I remember coming into the last day of my first year apprenticeship. I walked through the door as I always had, talked to the lady at the front desk for a few minutes as always, and then made my way to the office to greet my teacher. He was sitting at a bare desk, sipping a cup of tea, which is not normally as I would find it. I found myself wondering if the last day would just be more talking, but after our greetings he told me to follow him. I walked into the shop behind him to see the mirrored desk across form his was no longer empty. On top of the desk was the small cuckoo clock from my first day, all taken apart, each piece laid out on the desk, my mentor motioned to the chair.
He put his own pocket watch down on the table, and waited until precisely nine o’clock. He then told me I had two hours, and walked out of the room closing the door behind him. I started to panic a little, for as much as I had done there, I had never taken a piece from nothing and made it into something, but I knew that I couldn’t let nerves get the best of me. I remembered him pointing to each piece, recalling their names in my head. I remembered the small repairs I would do and knowing what order they had to be in. As each piece went into my hand and onto the gear work, it started to dawn on me exactly how much I had been taught when I wasn’t paying attention.
After three quarters of an hour, I had rebuilt the entire clock. Not really sure of what I was supposed to do next, whether I should track him down, or wait out the other hour and a quarter, I went in depth looking at every piece to ensure that it was all correct. I watched the second hand and listened for it to fall in time with his pocket watch. Then the watch struck the exact second of ten, he opened the door from his office. He walked over and put his watch back in his pocket with a smiling remark about how one hour was enough time for me. He then began his own inspection of the piece, which made me even more nervous.
After a few minutes of looking about, and feeling it in his hands, he put the clock down on the table and clapped his hand on my shoulder with a smile. I breathed a huge sigh of relief to see his appreciation of the work he put into teaching me. We went to his office and discussed the matter of continuing my training there, to which I eagerly agreed. That night I began filing the paperwork, and as I write this, just had it all confirmed. I look back on going from clock gazer to builder, and think of all the precise seconds that have ticked by.