“Got some paper, a pair of scissors and a desire to deck the halls with everything from Darth Vader to Tusken Raiders?”
After viewing this website Star Wars Paper Snowflakes, I had visions of R2D2, C3PO and Ewok flakes adorning my windows. So I printed off a template, grabbed a handful of copy paper and went searching for the scissors. We have 17 pairs of scissors in our house. I know because I counted them when we moved. We have kitchen shears, preschool grasp, left handers and the old faithful orange-handled scissors. But could I find any? No.
So I asked Ahna. She nodded and opened up her play microwave and handed me scissors. Because, of course, why wouldn’t I think to look in the microwave for office supplies?
My first flake was going to be my favorite character, Yoda. I’ve been known to walk around the house muttering, “Do or do not. There is no try,” in a gravelly voice. I sat on the floor and traced a circle. The pattern needed to be folded into eighths. Now, eighths make for thick cutting and I was beginning to understand why an Exacto knife was recommended. I traced the pattern on a pie-shaped eighth and began to cut. Or saw, really. I worked hard.
Finally it was time for the flake unveiling when the incomplete fraction becomes whole. I gasped as I shook it open. It looked nothing like my model.
I showed it to Ahna, “Can you see a Star Wars character in my snowflake?”
“It’s Yoda-like,” she smiled.
I thought back to a conversation with a teacher who was exasperated by the writing exemplars she’d been given.
“Were these really written by fourth graders? They are so mature.” she asked.
“Do they really think my students can ever come close to these samples?”
So my snowflake comes to mind. It was the beauty, creativity and intricacy of the model that inspired me to try. I wouldn’t have wanted to a snowflake that was less challenging. My first attempt fell far from the flake exemplar, but with different tools and more practice, I could get closer.
When it comes down to it, we decide whether to be inspired by exemplars or deflated. We can celebrate our first feeble attempts or scoff at them because of how far they are from perfection.
Me? I choose progression over perfection.