Canoe Trip in Swamp

Posts Tagged ‘journal’

Which is it……high standards or a sickness ?

O.K.  I am adamantly against those chain emails that threaten bad luck and disaster if you do not forward it onto 10 people and although the one my mother recently sent did not do that, it actually may have raised the bar.

She sent, by regular mail, a classroom journal.  Don’t get me wrong, I like my own kids school projects……… sometimes….. but this was a project for a 5th grade student in New York who I didn’t even know.   It was a journal that the class was hoping to spread around the country for individuals to write in describing where they lived. They wanted you to include photos, descriptions as well as to send a postcard to the class while the journal continued it’s way to the next victim.  Sure, in the initial directions it asks that if you can not complete the project within two weeks to please mail the package to someone else who can.  That doesn’t seem like a viable option to me.  I would have a very difficult time sending the journal onto a friend, family member, or even enemy, asking them to take out time to participate when I couldn’t even do it myself.

This task was going to take out time from any individuals schedule but to pass it on to an artist who by nature links a large part of their self worth to what they create… well that is just cruel.   Of course I know she didn’t think much of it and really, why would she think that I would obsess about it the way I did.  As I sat at the computer, literally for hours, importing images and designing pages when every part of me was trying to stop myself and get back to actually making a living, I began to question whether I had serious issues or not.  Part of me wants to justify it by claiming myself the perfectionist but there is the other part of me that is disgusted with myself for caring too much about something that really doesn’t matter.  What is ironic is that the journal entry before mine is from my mother who went on the computer, googled Ocean City, Maryland, and printed out a few pages she found on the area and glued it to the pages of the journal.  Done !    I started that same way, thinking she was brilliant, but after researching, I was not finding the right material.  I attempted to find a couple of skyline photos of Charlotte, and either was not happy with what I found or the ones I did like, could not in good conscience use out of respect for the copyright holders…..  O.K.  I am sure pride played a role in there too,  after all, what self respecting photographer uses someone else’s photos over their own?  Then it dawned on me, I had photographed Charlotte fairly extensively on an assignment for the US AIR in flight Magazine several years ago.  Piece of cake! Download the PDF’s of the article and photos, print them out, paste them in and move on……………well that would be too easy.

After downloading the pdf’s I realized that I had to contend with advertisements and layouts and dimensions that did not fit my 5th grade journal dimensions and that is when it all started.  Suddenly I was scaling things, redesigning, importing new images, and laying out a brochure on Charlotte……so maybe I really do have problems……. but I know there are others out there that would do the same thing.  The real question for me is, would my mother be proud that I have high standards and produced a good quality journal entry for a  5th grade project out of personal pride, or would she think I was an idiot?   Being that my mother used to put dried Cheerios and a frozen bottle of milk in our cribs at night that would be thawed when we woke, ensuring another hour or two of sleep for herself, tells me that I know the answer to that question.