I had two friends in high school who sort of showed me how a piano works. And I just spent two years being terrible at it until I was good at it. That’s just me. There’s no way I’m actually intrinsically talented at writing, acting, playing music, puppeteering. It’s that I’m willing to be shit at them for a while, until I’m good at them. It’s like when you watch a kid in math class—at some point, they just shut off, like, “I’m not going to be good at this, ever.” I don’t ever reach the “Fuck it” point in anything. I’m willing to be bad for as long as it takes, until I’m good.
This quote is awesome for two reasons. One, it’s exactly the right attitude, the attitude of makers and explorers, of passionate hobbyists and lifelong craftspeople. Second, I couldn’t use it in class/school without editing away the honesty and directness of Segel’s language. One of my big struggles when pushing middle schoolers into developing the “delve and discover” mindset is that a incredibly valuable resource can turn unusable the first time an enthusiastic participant drops a “Fuck me, that’s cool!”
I know there’s lines we draw around adolescents and language use, but it’s bloody hard to find cross-age level engagement and participation on the G-rated internet.