Friday, October 10, 2008

I've having a moral dilemma about the clay

I have spent about seven hours this week recycling clay. Monday I went to school and started trying to get the clay out of the recycle bin and soon found out that most of what was left was stuck to the bottom of the bin and probably wasn't going to come loose just from me trying to remove it with my hands. Rather than stand there and cry about it, I went home and collected some gardening tools and went back on Tuesday. Tuesday was a lot of work, but I did get a lot of the clay out of the bin, and I put about half of it through the mill and got a lot of usable clay out of it.

I was tired, and my arms and back hurt, but I felt like I actually got something done. Money-wise, this was probably not the best use of my time, since if I'd had eight or nine dollars to spare I could have just gone to the bookstore to buy new clay. But I didn't have the eight or nine dollars, and I imagined myself recycling all of the clay in the bin and having enough clay to use myself for the rest of the class, and maybe enough for the other nine or ten people to use next Saturday.

Thursday I went back to finish the project. I got the remaining clay out of the recycle bin, but there wasn't as much left as I had imagined. I started putting the clay through the mill, and I put away enough for myself to use this next class, and hopefully enough for the class after that. I would have also put away some for that last class, but for some reason the last of the clay I put through the mill doesn't look right and needs to done over again.

Then I got tired of recycling clay and decided to try to work on the wheel for a little while. I was at the wheel for less than an hour, tried to make four or five bowls, tried to keep two of them, but damaged one when I tried to take it off of the wheel.

Okay, so there is still a bit of clay waiting to go into the mill, and there's a little bit of clay that was starting to dry out that I put back into the recycle bin. There's a little bit of clay that I put through the mill that doesn't look right and needs to be redone. There's some clay that I put aside for myself that will be enough for one class, possibly two, but not three. And then there's a bunch of clay that I was going to leave for the other nine or ten people in the class who had also planned to use recycled clay.

So now I have a bit of a dilemma. If I don't take more of the clay for myself, I probably won't have any clay for my last class. I did all of the work, and I should be able to do what I want with it. In theory, I could just say that I did all of the work, so all of the clay is mine.

But that wouldn't be a very nice thing to do. If I came to school on Saturday and found out that there wasn't any clay for me to use, I'd be seriously upset about it, and expect that the rest of the class would feel the same way. And the bookstore is closed on Saturday, so there isn't the option of buying some more, at least not in time to use in the next class period.

I could go back to school today and finish recycling the clay and keep that, but I really don't want to. For one thing, I've been there three days already this week and spent time and gas driving. For another thing, I'm just tired of recycling clay and would like to stay home today and get a few things done around here.

Another thing is that if I went to school and did the rest of the work and kept that clay, I would still have the moral dilemma of whether or not it is fair to keep that much of the clay when they don't have the option of buying more on Saturday. At least this way I'm just leaving them some clay that they will have to work to recycle.

I am thinking that right now there is just enough for me to keep what I have already put aside for myself and for the rest of the class to do half of their work Saturday with the other clay that I finished and the other half they can do with what is left that needs to be recycled. And I think that will be the last of the clay, and that they will have to buy clay after that. And I will either be short some clay for that last class, or maybe if all the clay doesn't get recycled Saturday I can come back Monday and finish what is left, or maybe I'll find some more that needs to be recycled here.


dmarks said...

after hours of recycling clay: click here

Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts said...

So what did you end up doing?

laughingattheslut said...

I got there a bit early, and waited with two other students. Another student is a teacher of another class, and she had keys and let us in before our teacher arrived. I took a bit more clay. While I was trying to decide if I had enough, the teacher came in and told everyone that I had made all this clay for them. So I crossed my fingers and hoped that I had made a good guess and left the rest for the others.

It didn't look like I had left them enough, but then the fifth student came in and said that someone in her family was ill and she wasn't staying. She just wanted to ask the teacher if she could come in some day next week to make up the missed class.

Then a sixth student came in a bit late.

And the other five students just didn't show up.

It turns out that this is Texas OU weekend. I am not a football fan, and I don't keep up with such things. But with half of our class missing, we did wonder if maybe they all went to the state fair to watch the game.

So that left five students in class, and one of them bought his own clay. So we had plenty for everyone to use today and I'll have enough for next week and possibly the others will be able to get by with what is left.

The teacher mentioned that one of his friends might want to buy one of my pieces. The friend did not mention how much he's willing to pay for it. Then the teacher got all excited about the idea that I should put the thing on eBay since he'd already taken a picture of it. On the one hand, I would rather like to sell it, but on the other hand I'm not sure about having it shipped somewhere since it is a bit heavy and is way too big to fit in a flat rate box. I do rather like that piece, but I had hoped that it might turn out a bit more orange, so I'm thinking that I might do another one anyway.