When I was 11 years old I went to REI with my mom and brother to help get some camping gear for Andreas. At the checkout I found myself staring at the; coolest, most awesome thing ever! It was a Swiss Army knife. As an immature 11 year old my mom didn't think it was a suitable item for me. But after expressing how I could only use it while she was watching, I convinced her to get the knife.
When I got home I ran outside and asked my mom if she could 'watch' me from the porch. She said, 'yes' and I was off. I was so overwhelmed on what to do, or make with the knife, but then I thought it would be cool if I sharpened a stick. So I found the stick and started running my knife up and down the it, making it as smooth as can be. When I finished the body, I began to sharpen the tip, this is where the bad things happen. I put my fingertips on the side of the stick, and started sharpening. It took two strokes before I had sliced the tips of my four fingers. There was blood all over my hands, and I tried to hide my pain from my mom by continuing on like nothing happened. My mom sitting on the porch reading her book thought nothing of it. While this was all happening my fingers were still bleeding profusely, and I first thought to then clean the wounds. So I stuck my fingertips in the algae, goose poop, slime filled pond outside my house. Then to stop the bleeding I found the best resources I could find in my backyard... leaves! I started pressing these grounded up leaves into my cut. When the bleeding finally stopped, a whole worry of my mom taking away the knife was relieved.
What I took away from this experience is that I should never cut towards my FINGERS! But it did prove Thoreau's point that, hands on experiences shape you more than learning through words.