IN MY OPINION
Books Read in 2007
Rinde Eckert (Slow Fire)
The Dog, the Cat & the Rat
The Dim-Wit Barber of Mayberry
Yes, We Can
Argument to Beethoven's 5th
Family Stories Vlog
New on My
THE SEARCH FOR PERFECTION
11 February 2008
There are many jobs for which I am woefully ill-prepared. I watched something the other day about some sort of a job that involved checking, re-checking, and re-checking again to make sure that whatever was produced was absolutely, positively perfect.
Definitely not my job. I'm more a "good enough for government work" or "close enough" kind of person.
The first experience with "getting it perfect" that I remember came when we were working on the first Lamplighter book. We were creating an historical archive and it needed to be as perfect as we could make it. If it hadn't been for Alison's training and knowledge about (and passion for) the importance of what we were doing, I would have gotten the project done, but in a half-assed way that wouldn't have been nearly as scholarly as it ended up being.
The current transcription project is aiming for perfection too. There are 10 of us on the team and we have a style sheet to use which seems extremely detailed for something which started out as a way to simply allow people to read the broadcast material. Updates to the style sheet come along as people screw up or as new thoughts emerge.
The problem, though, is that we all started out doing it in our own way before the style sheet evolved and when I looked through a lot of transcripts which have been posted on line the other day, I don't think there is unanimity in half of them. The typeface is different, or the format is different. Do you use italics or underlining for emphasis? Is the capsule summary in italics or regular type? Is it one space between sentences or two spaces--and does it really matter? Etc. To me the important thing is that we are getting it done--and the end is in sight. Close enough for government work. But then I don't come from a "make it perfect" mentality.
I have to admit that the increasing oversight, combined with both the amount of work I have on my plate right now, and the fact that the transcription team has a "wonder woman" who seems to be doing the lion's share of the work and is cheered whenever she finishes her next batch, have left me kind of putting transcription to the bottom of the stack of work that needs to be done, knowing that it will get done by Wonder Woman, who will apparently do it more perfectly than I am capable of doing.
We are also expecting the most perfect granddaughter in the world.
I have loved following Laurel's on-line pregnancy diary and watching as she keeps track of the baby's progress and muses about the way they are going to raise their child. Tom and Laurel are going to be such wonderful parents.
Laurel is a "make it perfect" kind of person. They had the perfect wedding--and it was the perfect wedding, everything by the book she had researched so carefully and followed so closely.
This grandchild is being researched with even more dedication, as well she should be. This is, after all, OUR granddaughter! Laurel is going the extra mile to do everything right for the baby now, as well as after she's born.
I do, however, smile, when I read about things like decisions regarding whether the child should or should not be exposed to television and what material the bottles should be made of. I remember when Jeri was born and how perfect we tried to make things (within my ability to make things "perfect")...and how you discovered which things don't need to be quite so perfect when you have subsequent things to worry about.
With child #1 you sterilize the pacifier if it falls on the floor before you let the baby put it in her mouth again. With child #2, you run it quickly under the faucet. Cold water? No problem. Just plunk it quickly back in the mouth. With child #3, you brush the pacifier off on your pants before reinserting it into the kid's mouth, and by child #4(sorry, Tom), you don't even bother wiping it off unless it drops in the mud.
You never let child #1 watch television, but when child #2 is screaming, you turn on the TV to keep #1 occupied while you attend to #2. By #3, you watch the clock, longing for it to be time for Sesame Street so you can get a break for a few minutes. By #4 all four kids are watching everything from cartoons to game shows.
Maybe my parenting wasn't "perfect," but it was "close enough" and I think that we raised some pretty good kids despite my inability to be "perfect."
PHOTO OF THE DAY
I have spent the better part of 2 days staring
(I made the mistake of calculating approximately how much I earned per hour writing this article, given that I went to the photo shoot and stayed for rehearsal, I interviewed Rinde Eckert for an hour and 30 minutes and spent the better part of two days transcribing the interview and writing the article, as well as interviewing three of the actors involved in the show. When you add it all up, I earned approximately sixty-two cents an hour. I think I'll cancel that Mercedes...!)
This is entry #2876