We purchased a little trailer for $1000 so I wouldn’t have to sleep on the ground anymore. It’s nothing fancy but it keeps us dry. It needed curtains and I was going to make them.
We bought a used sewing machine for $25 on Craig’s list. Sewing, in particular using a machine to do it, is not a skill I possess. Mum sewed all of our clothes when we were little, a matter of needs must because we were not well off. I haven’t inherited her talent.
As I sat looking at the machine, praying that it would be kind, I recalled my high school home economics class when I had to sew lined paper and was judged on how well I stayed on the line. I was uninspired, to say the least but it was a mandatory course for girls so I had to do it.
Facing my demon at last, I broke out in sweat when faced with threading the machine and when I touched the bobbin the whole casing fell out of its hole and it took me half an hour to put it back in. I hadn’t sewn one stitch and I was ready to throw in the towel. I was frustrated and on the verge of tears. I was embarrassed at letting this process get the better of me. I felt as out of control as I did when starting my Master’s degree. Is this how my kids feel when they look at a test question and realize that once again they’re unprepared?
After recovering from my fit, I decided to Google how to thread the machine and how to load a bobbin. And even though the machine in the video was a bit different I got the gist, took some time, figured it out, and sewed me some curtains. I learned. I felt good about finishing what I started and am satisfied with the product. Those curtains are not perfect but they’re the best I could do on that day.
I want my students to learn like that…try, fail, persevere, and find some success. I want them to discover that they are capable and competent so they can face whatever challenges come their way.