— Robert L. Peters
More on the way of the world as seen through books… I finished Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. Incredibly interesting read… but the last section is one that really stuck out. THe premise of the book is that people that truly excel had more than tenacity and skill… they had a special opportunity presented to them that they took advantage of. We saw last week (in this and this-and this new one you might find interesting) that you already have this opportunity to jump in on the digital publishing revolution. You are at the place to be a huge player in the new design world of a paperless society. So you have the special opportunity. You have the tools available to you that many schools don’t. But throughout the book there were also 2 important concepts that you should be aware of:
1. The 10,000 hour theory- IT takes 10,000 hours to truly excel at something. This reminds me of a story I heard about a world-renown violinist:
“A famous violinist was approached by a woman who gushed, ‘Oh, dear, you’re amazing!!! I’d give my life to play like you do.’ The violinist responded simply, ‘Madam, I did. When you were playing with your classmates I was practicing. When you had birthday parties I was learning new songs. When you were on vacation I was practicing scales. I did give my life to play the way I do.'”
10,000 hours is 3 hours a day (20 hours a week) for 10 years. That’s what it takes to become truly amazing… like a pro athlete, a Bill Gates, a rock star, a world famous actor. If you want to stand apart from everyone else, you have to do something that stands apart from everyone else… you have to commit to your plan of action and your course. Research shows that there is no evidence of “Natural Talent.” Talent is a myth. All there is are people with incredible passion who dedicate themselves to a single purpose and never stop. That’s what it takes. Any of you can be whatever you want if you start right now completely dedicating yourselves to something and don’t quit. You WILL be rewarded for your investment.
2. Cultural Impact on Individuals. It is important to note how cultural ideas and norms affect the individual. One example was how Asian cultures tend to be more successful than others. This was traced back to the practice of rice farming in asian cultures where the work needed to be a successful rice farmer was incredibly more demanding than most other agricultural crops worldwide. So instead of having a saying like a particular Russian saying”we plant and god brings the crops,” Asian cultures have sayings like “the man who wakes up before sunrise 360 days a year will make his family wealthy.” Can you see the difference? One says just plant and it’s up to God if you’re successful. The other says work hard, don’t quit, and you’ll be successful. The typical American will spend 3 minutes on a problem they can’t solve. The typical asian will spend 20 minutes on a problem he can’t solve… Which do you think will have a better chance of figuring it out??? I’ll bet you guessed right, the one that works almost 700% harder! Even if the two people have exactly equal intellect and life experiences, one has a 700% better chance of stumbling on to the right track just by sticking to it!
The bottom line is that people are better because they don’t quit. Some students just last week told me from their chairs in the front of the room while I was still lecturing on logo design that they couldn’t come up with a good logo and had no good ideas of a logo for their initials. I hadn’t even given the assignment yet, and some students actually told me they couldn’t do it before even having the assignment given to them. They quit before they even started! They hadn’t sketched a single mark on a sheet of paper and already told me that they “had bad initials” or “didn’t have any good ideas left.” Wow. You guys have got to start before you quit. If you want to know why people lose and fail, it’s for this attitude. “It’s too hard.” “I don’t get it.” “I’m not creative.” “I need help.” What you need is to try harder and work before you quit. I’m not sure how to put this, but being a non-starter is the ultimate loser in any game… you don’t even get participation points! They lose before they even start. They can’t be called quitters because a quitter has to quit something they’re doing… At least they gave it a shot and tried. Don’t give up on yourself. Try. There is no such thing as failure, there is only quitting too soon.
We have been talking about the Design Process this year and how important it is. CLICK THIS LINK and read about the design process. Make sure you understand it! The process is the secret to success. There is no such thing as losing, only quitting- when it comes to design. This process will teach you how to keep going. What to do and how to do it. Most good designers plan even longer than they work. When I create a logo, I spend 3 hours or so designing, thinking, experimenting, refining, etc… And maybe an hour actually creating on the computer. Same with web design or a page layout… I’ll spend 2-4 times the amount of time planning and then a short time implementing. It’s easy to implement a good plan! It’s all done for you! No extra work of spending time designing something on Illustrator that will never work. I already have the idea drawn and I just copy myself from paper to pixel. THAT is why I’m better than most of you and definitely faster. It’s because I’ve planned it out so well.
And, by this time in my life, I definitely have about 5,000 -6,000 hours of design in (but well over 10,000 hours of teaching and designing lessons!)
So for today’s quest, I expect you to read the design process page, and then write a story- or even better, ILLUSTRATE the design process using images or even by cartoons showing someone solving a problem, illustrating each step of the process. (for example, a caveman figuring out how to move a rock). I want this done on paper!!! Draw me a cartoon illustrating all the points of the design process!!!You can also opt to create a visual representation of the process in logo/symbol form. The highest score on this quest will go to good ideas, NOT to good drawings! I’m not grading artistic talent, I’m grading THOUGHT PROCESSES!!
See the image at the top of this post??? I want to replace it with student work that describes the design process in illustrations, the illustrations can be either abstract or concrete. (examples of what I mean by illustrating a process can be found here, here and here) (WORTH 10XP)
Today’s journal entry should be your reflections on what you think about the concept of not giving up and how that affects success… How often do you give up? What is the primary reason people give up? What do you think about the idea that the people that win are the ones that don’t quit so fast? Do you take responsibility for your own failures or do you blame it on fate, talent, skill, education, status, unfairness, etc??? (Worth 5XP)
Update 9/8– When you’re done, start working on SCENARIO 1.01! Learn about the Elements and Principles. The assignment says to create this on the computer right now, but I’ll go in to change it to a paper based project. Research the E&P’s and define and demosntrate them on a paper folded into fourths. (Worth 10XP)
Electricians in today working on the lab. That kind of throws us off but keeps the fires (yes, outsiders, literal fires) from sparking in the lab. Crazy that this relatively new school and amazing lab has such issues, but problem will be solved by next Tuesday. I’ve marked the quests with green XP values, but that will not happen for long. YOU ARE EXPECTED TO READ THE BLOG AND FOLLOW WHAT IT SAYS. Read, comprehend, and move on. I write it, you just have to read it… that was our deal.
Update 9/9- Done with the above? NICE! If you’ve done all your work well you’ve earned 25XP! Pretty sure you’ll level up at 100 XP from novice to apprentice (still figuring out the points)! So when you’re done, I’d like you to move on to PROJECT 1.02- experimenting with the Elements of line. This will be worth 15XP if done correctly… and we’ll talk about how to qualify your points next week. (I’m figuring out how to make it easier.) I know we are short on computers because of the electrical work going on in the lab… so if you want, you can do the assignment on paper- folding the paper instead of using the rulers to make the divisions on the page.