I stopped in to get my hair cut the other day and sat down in the chair serviced by a stylist named Nadja. Not particularly good at her craft, I didn’t expect much of a haircut. I didn’t get one either, but I did learn something meaningful about her values that I admire.
Nadja grew up in 1960s Croatia in a family of six. She was neither privileged nor poor, and she had to make the most of what was available to her. She learned this from her father, who frequently had to fix his car himself.
Being a bit of a do-it-yourselfer, I told Nadja that I’d spent the day sliding in and out from under my family’s four cars while changing oil and filters. I usually forget to gather up some tool or I spill some waste oil, so I frequently contort myself unnecessarily too often to complete the task.
Nadja laughed and told me I could have saved a lot of trouble if I had adopted her father’s method: Dig a long trench in the back yard deep and wide enough to stand under a car and work standing up. Ingenious, I thought. No hydraulic lifts; just drive the car over the trench and then walk around underneath.
Analyze the problem, design a solution, and then make the most of what you have available to find success.
This is the message I want Met Report staff members to take away from their disappointment Saturday night, after the Student Achievement Award for Newscast went to another university at the Heartland Chapter Emmy Awards.
With commitment, leadership and the desire to tell great stories, The Met Report can’t fail. No one can guarantee an Emmy win this year, much less a nomination, but if students shake off the bitterness and go forward determined to achieve their goals, they’ll learn an immensely important life lesson.
It’s a pleasure to watch students’ reactions when they’re recognized for high-quality work. Most of the time, that recognition comes from co-workers. Sometimes, it comes in the form of awards given at formal ceremonies. Regardless, it’s all good, but please yourself first by knowing that you used all the skills God gave you to create something worthy of putting your name on and that you put the team first.
Steve Haigh | Director of Student Media
Metropolitan State University of Denver
July 16, 2013