Sunday I was visiting a friend of ours who is getting his Ph.D. soon. He has traveled the country and the world, and is what I would consider an intellectual. He recently founded New Horizons Ukraine, a language translation service.
He is also extremely handy with tools. He works on machines and buildings and computers and cars and motorcycles and more. In fact, he refinished the floors in his 1780 historic New England farmhouse himself.
So imagine how awful I felt when I admired a boat in a bottle on his mantelpiece. He related the story that he built it in 6th grade with tools his dad had that reached inside the bottle. He built it piece by piece and proudly took it to school for a project. The teacher liked the way it looked and it fulfilled the assignment but failed him because he – the teacher – didn’t believe a kid could build something that well.
To this day, that beautiful piece of craftsmanship is tainted in my friend’s mind by the story of the bitter teacher who had no confidence in the abilities of his pupils.