I want to be a maker. I want to learn to use my hands to make things of worth and use. I want to make beautiful things. Things that I am proud to call my own.

I picked up crochet again as I felt powerless to change my circumstances and those of my students in Chile. I poured my inabilities into a large poncho, working furiously in every free moment in order to take my mind off the things I could not control. I started making all my own Christmas presents, my own clothes, my own alterations, my own bread…

And now, I’m learning to work metal.

It is so gratifying to feel like I’m decent at something, to escape into the silver and form it and file it and make it into something that will forever bear marks from my hands. It turns out that I have good silversmithing intuitions, a far cry from my constant ‘incorrect’ ones in Pragmatics, Semantics, and Syntax. It was so good to hear an instructor praise me by name.

Long ear wires make them dangle well.
Long ear wires make them dangle well.

It seems more and more these days that Linguistics is not the field for me. I got my second assignment back, and apparently misunderstood the question yet again. I seem to be the worst ever at interpreting unspoken implications of professor’s speech. They tell me not to put something into an essay. I don’t.  Then they tell me that I should have understood the implication: “Definitely put that in the essay.”

For people who claim to study ambiguity and inference, we linguists sure are bad at making ourselves clear.

Every Tuesday night I escape to silver class. This week I learned to pierce with a saw, and the thicker copper for a keychain made my hands hurt. I broke three saws. I need more practice. Our instructor taught us to solder a ring together with a blow torch, and already I want to forge things and have started looking up beginner’s blacksmith courses in London. Maybe I’m not very good at academics, like I’ve always thought. Maybe I should learn a trade instead, or at the very least in addition. It’s late to start at 26, but I know I can learn almost anything (well, maybe not predicate logic).

Proud Maker-In-Training!
Proud Maker-In-Training!

May these be the first of many!

2 thoughts on “Learning to Make

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