Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My Own Worst Enemy

Something interesting happened to me last night that I need to remember.

I'm taking a drafting class this semester--a subject notoriously my enemy.
Drafting has resulted in many tears and frustrations over the years, and was a subject I just couldn't master.
Rather than continue in frustration in the past, I dropped the class.
The question was whether my inability to do well was some kind of inherent obstacle (not everyone can do certain things, and perhaps drafting was just over my head somehow), or just a mental one.
Perhaps drafting was like drawing for me--I just THINK I can't do it.

I tend to have a little devil on my shoulder, grown fat and strong over time, who starts berating me in my head.
I will listen to a loop of reminders of failures, of my inability to find a niche, of "you can't", blah, blah, blah.
More often than not, and far too many times to count, that devil has been convincing.
That devil has been believable.

This semester I have the advantage of an amazing teacher who shares her shortcuts (lettering with ease when graph paper is underneath? No guide lines to draw. Who knew?!).
She uses excellent visual examples, and positive reinforcement.
She takes us through baby steps, versus teachers in the past who expected professional construction documents completed, even before students understood how to make a concept drawing.
In retrospect, of COURSE I was overwhelmed.

I knew that if I was going to conquer this beast known as drafting, she was my last opportunity.
Then, as things go, I missed a class. Then another.
I figured there was no way to catch up, and yet again I had better drop (cue negative devil on my shoulder to tell me I suck).
Then I found out it was too late to drop without a 'W' for withdrawal appearing on my record (may as well be an 'F').
Hmmm. What to do?

I decided to take my creased and smudged piece of vellum and throw a design together so I could at least get some kind of grade.
I just wanted to turn in SOMETHING.
I didn't have the right kind of circle templates or colored pencils, but I made do with a compass and some pencils my mom used to use in stamping classes.
I managed to put something onto paper.
I packed up my supply box, rolled up my now completed project, and took a trepidacious step into class last night.

What? I had to present the project to the class?
Would I be a laughing stock?

Imagine my surprise, then, when I unrolled my paper to show the teacher, and she stood there mesmerized.
In fact, when I presented, she told the class "don't be intimidated" by my coloring.
She said my coloring technique looked like oil paint, it showed dimension, and it was excellent, she said.
She asked me to give the class a tutorial on my technique.
The devil on my shoulder was in a tizzy.

My gosh...go figure.
I guess I can draft after all.
What an accomplishment. What a feeling!
Now just to starve that damned devil.



Blogger svelteSTUFF said...

Drafting has always been a relaxing type past time for me - I Love it... CADD (Computer Aided Drafting/Design) just isn't the same.

12:55 PM  

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