Sunday, September 8, 2013

Tempus Fugit

Another summer seems to have vanished like a sugar cube in a cup of hot coffee.   I suppose I got to paddle quite a bit and visit with friends and do interesting things, but it still seems altogether too short.  When I was a kid, it always seemed that summer went on forever.  I wish it still did.

However, this brings the start of wonderful things.   Like sign-up for a new year's class of boat-building.  After exhibition last June, I had a list nearly three pages long of people who were interested in the boat-building class.  I put together an email regarding class registration. (which was yesterday...) and about the class itself and sent it to the people on the list.

I figure that we usually get maybe 5% of the people who were interested at exhibition to actually show up for registration - if I'm lucky.  When I was driving to registration, I could see that all the side streets around the school were almost completely full of parked cars.  As I turned down the street the school is on, there were students waiting in a line that stretched down the sidewalk from the building to the street and down the sidewalk along the street.  It was only 9:00 AM - registration doesn't start until 10:00 AM, but is first-come, first-served in order to be fair to everyone, so people come early.  Sometimes really early - with a chair, a book, a cup of coffee, snacks, determination and apparently - a strong constitution.  It felt a bit like an Apple iPhone launch.

The lines for woodworking and boat-building as well as a few other classes run from the side of the building and ran all the way to the parking lot and back to the dumpster.  As I took my paperwork into the building and prepared to bring the skin-on-frame canoe downstairs as my "calling card", I was approached by a woman who was clearly distressed.

"Are you the boat building instructor?"


"Is it true?"

"Is what true?"

"That this class is for returning students only."


"That's what the sign says."

"No - that's not true.  It's open registration.  I don't have returning students."

I went and checked the sign with the class listings that showed students where to wait to register.  The sign clearly had an asterisk and a notation beneath the class name that said, "Returning Students Only".  I grabbed a marker and crossed that line out in a big hurry, let me tell you.  It was a clerical error from using an old class list.  I have no idea how many students saw that sign and went home without finding out if this was true.  I was beginning to sweat that the class wouldn't run because people left after seeing the sign.

Because of the way that the school runs, there are minimum enrollments - 8 people is the minimum for my class to run.  It's also sort of the maximum class size, too - I only have room to build and store 8 boats.  If each person decides to build their own boat (like last year's class...) I have the minimum number of people and the maximum number of boats - a precarious balancing act.  Fortunately for me, ten students registered and are planning to build 8 boats.  Two couples have decided to build a boat together and the other 6 students will build their own boats.

So, if anyone DID see the sign and go home, I apologize.  While I'm not responsible for the error, I still worry that people missed an opportunity.  If you did, please comment on this post or otherwise get back to me - I'd like to know.

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