by Shadin Kitma
There was an air of excitement among students about the recently introduced afternoon clubs. Having heard about the expanded options from the previous year, I was curious to see the variety on offer.
Among the diverse choices, one option caught my eye – woodworking. Well, that wouldn't be my first choice, I thought, assuming students would find it dull and laborious. Maybe it's a fallback option for students who couldn't secure spots in popular clubs like art or football.
I couldn't have been more wrong. There were more sign-ups for woodworking than there were spots initially. And most of them were from the primary grades -- and quite equality distributed among genders, too.
I couldn't resist asking one of the young participants, a rather slim girl, when I passed by her on campus. "You really like woodworking?" I said with barely veiled incredulity. Her response was a quick and confident "yes". Asked why, she answered, "because my dad does that a lot."
Reflecting on this revelation, I felt embarrassed. I learned later that European fathers -- particularly Germans -- have a reputation for doing a lot of DIY woodworking at home. That these 8, 9, 10-year-old GESM students picked this club as a means to connect with their parents, was particularly touching.
Whether other students have similarly meaningful reasons for picking their clubs, I wouldn't know. But I never thought I'd feel this proud to be in a school that offers woodworking.
Dull and laborious, apparently it is not.
Below are photos from the clubs, not only from woodworking: