Yep, Pardners, I'm back in the saddle again. Back to teaching for the Olds College Master Spinner Program, back to good ole Level 3.
I spent last weekend in Las Cruces, New Mexico, teaching TPI formulas and the spinning of cotton and silk. I had had the pleasure of teaching a lot of the people in this class their Level 1 as well, so going back to Las Cruces was a lot like going home.
The city of Las Cruces is beautiful, and while it is in the desert, it is not hot-hot this time of year. In fact, there were a couple of mornings where the temperature was warmer in Edmonton, Alberta that in Las Cruces. However, once that bright sun started to shine, Las Cruces warmed up and it was glorious in the afternoons. Most of my too-short visit was spent in the classroom space at My Place Jewell, but I did get out for a few walks in the area.
The classroom was a busy place. We did the math, we counted our treadles, we spun the cotton, we made silk mawatas, we dyed. We managed to get the 25 colours from 1 dye bath exercise done with minimal confusion, in spite of the fact that we had 250 skeins on the go all day long!
We also had the luxury of spinning locally-grown cotton from Ric's garden. Ric is the MSP coordinator for the Las Cruces class, along with being very active in the local arts community. And, he grew cotton in his backyard garden!
(This is very exciting and exotic to someone who lives in the land of ice and snow! Not only that, but it turns out there was an experimental cotton field right across the road from my hotel. Good thing I didn't find out about that until I was leaving, or I may have been shot for trespassing. Fortunately for me, Ric used his connections in the community to get a bag of the cotton from that field to share with us!)
It was a long, hectic 5-day weekend, and by the end, the students seemed brain-weary but satisfied, and I felt the same way.
I will confess that I had had my moments of trepidation about getting back into teaching before I had my RA fully under control, and I will also confess that I was in bed, sound asleep, by 8 p.m. each night. I think that I managed rather well, though. By the end of the week, I was feeling pretty battered and my hands refused to cooperate with me on our last day of class, but all in all, it was good. It felt like stepping back into a comfortable pair of shoes, and I am happy to be back.
And, as a wee reward to myself for getting back into the saddle again, I made a slight detour on my way home. I went to Disneyland, where, to carry on the cowboy metaphor, I met up with Woody and Jessie from the Toy Story movies…
I am home now, weary and aching, but happy to be back teaching. I have another class for the Master Spinner Program coming up at Fibre Week in June, and I am looking forward to it more than I can say.