Thursday, 6 May 2010

Normalising... normalising...

Things here are slowly getting back to normal - the washing machine is working hard to clean all the linen stuff that I wore during the last week (which is lots), and I'm stowing away tools and supplies that I had in use. There's some stuff to mend and clean too, as always.

Freienfels had a few wonderful, amazing highlights for me. I was involved in a children's project where 3rd- and 4th-graders from schools in the district had one full day to spend at Freienfels, with special programme. Part of that programme was a three-hour workshop in a medieval craft - felting, basketmaking, potterymaking, blacksmith work, and so on. My crafty disciplines for the children was spinning and fingerloop braiding.

We all had a new group on each of the three days, and as always I found it amazing how different groups of workshop participants are. You can't see into a person straight away, but from the way that somebody handles difficulties and tools, and from the way somebody works at a craft, you can get a tiny glimpse at the character of that person. Apart from that fascination, I was quite disappointed in modern children's fine motor skills. Especially the very first group I had at Freienfels was a nasty surprise, since on my last workshop with that age group I must have had very talented children or children with well-honed fine-motor skills. However, I managed to teach every single child during those three workshop days at least one variation of fingerloop-braided bands - and that is definitively a good feeling. It especially makes a highlight for me since I had a few children in there who really had to work very, very hard to get into the braiding motions - but they were very strong and very determined, and they all made it. It makes me proud that they did not give up but persisted - since that is a quality that everybody will need during all of life, and I feel privileged in having helped them develop their persistence.

All these children now have a braid or several to prove that they did not give up but mastered the challenge. My hope for them is that the next time they are close to giving up, they will glance down on their braided bracelet and remember... and then boldly go on to persist, to master the next challenge, and turn their life into their own, wonderful adventure.

No comments: