af∙fect │ \e-ꞌfekt
verb: To act on and cause a change in (someone or something): to produce an emotional response in someone: to influence (someone or something).
ef∙fect │ \i- ꞌfekt
noun: A change which is a result or consequence of an action or other cause: Power to bring about a result: a distinctive impression: accomplishment or fulfillment.
Affect + Effect
Warren Buffet once said, “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” If he were a woodworker, instead of a billionaire, he might have said, “Someone’s building a piece of furniture today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
His statement can be applied to almost any situation where something happens which creates a specific result; affect & effect. These two words are known as homophones. They sound the same when talking but have different meanings when spelled out.
In grammar rules, MASW would be a noun. But what if it were a verb? Instead of a physical place, couldn’t MASW be a force that produces an emotional response or change in someone? The answer is absolutely! From April to November, thousands of people make annual trips to MASW. Not because of the physical buildings or equipment, but because the Creative Spirit exists here. It isn’t tangible or visible, but it flows throughout the school and “affects” everyone.
The spark that releases this creative spirit starts with our staff and is brought to life through our instructors. Together they unleashed an environment with creative power and creative ability. Anyone who has been here before, student or instructor, knows that MASW is like a magnet which draws people back again and again. This is how the Creative Spirit of MASW “affects” everyone who comes.
The “effect” of this Creative Spirit can be measured by the results of what is physically accomplished each week. During the summer of 2022, MASW will host over 240 hands-on workshops producing volumes of work. Students and instructors will work with a variety of materials including wood, glass, metal, paper, leather, stone, cotton, coffee and cacao. Some of the finished work will be used as story boards for future reference and some will be finished into family heirlooms.
As we near our 30th anniversary, I’m amazed at the “affect & effect” MASW has had on our student body. Hundreds of our alumni have gone on to start their own business. Others have submitted their work in local and national competitions; most winning top honors. Nearly every woodworking magazine, both in America and abroad, have featured articles by MASW family members. Countless alumni have volunteered their time or skill to some noteworthy cause. Today there are close to 500 people who have completed their Masters, with hundreds working toward that achievement.
Clearly the inspiration of my instructors and staff have a profound impact on everyone they encounter—including me. Most of all, it has been a treasure to see how the MASW family have in “effect”, changed the contemporary world of craft.
Today, I am thankful for the knowledge and Creative Spirit that has been present over the past 29 years at MASW. I believe this Creative Spirit is God Himself. I’m reminded that from the very beginning of time, God wasn’t thinking or reading or contemplating or learning—He was Creating. “In the beginning, God Created….” His Creative Spirit is a remarkable gift that has, and will, continue to “affect” everyone who comes to MASW, resulting in an “effect” on their workmanship for the rest of their lives.