Cherry Trees
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woodworkshop

Many say a healthy mind needs to wander aimlessly from time to time. At the same time, they say a mind needs to be at work, lest it loses its edge. I believe the Hopkins Center (HOP) workshops are the perfect mergers of these two ideas. By doing pottery, woodworking, jewelry making, bookmaking or any other activity, these shops allow you the opportunity to create something from scratch. This increases creativity, sharpens the senses and allows you the time to let your mind take hold of activity away from studying, allowing for much-needed rest.

I myself started a project in the woodshop this term. To do so, I went through a short in-person training session, which is held every term, and an online course on safety and security. After that, I got to purchase my wood and work away!

wood project 1
The humble beginnings of my project!
The first question I got asked by one of the many shop instructors was “what do you need?” Good question! I mentally scanned my room until my mind focused on a small detail: the pile of cooking supplies leaning against my fridge. That had to be dealt with. I quickly sketched the plans for a small cupboard, selected the wood, came up with measurements. There. A start. With the help of an instructor, I selected a wood (Baltic birch plywood), decided I would give it a cherry face exterior and got to work cutting the plywood.

Many cuts, corrections and gluing later, I realized the four hours I had to work on my project had gone by faster than I could have ever expected. Those were hours I spent away from any worries, hours where my mind got to concentrate on a single, creative task. What an amazing feeling! I couldn’t wait until the shop opened back up after the weekend, so I could continue to work on my project. Soon enough, I would have it in my room, a proud reminder of my work and newly-acquired ability.

I am very excited about the prospect of the workshops. More than opportunities to learn a craft, they represent chances to exercise our creativities and put our minds to work in a novel task. And we even get something to show for it! This is one of those very unique opportunities Dartmouth offers us the opportunity to transcend academics, guaranteeing our mental health and the expansion of our minds to newer and broader horizons!

Hoping to work with you soon!

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