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Mastering the Craft

"Those who can" banner
Measuring the banner


Once they waved and now they’re still; UMD banners lie on the floor awaiting their next incarnation.

Scissors poised, students look to Ayla Erickson. “Try to keep the Those who can part and avoid the glue. The sewing machine doesn’t like the glue,” she suggests.

Twenty inches across and 45 down, the class is making a pocket that will become a messenger bag. Ayla didn’t google the dimensions; she perfected the pattern by taking it for a test run.

It’s a combination of nothing new and completely innovative. All materials, including the repurposed hip belts and climbing harnesses that will hug shoulders, had another job before this.

Empowering the transformation is Ayla, a sophomore with enough moxie to lead even those who are years ahead. The environmental education major’s comfort zone has been challenged and triumphed enough times to be unphased by this scenario.

After an hour of hard work, the participants are the owners of the coolest bags on campus - messenger bags with a message. But Ayla has the best takeaway; she’s become a teacher.

Those who can, learn by doing.

Students in the RSOP make and take class
Tape measure and scissors and "Those who can" banner
Ayla helps a student during a RSOP make and take
Student sewing banner
Completed banner
Ayla Erickson, third photo down, helps a student with the sewing machine during RSOP's "make and take" messenger bag class. Ayla plans to lead a trip to the Ozarks next spring.

The RSOP "make and take" messenger bag class is one of many that are offered throughout the year. Students come up with the ideas, write the descriptions, and teach the classes. More information, here.

Those who can, Duluth





Story by Lori C. Melton, April 2015

UMD News Articles | News Releases
Cheryl Reitan, creitan@d.umn.edu


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