I’ve been thinking, as I spent the afternoon working in the garden, that what appeals to me about CSI is the clear, uncompromising insistence on doing things properly. It’s an approach that in the end always triumphs, and it’s an approach that in teaching is very difficult to achieve. Time is limited, you are required to practise a very wide range of skills at a high level, accountability is high and everyone you are dealing with has a low tolerance for mistakes. Grissom gets to follow through all his carefully developed procedures until the evidence tells its story. Compromise is not an option.
If I have a personality trait that makes the world of teaching somewhat angst-ridden for me, it would be that I tend to avoid doing something if I feel that I don’t have time to do it properly. This frustrates people.
In a wider context, and looking back over projects I’ve taken on in all aspects of life, there are quite a few pots on back burners. I stir them as often as I can; but I sometimes get the feeling that I’m bossing a bank of Agas the size of a symphony orchestra. That’s a hell of lot of wooden spoons. It would surely be easier to finish cooking some of the dishes and serve them up. That’s one mahoosive banquet if I ever get my proverbial butt in gear and spread the table cloth.
The garden got me thinking about this because it contains a couple of things that I’ve done properly and finished. The fence and gate that I made about fifteen years ago are still fine, contain no rot and just need a coat of preservative every so often. Do it quickly, compromise on quality and it will look good for a few months but then decay and fall apart. The Changing Rooms phenomenon. There’s no fulfilment in that. I would no more dream of giving a facelift to a house in order to sell it than I would consider fly tipping.
In other news, I hadn’t realised, until I was reading an old edition of Rupert Brooke‘s poems on the toilet this morning, that the typographical practice of adding a space before a semi-colon persisted into the early twentieth century. Every day is, in fact, a school day. Rock and indeed roll. Party on.
I’m back on Twitter, using it to some extent as an outlet for my more cynical side.