Wood Shop

Kosciusko Junior High School 7th Grade Wood Shop Project
Magazine Rack

This magazine rack was one of several projects students could choose from in learning how to safely operate power tools such as a band saw, a table saw, a drill press, and the various hand tools commonly used in the manufacture of commercial wood products.

After expending a good deal of time and elbow grease gluing, clamping and hand-sanding the joinery of my sub-assemblies (much to my own satisfaction) I placed my work in the wallmount bin (we were assigned by name) to stow our unfinished projects. I returned the next day expecting to stain them (which brings out the wood grain) and make the final assembly, but I discovered that someone, some other student, had switched their much inferior parts for mine. I immediately reported the crime to Mr. K.; the Woodshop teacher. Indifferent to the injustice, he just told me to use the ones the thief left behind instead of the one’s I had so carefully and painstakingly made.

Somehow I’d gotten the notion that a man is supposed to take pride in his work; and so it was with my wood joinery. I’d spent hours hand-sanding the sub-assemblies to such an extent that a blind person couldn’t detect the transition from one piece of wood to another.

I was incensed at my teacher’s indifference. I was so infuriated at this I angrily assembled the ill-fitting pieces, slathered on the wood stain but didn’t bother to wipe it down in the prescribed manner. That’s why it appears to be painted rather than having a light wood grain finish.

This is not my magazine rack.

In this life, those things that you steal may be quite admirable, but you, still in all, are just a common thief.

This was Junior High School, 1964, Grade 7B.
My final grade for the course was a B – it should have been an A.

About The Twentieth Man

Age 69
This entry was posted in Capitalism, Justice, Personal History, Plain English, Short Stories, Violence and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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