So far this class has been a fun and enriching experience; however, I never expected there to be so much time and effort put into performing simple tasks such as making fires and spinning wool. I struggled a lot with starting a fire on the second day of class, since I couldn’t even get wood smoking. Clearly, I would not survive very well in the wild without being able to start my own fire. Luckily, someone in my group managed to get the smoke going, resulting burning embers, which was then able to start the fire. Nonetheless, our group was a collaborative effort: someone had to hold down the wood with the hole while someone else would run the stick back and fourth with the bow as others had to prepare the nest for the fire. It was a lot more difficult than we all expected. On the contrary, spinning was significantly easier for me, and even though it was more time consuming, it did not necessarily require more effort or strength than it did to start a fire. Nevertheless, I’ve developed a new appreciation for the people who spend time spinning fibers and weaving it into pieces of fabric for it is extremely time consuming and tedious. I have to say I’m really glad that I was not a woman living back in the ages when it was the norm and requirement for women to spin and make different forms of clothing. Dying, on the other hand, required less skill and precision as the other two tasks; however, I had a particularly tough time dealing with the smell of the red dye made out of cochineal bugs and the indigo as well. With that aside, I thoroughly enjoyed the dying process since simple and enriching to learn about the different methods of dying as well as where each specific dye comes from. This class has been awesome thus far, and I can’t wait for the upcoming weeks where we will learn how to make bread and beer!
– Rachel Latterich