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Tucson, Arizona, United States
I work as Panther Peak Bindery and am a bookbinder, conservator and instructor working outside Tucson, Arizona for individual and institutional clients across the country. I am a two term President of the Guild of Book Workers, was a Fulbright Scholar, taught at North Bennet Street School for over nine years and was the fastest in my middle school class at running up and down a flight of stairs (really!).

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Gifts!

I can be kind of mean, but generally with good intentions.

When I was teaching the students would give me Christmas presents, at least they did for a few years until I told them to cut it out. They were paying a lot for their education and living in a very expensive city. There was no necessity to spend money they didn't have to give me a gift when, to me, it felt like hanging out with them every day was more than gift enough to me.

I did, however, want to give them gifts.  But just giving them a gift didn't seem right, either.  Not that it would sound like a bribe but the standard is to avoid the appearance of evil, not just not doing evil. And what's more evil than gift giving?  Well, now I'm just getting confused.

I had brought in a table hockey game during my first year at the school.  Lars had one at the radio station he worked at in Link√∂ping and I thought it would be a great way to blow off steam and take a break from what could be a bit of pressure during the day.  It worked pretty well, at least to my mind.

There was a school tournament, created to force students to get to know each other throughout the building.  NPR did a story on it you can find here.

But there was also the Stanislov Cup for the bookbinding program, I think named by Stacie Dolin. We had a trophy and everything.  Or we did it might be in the trash by now for all I know.




I used to tell the students it was the most exclusive tournament in the world, only twelve were eligible each year!

But the point was that I would buy bookbinding related prizes during the year and give them away after the tournament.  Nothing crazy, mainly books, tools and posters but it was fun looking for them through the year.  And more fun giving them away.  I wish I could have given them more, they certainly gave me a lot.

So in the season of giving it's nice to be reminding of all the students gave me during their time in Boston, and am grateful most of them still liked me even after I made them play table hockey against each other.  Well, a few of them probably enjoyed it.  Hopefully.


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