This is not meant to replace a course in lathe usage.
For those, look here:
The wood lathe lets you take a piece of wood (either a block or long piece), clamp it in place, spin it and apply cutting tools to the surface to shape it. Simple enough.The headstock end has the motor and is what spins the wood. The tailstock end is strictly for support of the far end and for drilling. The tool rest gives you an even support for the tools. Tools are held in your hand and carefully applied to the wood surface.
Some basic rules for not bleeding on the lathe: