Want it Done Right?

Perfectionists will know what I mean: there's a particular kind of sinking feeling that accompanies the realization that no one else will be able to do the job to your standards.  This is the crucial moment when you must decide how important those standards are.  Either you let it go, or you congratulate yourself on the acquisition of a new job.

There might have been a time when I chose to let it go.  I think it was back in 1988.

So this morning, when I showed up dutifully with student quotes and photos to add to the English Department's tri-fold display board, and the coordinator was in a tizzy because it hadn't been redone to her specifications, and I took a good look myself and realized it really did look pretty shabby compared to the others, I wasn't much surprised when I found myself lugging the old and new boards back to the classroom, ready for a makeover.

When my Creative Writing students arrived for class, they were eager to help.  (Anything to avoid studying the elements of lyric poetry, of course!)  I sent them all over the school in search of double-stick tape, a paper cutter, brightly-hued cardstock, and printouts from the lone color printer.

The last to arrive, Tiana frowned as she stared at the old board propped up on my desk.  I held up a hand.

"I know.  It's pretty awful.  I'm going to fix it."

"You're going to fix it?  Can I help?  OOOOOHH -- " her pupils dialated, her voice took on a breathless reverence, and a hand strayed unconsciously to her heart. "Can we use GLITTER?"