Rodecoe Dunlow: My Studio H experience
By: Rodecoe Dunlow, Studio H class of 2011
In Studio H this year, I have learned many things: your first idea is usually not the best; just because you don’t think you can do something, doesn’t mean you really can’t. Just because something seems difficult does not mean it cannot be done. I have learned to never underestimate what is possible.
Studio H has included many projects that seemed to be impossible to complete. The first one that comes to mind is the chicken coops. During the design process I thought, “There is no way that we can build the ideas that we came up with.” After we had designed and picked the ones we were going to build, I was nervous because I never thought we could come close to building these coops. It was a slow process, and it took the help of every hand and brain we had in the studio, but we accomplished the task. Even though it was a long and hard process we completed all three coops, and all are successfully being used by families.
The designing and building of the coops led me to wanting chickens of my own, meaning I had to design and build my own coop at my house. I have never been confident in my designing things and actually completing them, but after seeing what we had done in the studio, I became more confident in my own abilities. One day, I gathered material and just went to work. I built a simple rectangular run, and then designed six roosting boxes that went the full length of the run, each measuring 1.5×1.5 feet. The top of the roosting boxes lifted up to give easy access to the eggs and to clean out the roosting boxes. I never thought I could design and build something like I did.
In the studio this year we have used many tools from some of the simplest to some of the most aggravating. I went in thinking, “Oh I’m no worried about this. I have used tools all my life and never had any problems.” But when I came in the studio and was told to use the band saw with people watching me, I just knew that I could not do it. I am usually alone when working with tools of that sort, or only with my dad there teaching me. But in the studio it was the whole class and that bothered me, but I had no choice other than to just use it the best I could. It all happened when we were taking a test on our woodshop procedures. We had to use all the tools in the shop successfully and make some weird wood thing. I was okay with everything but the band saw. This was the only tool that I had never used and it just seemed so difficult, so I had my mind made up that I wasn’t going to use it. Then Matt told me that I could not work in the woodshop until I had finished the test including the band saw. When it came time for me to cut using the band saw I was super nervous, but it had to be done so I just went and cut the rainbow shape out of the wood and hoped for the best. When I was finished and looked at what I had done, it wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated it to be. Yes, I was a nervous wreck when I started but when I finished it, I felt confident about using it again. Little did I know that I would be using it very often cutting all kinds of weird shapes.
Being a student in Studio H, you have to be able to work with everybody. But I have a temper that will not wait, especially with some of my classmates. When starting this class I really didn’t know that I would have to work with people basically all day everyday. So in the beginning of this class I kept thinking, “Oh my gosh there is no way I am going to work with Cameron.” I didn’t see any way that it could work out. But throughout the year I got better about working well with others. Then one day Cameron and I got paired together to design a chicken coop. When we first started the design process we did our own things, until one day we just came together and designed a coop we really liked. Since Cameron and I were paired together and actually had to work together, I have been able to work with anyone on any task. I never thought that Cameron and I could successfully complete a task, but since the coop project we have worked well together and accomplished many things.
This year in Studio H, Matt and Emily have taught me a lot of things that I thought I could never do. Who would have thought that I could help design a chicken coop, or use tools that were foreign to me until now? Most of all, I have learned that no matter what the challenge, to never underestimate what is possible.