Greetings Maker Ed Community and Visitors-
It is a pleasure to introduce myself by letter and make your acquaintance. My gathered thoughts are snippets I send to you––a nod to the passing art of letter writing––for the personal note of which I strive in community. Consider this a personal invite to my mind of wonder, as I secretly call it…well used to before this post. Maybe next time, we can even make paper together…what do you say?
May the ponder be with you:
Look Mom Scene, from movie Despicable Me, Directors: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud
So you may be wondering, why did I include this scene from the movie Despicable Me…?
When I ponder making, and particularly making as an access point to opportunity, I think of the young Gru from Despicable Me. In each of us, we carry ideas that are a ‘potential currency,’ if you will. Our youth––when provided encouragement, resources, and freedom to think, design, create, test, research, revise, and many more awesome steps of the making process––are essentially given a bank to invest their currency. It often results in deep interdisciplinary learning with breadth and depth accompanied by multi-faceted development. This is why I am delighted to join the talented and committed team of Maker Education Initiative towards our vision of Every Child a Maker.
As I have yet to meet a youth who is not a maker, or read a history that does not reflect making, this integral aspect of living hints at something within us…naturally. As a youth, I was a nurtured maker, and here I am as an adult maker crisscrossing the diversity of making from anime and robots. I can recall the summer my siblings, dad, and I decided to make picnic tables from leftover logs originally destined for the fireplace. Truthfully…those first picnic tables –– if you would like to call them that –– were not safely usable. Yet, the process of making those tables lingers with me more so than the finished product.
I can still remember that feeling of accomplishment in taking a large, long log and over a period of time extracting this idea from my mind to the physical. Our summer project ended up requiring the use of power tools, measuring, identifying parts of wood, sanding, painting and decorating, designing and testing for the most stable structure, and researching existing plans––as we realized the value of looking at predecessors based on our first haphazard tables, which we did improve each iteration––and not to mention a myriad of steps that would make for an extra-long listing. The one thing I wish, is that we had documented and intentionally processed that learning and development journey. In the video, young Gru starts with a drawing to a prototype and then to the actual rocket. Can you imagine how much his currency could have grown with encouragement or additional resources?
The opportunity to weave from major snippets of my journey such as project and program management in the for-profit and non-profit sectors along with my bohemian flair for living enriched with making towards a mission that ignites is a rare occasion. Basically, I just show up to work as me. How awesome is that? *smiling*
Everyday I support the maker movement particularly for communities that have limited access to and/or are disconnected from making, yet often are makers, from necessity. So I am inspired daily by making and I hope the same for you. May we all be young Grus.