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Failing and Succeeding

March 4, 2009

I think a lot about failing and succeeding, probably because I teach first year students. And it is nearing the end of the quarter, so I’m thinking a lot about failure and success in terms of the course I teach. But furthermore, I’m thinking about it in life and work.

Lifehacker’s Ungeek to Live article, “Failure is the Highway to Success,” is a great look at the interconnectivity between success and failure. I think that in life, in our work and in learning that we have to be prepared to fail sometimes, but that doesn’t mean that we are failures. Those are two very different concepts and no where is this more apparent than with learning new technology, at least for me.

I’ve shared my undying love of Photoshop on this blog, but let me tell you that it wasn’t all good at first. I’d open up Photoshop, start editing my photos, click on something and suddenly have a gradient that seemed to eat half of the photo. It was a true trial-and-error learning process. But to me, giving up in learning something like Photoshop, or in anything I wanted to do in life, has never been an option. You never grow if you don’t risk failing and looking a little ridiculous every once in a while. I mean, I write a blog called The Waki Librarian, so I can definitely say that being okay with risk (and having a sense of humor) is the only way to move forward.

I think a lot about failing and succeeding when I teach my students. I want them to be comfortable pushing themselves, stretching their conceptions and perceptions of the world and discover more. This is why I am always so excited when students tell me that they thought they knew everything about information literacy but that they learned so much from my class. They share their frustrations with research, but ultimately they succeed in the class–or at least, most of them do.

So all I’m really saying is, have you pushed yourself recently? Have you moved past your own inertia to try something new?

And, because I have to leave you with some cool application of technology, check out FrameFinder. Upload a photo and try on glasses so you can buy them much cheaper online than in the store. Share it with all your friends who wear glasses.

Have a great rest of your day.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 4, 2009 3:52 pm

    Thomas Edison has a good quote that illustrates this.

    “I haven’t failed, I’ve just found 10, 000 ways that don’t work”

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