love to hear your comments!