|Forum topic by CharlieM1958||posted 1306 days ago||2283 views||1 time favorited||75 replies|
1306 days ago
When I was in kindergarten, the old nun who was the school principal came walking through the classroom one morning, checking out the pictures everyone was busy coloring with their crayons. I heard heard her issuing the usual compliments to other kids about how pretty their drawings were. I happened to be the youngest child in class, and somewhat behind the curve in terms of motor skill development. My coloring was poor, ragged, outside the lines, and I knew it.
When she finally approached my desk, she looked down at my scribbling, made a face, and said “Oh… that’s ugly.” I promptly wadded it up into a ball, and let Sister Agnes have it right in the chest. She didn’t react well. I was sent to the office, and my mother was called to come pick me up and bring me home for the rest of the day. The year was 1963, and I suspect I was the first four-year-old (and maybe the last) ever suspended from kindergarten for delinquent behavior.
To the folks who dislike “attaboy” comments, I hope this serves to give some perspective on why I make them. If someone posts a project that obviously leaves a lot of room for improvement, I assume one of two things is true: Either they are so out of touch with reality that nothing I say is going to make a difference, or, more likely, they know their project has some rough edges, but they are simply doing the best they can for now. If they spend any time at all looking at the projects on this site, they will see what they want to create, try to imitate, and get better by practicing, reading, and asking questions. Me pointing out that their miters have gaps is probably just going to make them feel like that old nun made me feel.
On the other hand, if someone posts a project that is quite skilfully built, but has some design elements I don’t particularly care for, how am I helping that person by disagreeing with his or her own artistic vision?
I know there are some good arguments to be made for critiquing each other’s work. I continue to encourage everyone to offer criticism on my projects as they see fit. I promise…. I’ve gotten over Sister Agnes. :-) But I do think that knowing when, where, and how to offer critique on this site is one of those many things in life that are easier said than done.
-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"