Cameron Perry: My Studio H experience
By: Cameron Perry, Studio H class of 2011
Over the past nine months, I have spent fifteen hours a week in Studio H with nine other students. In Studio H I learned many things including some life lessons, and it changed my life. Studio H taught me to “keep my eye on the ball,” iterate, never give up, and think through problems. It has changed the way I approach life’s challenges.
When we first started working in the shop one of the things Matt stressed to us was to “keep our eye on the ball” at all times. He didn’t mean it literally like in a sport, but figuratively. When we were using the saws, drill and the other tools, we were supposed to keep our eye on what we were doing and not pay attention to other stimuli. If we lost concentration on what we were doing, someone could get hurt so we always “kept our eye on the ball.” This is also a valuable life lesson. If you have goals in life, you need to focus on them and not lose concentration. If you stray, you will not accomplish what you wish, but if you keep your eye on the ball, you can succeed.
Studio H also taught me that your first idea is usually not the best, and the importance of iterating. Iteration is one of the six steps in the design process and has a whole blue dot dedicated to it on the wall in Studio H. Iteration is when you take an idea and further develop it to make it better. If you have an amazing idea, and you just started it, imagine what it can be when you have developed it. When we started designing our Cornhole boards, I thought my first idea was the best thing ever, but Matt and Emily made me change and develop it until it came out to be an amazing design. If they had let me keep the original design, I probably would not have been pleased. Because of iteration, and their encouragement, I learned that the first is never the best no matter how amazing it is, and once you have developed it you can always go back, but you will probably stick with the newer, better version.
I also learned to never give up, and to think through problems, while I was in Studio H. When we were designing the chicken coops, there were times when I just wanted to quit and do nothing. But Matt and Emily wouldn’t let me. They told me to keep going and think it out, and that I could make something great. They said, “If you give up on this, what will you let yourself give up on later in life?” If you take the time and think it out you can have something great to show for your hard work. So I didn’t give up, I thought it out, and that taught me I can always find another way to do something.
Studio H not only taught me those lessons, but it changed the way I approach everyday task in life. Everyday for the last three or four weeks, I have been trying to do just one pull-up. I built a pull-up bar in the metal shop and then hung it over the door to the wood shop. Well, I couldn’t do a pull up. So, everyday I have been pulling myself as far as I could. At first I couldn’t get hardly anywhere. Now I can almost get my chin over the bar. It’s because I didn’t give up, I kept working at it and now I will hopefully be able to do one before we get out of school, and it’s all because of the way I approached the situation. I could have given up, but I didn’t. I kept my eye on the ball and I realized that every day I got a little higher. And it was all because of the lessons I learned from Matt and Emily.
With these new lessons I can make my future what I want it to be, not what someone else wants it to be. If I keep my eye on the ball, never give up, and think through all of life’s challenges I will be able to go to college and have the career I want. Studio H taught me these things and I will us them the rest of my life to accomplish my goals.