Meet Bill and Jose

Bill Chen

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Where are you from?

I am Chinese but I was born in the Philippines, went to school in the U.S., worked in Cincinnati and San Diego for 30+ years, and then I retired in Portland, ME. 

What brought you to the Apprenticeshop?

It was almost an accident. My wife and I come up here a few times a year. Last year, we came up and stayed at 250 Main Hotel. We got chatting with the manager - asked her where to go to breakfast and she suggested Home Kitchen. We asked about places to visit and she said there was a place across from Home Kitchen called The Apprenticeshop. We got a tour and I met Bella and Kevin. I was struck by two things; at the Shop, everything we build doesn't have straight lines. At home, I had only built things with straight lines. I thought it would push me out of my envelope to build a curvy object. I was also impressed with the community learning. There is a loose camaraderie, which is fascinating as a teacher; it's good to get that perspective. Plus my wife wanted a rowboat. So I signed up.

What were you doing before you came here?

I have been retired primarily, though I still teach engineering and sustainability courses at USM. I taught engineering at SMCC. Then I was a consulting engineer for 30 some odd years before working on the Predator drone.

What do you like best about the Shop so far?

The work is physically and mentally challenging for me. You constantly have to think about things you're not used to doing. You make mistakes and then learn how to recover from them. Rockland and Camden are also beautiful - the whole package is great!

What has been most difficult for you in your first few weeks here?

Mage. I get tired easily and I forget. It's also hard to hear. I wish I had more energy.

If you could have any shop superpower, what would it be?

As you're building, lots of things aren't visible to you, so x-ray vision.

 

Jose Cherem

Where are you from?

Mexico City, Mexico

What brought you to the Apprenticeshop?

The desire to learn how to build boats and love of the sea.

What were you doing before you came here?

I was doing a Masters in Architecture.

What do you like best about the Shop so far?

The people. They have a very tight community. Everyone is willing to help each other and teach each other new things.

What has been most difficult for you in your first few weeks here?

Getting used to the rhythm of work and working with my body for extended periods of time. My body's aching all the time!

If you could have any shop superpower, what would it be?

An index finger that could fasten things like a drill - an index finger drill. Or, mind clamps, so I could clamp things just by thinking about it. Or epoxy saliva.

Apprenticeshop

THE APPRENTICESHOP IS AN EDUCATIONAL NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION LOCATED ON PENOBSCOT BAY IN MIDCOAST MAINE.
DEDICATED TO INSPIRING PERSONAL GROWTH THROUGH
CRAFTSMANSHIP, COMMUNITY, AND TRADITIONS OF THE SEA.