She Blinded Me With Science


Or in this case, he. Two weeks ago, my son won a first place ribbon at the school science fair and advanced to regionals. I’m not sure who was happier. My son or his parental units.
As I was helping my son put together the poster board and write the report, I finally figured out a way to describe what I do for a living. I do science fair projects for various corporate and government clients. We collect data (environmental samples), put the data in tables, graphs and maps, and write reports.
Friday was the regional competition and my son didn’t score very high. That too is like my job. There were specific criteria and he didn’t meet it. When you propose work each potential client wants something different. Sometimes you’re a fit, and sometimes you’re not. It doesn’t always mean you did a bad job. Sometimes it’s about meeting a client’s needs, personal preference, and the element of subjectivity in the concrete world of science.
It’s also like the subjective world of writing. The scales tip more to subjectivity, but there are rules and guidelines. In contests, I’ve gotten high and low scores for the same entry.
Like the MC told the kids at the regional science fair, they all did well but there were winners and losers. Just like in real life. So whether it’s a science fair, a contract, or writing contest, you’ll win some and lose some. But that’s only one event. It doesn’t define you as a winner or a loser.

About Gretchen E K Engel

Chemical engineer by day, spec fiction writer by night

Posted on 2014/03/10, in Reading. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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