2 years ago, I taught myself to make a quilt.
I was so excited about choosing fabric, learning everything there was to learn (what would we do without youtube clips?!), picked out matching thread and then finally had everything together.
I had very limited and basic sewing skills going into it, and a sewing machine I had barely used, and my knowledge from the internet was rather sketchy...... so why was my first attempt reasonably successful, and why have I gone on to make more of these (sometimes very large) quilts?
The interest and pride I had in taking on this new project was so intense that no matter how many mistakes I made, I had the self-perseverance and motivation to keep going and see what the final product was. I often ended up wasting fabric, and having to re-cut when I didn't follow the instructions properly, and when I sewed things in the wrong place, I chose to partake in what I not-so-fondly call 'backwards' sewing and did it all over again, in the correct place.
Sewing, in particular quilting, is one of my happy places, and even when I'm amazingly frustrated when I stuff up, it doesn't take my enjoyment away because I know how happy and proud I will be with the final product.
Next question: How do I take this engagement and resilience and firstly, apply it to my teaching practice, so that I don't slip back into old habits..... and secondly, how do I culture some of this attitude in my students? What is their happy place, and is it realistic to ponder whether they can take some of that engagement and enthusiasm and apply it to their learning? Or am I crazy? ;)