Beginnings & Endings

Marcella Klein Williams, Ed.D
Director, Project Acabado STEM

“Bit by bit.”  That’s what I say to myself every time I start something new.  It doesn’t matter if it is a blank page waiting for the first couple of letters to hit the page or embarking on a new career.  That little saying puts me at ease. I have learned throughout the years that if I do those bite-sized bits persistently then I will eventually find my way to the finish line.

It’s harder to admit what I say when I come to the finish line of projects.  We are accustomed to the ceremonious rituals and celebrations that mark endings.  They are beautiful and so affirming of the hard work we’ve invested.  The actual endings don’t always have the same gloss.  The work that takes place between beginnings and endings is what counts.  Being comfortable with confusion and struggle helps bridge the gap between beginnings and endings.  We all have our tricks to make it through.  I live with lists, timers, reminders and even self-bribery to ensure I get closer and closer to the end.   Yanking projects over the finish line is messy business. At that last keystroke, swipe of a paintbrush or curtain close here is what I might be heard saying to myself.  “And…we’re done!  Put a fork in it!  Thank God!  What next?”

Acabado translated means finished and even sort of worn out.   I think we learn the most when we push ourselves the hardest.  Our learners investing their passion in science, technology, engineering and math will need to know how to pour their efforts into sticky challenges and manage the messiness of an amazing era of innovation.

Project Acabado STEM aim is for tomorrow’s STEM professionals to point to the Oxnard Plains as both their childhood home and the birthplace of their professional passion.

What do you say when you begin a project and what do you say the moment you know you are done?