A January Day of Making, Day 1

January Day of Making starting strong for Maram; I don’t want to intrude on them, but there’s a lively discussion happening in my dining room, with Alec Nevala-Lee teaching Writing Science Fiction that Sells (focus on plot). I am v. impressed with the writers who are dedicated enough to come out for a 9 a.m. Saturday workshop, when it’s only 6 degrees F outside. That’s some writerly passion right there!

(Note also that Ellie appears totally able to nap straight through a writing workshop.)

Maram makerspace programming workshop — v. simple programming, where you enter some questions and answer into a spreadsheet (Kev tried to come up with ones Anand would find funny), upload them, and then Google Home will let you and anyone on your network play the trivia game. Kamal Jackson did a great job talking his students through it.

And yet, even though this programming was super-simple, I think teaching this kind of workshop is particularly challenging — little mistakes the students make often take the teacher’s attention to fix, and it’s hard to scale up.

I used to teach basic HTML in tech writing classes, way back in the long ago, so people could build basic web pages. I remember spending much of the second half of the class running around from student to student, fixing things, while the rest of them had to deal with a bunch of dead time. It got better as the class progressed, and more of them became able to assist their classmates, but still.

There are probably ways to deal with this issue? It doesn’t come up the same way in writing classes!

One of the nice things about having these early workshops at my house is that it’s easy to invite the instructors to bring their kids along as needed. We offered TV, and there was some MagnaTiling, but then Kavi pulled out the long-neglected rainbow loom, and it turned into an impromptu makerspace workshop on looming bracelets. Making brings joy, and unexpected workshops.

Does that mean I’m supposed to pay her an instructor fee now? 🙂 (Actually, I think the youngest girl already knew as much as Kavi did…)

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