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I am a lousy storyteller. I tend to get to the middle of a story and forget where I am going. I was keenly aware of this when I lived with a Mexican family in Monterrey and attempted to tell elaborate stories in Spanish. What was difficult in my native tongue was 100 times more so in my second language.

I have been passively following the ds106 assignments and hash tags for the past couple of weeks in my efforts to better my storytelling skills. After reading Dean Shareski’s post tonight, I decided to try this one where you create a story from song titles and even sign it with a song title. I scanned through my music in iTunes and dumped the songs that I thought would fit into a story into a playlist. Then I culled through that playlist, saw that I had a theme going and pulled the story below together. I invite you to try it yourself!

In an effort to motivate me to practice the piano, my mom would preach, “Practice makes perfect!” Perfection was never my goal. My goal was to survive each recital without forgetting the notes. The pressure of memorizing pieces for those recitals was painful. My piano teacher would say things like “Stinky poo!” or “<Insert composer’s name here> is rolling over in his grave right now!” It’s really no wonder that I wanted to quit my lessons weekly. I only forgot the notes once when I had to make up the ending to a song. I’m sure that composer shuddered a bit in his grave that night.

My sister-in-law’s mom tends to say, “Practice makes practice.” My brother and I just look at each other and shrug because neither of us understands that one. It makes me think of those biblical passages with all the begats: Abraham begat Isaac who begat Jacob who begat Joseph and so on. Who wants to practice only to practice more only to practice even more? I’m sure this points to my tendency to want to finish something in order to move on to the next great thing.

So, what matters more? The process or the product? The journey or the destination? I keep coming back to that phrase and was asked it in an interview last summer. I love the product, whether it’s the recital, the presentation or the finished knit good, but I struggle with enjoying the process–the tedious lessons, the countless edits, the frogging (rip it rip it) of the knitting. My personal growth plan for 2011 includes embracing the process and starting to enjoy the journey.


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