No Standards or Stumbles…


Monday it rained all day and at the top of the Valley of 1000 Hills it was like a walk in the clouds. The mist or fog, I can’t remember from science class the difference, was heavy. I couldn’t see 20 feet in front on me driving. I went anyway, our time is moving fast and we need to write write write to finish the stories for the book. Twenty minutes or so after my arrival, over the phone, we were informed C, not A or B was supposed to call and let us know they weren’t coming because of the weather. We were assured the three stories they were each to write had been completed-I’m not so sure of that.

Usually I know when the work isn’t done because the young people switch to isiZulu and ask Casper to translate. Today they just didn’t come. I suppose it is hard to say “I didn’t do my homework.”, especially when you have declared you desire to be a part of the project and you have declared a vested interest in the final product. Without the homework there is not a final product. 
I remember working with young people at home over the course of a college semester. We’d push them to finish a project, sometimes hasten the pace or lower the standard so we could say they had a finished product. I do not believe this is the best decision, especially when working with disadvantaged young people. How do they learn the importance of showing up, doing the job and meeting a goal with a set standard? How do they learn from failure if you don’t allow them to fail, to stumble a bit (with constructive criticism and support for learning the lesson)? The young people I’m working with are awarded for completing tasks at the end and I know they are looking forward to those incentives and seeing their names “in lights.”
Casper and I spent time debating what course of action to take as we race against time, add another day to the schedule, keep the schedule as is? We aren’t sure, but I am sure no standards or stumbles won’t be in the best interest of these young people.

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