Thursday, February 9, 2012

Date Night

Every Wednesday night, John and I have been heading to the Biddeford Center of Technology for an adult education night class on basic welding. For years, we've both been wanting to know how to weld, for different reasons. John wants to be able to fix and fabricate farm machinery (so practical). I want to make furniture....with steel and old barn boards (so girly). Of course I'd like to be able to lay a weld down and fix a broken implement when needed and John is a far better furniture maker than I'll ever be so I'm sure it will all work out in the end.

The Center for Technology is a fancy term for the vocational high school in Biddeford. It is AMAZING by all accounts. You can learn the skills needed to fabricate just about anything there. Every night when we leave, we always have a rousing discussion about the future of these programs if we lose all our domestic manufacturing jobs to oversees. I always default to imagining the auction that will sell off all the nice stools and metal work benches when we hit the doomsday part of the discussion.

Until then, we have 12 weeks total for a cool $100 (best kept secret in adult ed in Maine!) to learn how to lay a weld.

I must admit, I thought I was going to blow the place up or surely catch myself on fire. But, on the contrary, its really cool and super satisfying to strike an arc and lay a nice weld. Clothed in leather and covered with a shield, lack of mobility and a severely limited field of vision have been a challenge. I channel Jennifer Beals in Flashdance while I'm working.

In a fit of nerves, I mentioned this out loud during our first class as I was about to fire up the oxyacetylene torch to cut some steel. Our young and sweet instructor looked at me blankly. It dawned on me that his mom was probably on the couch breast feeding him while watching Flashdance on Betamax or HBO. John later told me if I had re-enacted the scene where Jennifer Beals pours the bucket of water over her head, I maybe would have made a better impression.

Needless to say, I am the only female in the class. I think this allows me to buck that guyhood code and shamelessly ask questions.

There are these two adorable fellas in our class that I pester often. This week, I casually asked them if I was too close a reminder of their mother at school. They kindly said kind. Although, I have been trying to convince Emma that the cute boys are all at welding class in Biddeford.

So, single ladies...if you are trying to get out and meet people, people of the opposite gender, I strongly recommend enrolling in a trades class as they are chock-full of dudes! Forget yoga.

Using the grinder is like your own personal fireworks show.

My dear husband was a little mortified that I brought the camera along. He's already worried what these other guys are thinking about him since his wife is participating too. He balked at the idea that I wanted a group photo with all my new friends at welding class. I wonder if he would mind if if I baked cookies for the class next week?

My next adult ed program....the classroom next to our welding class is all about electrical. Come join me, why don't you?

Blessings on the meal-


  1. I love this post, Stacy! Sounds like such a fun & satisfying class...oh, and I'm sure cookies would be appreciated ;).

  2. Great post, Stacy. Love the whole Jennifer Beals thing. LOL.

  3. It is quite fun to be a woman in situations like this! I have gone back to school for a second degree in Architecture and Engineering Design. Similarly, I am the only female in the majority of classes. There is something so wonderful about being in a machine tool room while wearing a dress. Thanks for sharing Stacy.

  4. I'm jealous! I wanted to take that class but childcare is a challenge! I'll just have to live vicariously through you.

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