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2014 Session A - Masters, Day One

2014 Session A - MastersJoshua RothhaasComment

Today was a nice slow start to what is predicted to be an incredibly audacious and difficult week. We've picked a project we honestly think may only be possible with the combined skill, and rapid adaptability of the alumnus attending Masters Session. But before we get to that, despite all being alumnus, we haven't met each other. In fact, no one at all has met every single person. Gever and Megan didn't cross paths last year due to him being out, Josh and Serena have only been ships crossing in the night.

So we talk about heady things, tell riddles, practice on the chopsaw and get to know each other.

D7K 2622 We pondered a rather horrific detective riddle wherein someone set the stage with too little information, and we all have to guess and ask questions to get to the bottom of the mystery.

We also wrestled with but have not solved the "google marble problem". Frannie layed out the problem for us. You have two glass marbles that will break at a given height (the same height for each of them). Your job is to determine highest floor can drop a marble from without it breaking. In the process you may break both marbles, but once you break them both you can no longer collect information. You are in a building with an infinite number of floors and your objective is to write a procedure or algorithm that will let you find the answer as fast and efficiently as possible.

D7K 2623

D7K 2624 This year we have also decided to try and make our own shirts. We got ourselves some sun activated ink and some printed stencils to see if we could make something lovely.

D7K 2626 Evan sprays his shirt with the inkodye.

D7K 2630 Josh and Josh -yes, we have three Joshs this week- start working on their shirts

While we wait for our shirts to set in the sun, we get our new Tinkering School knives, learn the rules of safe knife use and practice whittling. The key tenets of using a knife are simple. Think about the knife; it should be sharp, it should be locking. Thinking about your body in space; cut away from yourself and sit or lean against something for stability. Think about your surroundings; make sure no one is in your blood bubble.

D7K 2635 Everyone enjoys some shade as they space themselves out to whittle.

D7K 2641 Portrait of a tinkerer: Gabriel reflects on the state of his whittled stick.

D7K 2643 Portrait of a tinkerer: Frannie makes a pointy stick, a universally popular whittling project.

After some time in the sun and with our shirts done cooking and now in the wash we head into the barn for tool training. Tool training in the Masters session feels a bit odd. Everyone has done this before, and done it exceptionally well. But it is key to make sure we are using the same procedures and signals and have a unified language. Chopsaw procedure has evolved gradually over the years. We can always use some brushing up on the tools, just to get us on the same page- and as a bonus, they're always fun to use.

D7K 2686 Miles takes a go at the chopsaw and executes perfectly.

You can head to our flickr and catch a photo of almost every camper (a few are out of focus and a few campers were out) using the saw.

After the chopsaw, we head back up to grab dinner - pulled pork, salad, and plum cake.

Dinner conversation was distracting enough to keep us from taking pictures, so we'll have to leave that to your imagination. Josh (the collaborator) lead us in a debate about extraterrestrial life, as we pondered whether we were alone in the galaxy or the universe, how to define intelligent life, and why, if they did exist, we hadn't heard from our alien neighbors.

After much begging from the excited and experienced tinkers, Gever got ready to announce this weeks project- for the first time, instead of building something aimed for a single person or a small group to ride, we'd build something that could carry all 17 of us. Something that had "Yar"- the nordic word for a ship that had a sort of elegance- that would move through water and hold up. Yes, we're going to build a boat. A big boat. And of course, that means we have to head to the barn to plan. The rush to clean up dinner has never been quicker.

IMG 9078 Portrait of a Gever (the species of camp founding collaborators): Gever concentrating as he drives a van full of energetic campers up to the barn.

IMG 9080 The doors open to reveal a trunk full of a peculiar type of cargo- tinkers! Everyone bounds out and helps unload the sheets of plywood.

IMG 9093 Elijah has discovered the barn cat and crouches dow to investigate.

IMG 9099 Frannie picks up our new friend, and Gever breaks off from our boat brainstorm to discuss the possibility of fleas. "Just don't take it with you to bed," he asks, and so the matter is settled.

IMG 9103 And, in the the true make-it work fashion we love at tinkering school, Josh and Liora ask for Serena's help in opening the gate by using the camera flash as a flashlight- naturally, some interesting shots occurred.

IMG 9110 And so we return to Tinkering School, the masters settling back in here, at the barn, ready and eager for the week, the excitement tangible. And it's only right that we end the night the Tinkering School way- card games, guitar and blog writing at the dining room table. Yes, we're off to a good start.

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