Archives for category: 2012 Session 5 – Seniors

Friday Night, August 24th, 11:42pm

It is quarter to midnight, and seven tinkerers are up with me as I write the blog. Three of them are playing Texas Hold ‘em, two are playing Spades, one of them is playing bass, and one is just watching the whole scene. We don’t impose curfew on Friday nights with the Seniors group. It’s a nice time to hang out and enjoy the transitory bittersweet nature of the relationships that we have spent the week building, wallowing in a proactively nostalgic atmosphere.

By the end of breakfast, we’d decided to rebuild the track, to flatten out the turns and figure out how to deal with the excess speed. We’re going for distance and thrill. And, when we saw the hay bale smash into the door frame at fourteen miles per hour, nobody thought it looked like fun.

So we head back to the drawing board to figure out everything we have to dismantle, and everything we will have to build – today.
IMG 6288 Read the rest of this entry »

Wednesday Night, August 22nd, 11:35pm

A great educator friend, Steve Davee, once told me, “if they are right in the thick of it, going strong, then that can be the perfect time to take a break – that way they are gung-ho to get started when they come back to it.” I’d like to retroactively claim that that is exactly what I was thinking when I started doing beach day, because it seems so obvious now that he’s pointed it out to me.

There was palpable excitement as we drove down to the beach, but there were also a lot of “we’re going to work on the roller coaster tomorrow, right?” checks. It’s clear that the whole group feels that going to the beach is a good idea, but let’s not forget that we’re all building a roller coaster.

D7K 0917
The morning starts with some paddle building and last minute tweaks to the boats. Some of these boat designs are radical (to say the least) and “tuning” them up is deemed important. Read the rest of this entry »

Tuesday, August 21st, 11:43pm

We laughed, we ate tacos, we played, and we built – at every opportunity, we built. From immediately after breakfast, right through to dinner and then back again after. These are my favorite days at Tinkering School, when the projects are so provocative and engaging that meals are seen as interruptions.

Althea took up a position on the track factory making units for the first turn.
D7K 0648 Read the rest of this entry »

We got started so quickly this morning that we forgot to take a single picture until 10:06am. That was either fifteen minutes ago, or two days – I can’t quite tell. We’ve bitten off a little more than we thought, and what we have right now in the barn is less of a roller coaster than we started with… but less in such important ways.

We remembered the camera right about the time that Gever was recruited to cut a chunk off the cart. It turns out that the old cart is too long for the tightness of turns the track team are planning to build.
D7K 0536 Read the rest of this entry »

Sunday Night, August 19th, 2012 – 11:36pm

Dig down in the streets of New York and you will find New Amsterdam. Paris is a multi-layer wedding cake of overlapping cities stretching back into antiquity. This session is trying something that has never been done at Tinkering School before; we will build on top of, and extend, the roller coaster that Session 4 built.

In the mid-afternoon, Gever starts by establishing the ground rules of Tinkering School. Firstly, don’t hurt your self, or anyone else. Secondly, if you see a piece of fruit, and you want it, you must eat it. After that it’s pretty much noise; don’t play chase games in the house, no tools get left on the floor, don’t touch other people’s stuff without permission, don’t antagonize the animals, and so forth.
D7K 0321 Read the rest of this entry »


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