I had a plan to construct a 9 x 11 quilt out of 10 inch blocks (raw size 10.5 inches). I had a pattern. I had fabric. 35 different fabrics because I didn’t want a lot of repetition in some of the columns. Column 1 and 9 were organized as planned with just a few shifts to ensure that certain colors were not adjacent. Columns 3 and 7 used fabrics for the most part that were NOT included in columns 1 and 2. Column 5 in the middle was a blended mix of squares combined from column 1 and 3. (After all it’s the middle column!)
Fairly simple. I constructed the squares – each with 7 pieces of fabric. I laid them out on the pool table to check the patterns. I shifted and revised some: flipping end over end broke up a line that wasn’t meant to be or reversed the original pattern. Column 1, after all, consisted of 45 stripes. A veritable vertical feast of colors.
When you view the grid above, it becomes obvious that the placement of the blocks needed to be done in an orderly fashion to match the pattern. But which concerns should receive priority? Blocks with 2 seams, 3 seams, or 4 seams?
I quickly became adept at checking for two or three specific fabrics as my love for them caused them to be included at a higher frequency rate. I knew that checking in advance would keep the dreaded frog away . . .
Not my friend. Physically “revising” by ripping out fabric in a quilt.
Last Tuesday, I needed to make a decision. I knew that two blocks bothered me. How much? Enough to rip out? I couldn’t decide. But they did bother me ENOUGH that I decided to construct the quilt rows in two different pieces so I could manage the fabric more easily ( 90″ in width and 60 ” in length).
Here is what I was facing. Two fabric colors were too similar.
Should I replace them? If yes, with what color or pattern.
It wouldn’t be too obvious to anyone else without a fair amount of studying the pattern.
Here’s where the plan failed in execution.
I waged an internal debate.
Who would notice? Who would care? Would it really be that noticeable to others? Was it good ENOUGH as it was?
Would my nephew notice?
And I instantly thought of other times in my life.
Did I settle for good ENOUGH?
Was this about the final product? Or the process? OR both?
I’m not YET jammed for time, so should I do it “correctly” as defined in my planning?
OR should I “LET IT GO?”
PAUSE. Can you name a time when you have been faced with a similar quandary? What helped you make your decision? Did you have any regrets? How would you evaluate your own QUALITY of work?
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Like Paul Harvey
“And now for the rest of the story . . .”
Have you predicted my response to my self-evaluation?
Yes, I spent 90 stinking minutes ripping out and replacing the four fabrics in the block that did not match. I could NOT leave it as it was.
My biggest project to date: Quilt number three, a 90″ by 110″ project.
What do we value? Product? Process? Reflection?
It began with a conversation on Voxer.
How do we know?
My #OLW, Curious, led me on an interesting quest.
So how does this work in real life?
The first group began. All brass. They blew a few sounds through their mouthpieces. They were newcomers. Section by section. Each small group played. Then the entire brass group played two songs.
Same process for the woodwinds. A few sounds. Section by section sound off. Then the entire woodwind group played two songs.
The Premiere of THE 5th Grade Beginning Band (copied from the program) then played two songs. Their first practice together – the brass and the woodwinds. Their first practice EVER. During a performance. In front of a gym packed with family and friends.
How would you assess this 5th grade group in their first public appearance?
The number of students that participated?
How the three groups sounded?
How they have grown in the six weeks since 5th grade band began?
What comparisons would you make between assessing this instrumental group and other “assessments of 5th grade learners?”
I watched instrumental musicians last night representing grades 5-12 in the Central DeWitt school district. This was my second consecutive year to attend the fall Parade of Bands. It’s a 90 minute extravaganza led by two directors that showcases the performance levels of students in October each year. This year that was a total of 325 band students in grades 5-12: 215 students in grades 5-8 (She is simply amazing!) and 115 students in high school.
What if . . .
What if all students had to take an identical screener in the fall, winter and spring?
What if the results of the screener was then used to determine which instrument students should play?
What if the students had to pass a “basic knowledge test” before they could choose an instrument?
Would there be 325 students in band if a general “proficiency test” was required of all students?
Again, how is success measured?
Is it measured by the “1 Superior” rating at state marching contest?
Is it measured by the new band uniforms provided by a community drive?
Is it measured by the audience that packed the gym?
Is it measured by the funds raised during the dinner before the Parade of Bands?
Is it measured by the applause of the audience?
Is it measured by the number of students who continue to participate in band year after year?
Is it measured by the distance that audience members travel to attend the concert? (195 miles one way for me)
Is it measured by the “JOY” of the students who continue to participate?
Product? Process? Reflection?
Is there any ONE measure that captures the essence of success?
The original conversation began with writing. Is this a conversation that needs to be a part of every content area in every school building?
What do we value?
What do we support?
How do we know?
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
Full Disclosure: I’ve followed this band director for decades – to concerts and competitions, to the Alamo Bowl, and to the Orange Bowl so I’m
a wee bit biased. Band opened the doors for me to travel in the US and abroad. I attended this concert with his grandmother, mother, wife and daughter. I’ve known him and his work ethic for 40 years, and YET I also know that FUN and a passion for music is also a part of his agenda. He’s my nephew!