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February 7, 2012
A few years ago I had a birthday that triggered a lot of thought about my life and goals. I realized for the first time that I was getting older and I might not have as much time and good health left as I’d thought. So I decided to focus my time and energy on the things that are most important to me.
I decided that I wanted to spend much more time making and fixing things. I started machining metal as a hobby and I created a website about it called MachinistBlog.com because I also enjoy teaching. And I started putting together the well-equipped workshop I'd wanted since I was a young teenager.
I’ve been having fun and learning a lot. But there’s still something important missing. I would very much like to meet and spend some time around others who also like learning, being creative and working with their hands instead spending their evenings watching TV or surfing the Internet. So that’s one reason why I want to see if we can get a successful and vibrant maker space started in Rochester NY.
I also want to get a maker space started because I can still vividly remember being a young adult and wanting to use tools and to make things. But I couldn’t because I was poor and living in a small apartment. There were no maker spaces back then but if there had been I would have found a way to join one.
And finally,I think I’ve had a big advantage in life because I grew up in a home that had tools and I was encouraged to use them. It seems like that’s much less common today. I could go on about that but I’ll just say that anything we can do to get kids away from their video game consoles and into a workshop would be a good thing for them and our community.
However, I don’t know yet if we will offer access or programs for kids because it won’t be entirely my decision and we may be very focused for awhile on getting established and becoming financially stable. But I hope we will.
I don’t have a great need to run this project. If someone more qualified and motivated wants to take over I’ll quickly step aside and support them. In the meantime I believe I am very capable of getting this project launched and making it a success. I have strong leadership skills and a lot of management experience (although my management skills might be a bit rusty).
I’ve also been a member or part of the leadership of many clubs and other member run organizations. As a result I’ve had a chance to see some very well run ones and some very poorly run ones. Many of them were flying clubs and I think my experiences with them will be particularly useful because their goals were very similar to our – which is to provide affordable access to expensive and potentially dangerous equipment.
Please speak up if you have any questions or if you’re interested in joining a maker space or supporting us in some other way. We need to learn what others want from a maker space so we can start creating a workable plan for getting one started here in Rochester NY.
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