A Passion for Woodworking

Ann Yu ’21 has embraced the George School community. She is a Prefect, member of the Student Activities Board, athlete, and a standout student in woodshop.

Ann first took woodshop in middle school and enjoyed the experience. When she arrived at George School, Ann was excited to find that the School boasted a robust woodworking and design program. “I enjoy building things by hand and constructing things that have function and purpose,” said Ann, “Woodshop is the intersection of artistic expression and functionality.”

As an international student from Taiwan, Ann brings her unique culture to the woodshop. She expresses the pride she has in her heritage through incorporating unique artistic elements into her designs. This has inspired an ambitious table project Ann is currently working on. “In Taiwan, where I am from, most people use simplified Chinese characters and I wanted to incorporate a Traditional Chinese character in my design. My end table represents a special character that is only used in Taiwan. These distinguished characters are not universal and contain a unique beauty that is found in Traditional Chinese characters. I enjoy presenting my culture through my creations.”

Her current project is bold, incorporating both artistic and practical design elements that allow the piece to be easily disassembled in order to ship home. “As an international student, it is hard to ship furniture back home. Most international students end up leaving their pieces behind when they return home or move to their university,” explained Ann. “I am proud of my work and want to keep the table and use it, so my idea is to have the piece fold so that I can carry it on a flight. This presents a greater challenge in design elements, but I enjoy the increased challenge and difficulty.”

While Ann hopes to continue woodworking beyond George School, her plans are to study Physical Therapy in college. She plays varsity soccer and runs track and was inspired to enter the PT field after an injury. “I love playing sports and when I was injured, the trainers helped me get back on the field quickly. I want to help others do the same. It also combines my love of science and working with my hands to keep active.”

Although this semester has been far from normal, it was easier for Ann to get work done, stay fit, and create wonderful works of art on campus than at home. “My parents did not want me to return to campus because of COVID-19, but I knew that it would be tough to find motivation being alone at home. Focusing on getting ready for college test prep, being pushed by my friends and dorm parents, and helping tutor my prefectees helps me succeed. I could not be the person I am without being on campus. Being on campus is a special experience that I am grateful to have, especially when other schools have closed because of COVID.”