After I quit my first university and before I enrolled in my second, I took a year off and lived at home, working and taking what I thought would be Mickey Mouse classes at the local junior college: creative writing, metalsmithing, and auto shop. Creative writing was a concession to future employment, and metalsmithing turned out to be too girlie for me (it was really jewelry making). The coolest thing about it was the soldering, watching beads of metal turn liquid under the iron's heat. Only auto shop was satisfying. Here were machines that moved and shook and groaned, producing something of value: forward motion. I'd always envied the boys who took shop in high school. They got to play in a room filled with equipment I couldn't identify. Auto shop let me get... More >>>