…it’s worth doing well.
I can remember those words as clear as day from my 7th grade English teacher, Mrs. Parks. She was about 4 feet tall with a TWA (teeny weeny afro) that was graying and splochy. She spoke almost in a whisper – until she got mad and that always scared us as students. We respected her in a way that most kids don’t respect their elders nowadays. We trusted her; she believed in us.
She assigned us a biography project. “Find someone you look up to and discover everything you can about their life, ” she said. I was excited to do the project. I knew I would research Tupac just because I wanted to see Mrs. Parks reaction. We were given several weeks for the project, but me being the natural procrastinator that I am, I waited until the night before. Instead of being 4 pages, my report was 2. Instead of having colorful images, I turned in a portrait of Pac I had hand drawn. As Mrs. Parks glided through the room collecting reports, when she got to mine she stopped. “Keep it!” She said in her mean voice and continued to glide through the room. Keep it!? After all the work I did. You’re not even gonna grade it. These things I shouted at her to the room’s surprise. I knocked the paper off my desk and started to pout. The bell rang.
As I got up to leave the room Mrs. Parks grabbed my arm. And hard too. I wanted to scream that she couldn’t touch me ( I mean, teachers can’t be grabbing on kids), but I stood there in shock. “If anything is worth doing, its worth doing well.” she said “If you respect this person you have written about, give them the respect of doing a proper job. Otherwise, don’t waste your time.”
Of course I did the report again as it should have been done. Of course, Mrs. Parks deducted points for lateness.
The older I get the more I realize how important time is. When I want to rush through something or give 50% instead of 100, I ask myself, “is this worth doing?” If it is, I have to give it my all. If it isn’t I have to let it go and stop wasting my time. Sometimes I need this reminder.