Today, I saw the final grade given by my peers for our final paragraph in my very first Coursera course, “Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade”. Again, I got a perfect score from them along with all of the writing activities we did. I’m not sure if I really deserve this because I’ve given fair (but not perfect) grades to my peers and now it’s eating me up inside that I did. Oh well, I could really be a mean (but objective) teacher, if ever I do become one.
Anyway, here’s the final paragraph I did for the course and hopefully in two weeks, I’d get my certificate already! I can’t believe I’ve completed this course already! It has taught me so well not only in writing but also in completing online courses such as this one. I really owe it to my professors: Lorrie Ross, Lawrence (Larry) Barkley, Ted Blake, the teaching assistants who answered my questions on the discussion boards and to my fellow students who read, graded and given me constructive criticisms. Thank you! This has truly inspired me to enroll in other writing courses.
One of my favorite activities, which I find extremely enjoyable and meaningful is Do-It-Yourself Crafting. I started making small DIY projects as a way to provide myself relief from the stress that my job often gives me. Making these projects became a hobby, not to mention, one of my favorite day-to-day activities. I usually just see a wall decor, or a favorite cupcake or a camera in people’s Instagram accounts or blogs that I would also like to have, but I couldn’t afford to buy; therefore I buy the cheap materials, which mostly are just improvisations, and do these projects myself. Aside from it being stress relieving, it also comes in all shapes and sizes. The possibilities of making something creative and something you can call your own is endless. It may come in a form of a cupcake you’ve been wanting to eat, but only comes limited in stores you purchased them from. It may also be as simple as a wall decor made out of melted crayons, so unique and too kiddie of a project to be even sold anywhere. It may even come in a form of a DIY camera, which comes in a box of individual parts and a manual of instructions. Moreover, making things yourself can also give you a sense of purpose and can help you gain respect, catch people’s attention, or maybe create a small following from admirers of your creations. More often than not, people are too engrossed in making money that they find it hard to find time for simple pleasures such as this. I would know since I was once “all work, no play” because my previous job was also my first job after graduation. I was too focused on my job that I forgot how to have fun. Working came off as a routine that I often forgot my purpose for doing it in the first place. I forgot my own purpose in life, but in doing simple and small artsy projects, which may either be inspiring or useful, also help inspire others. I just got surprised one day, friends were already posting comments on photos of the projects I did, asking me how I did it or simply telling me that they would also want to do it. Another reason why I enjoy doing this is because it’s plain relaxing. As I’ve said earlier, doing the same things over and over again can be tiring, so breaking free from your job or your daily routine from time to time and creating simple projects can help you unwind and make you feel energized afterwards. If you’re tired from the same, old activities, you may want to just do something different; so why not do something helpful and purposeful as well? Do something you’d get to put on display at work to inspire you to do better or to make you smile from time to time, amidst the chaotic environment. It will do you good. In addition to those I’ve mentioned above, I also find DIYing enjoyable because I get to discover new things about myself. I remember chancing upon a blogger, who was so into crafts that she made it into a business by holding small workshops for those who wanted to learn. She was so good in painting with watercolor that she inspired me to start painting too. Now, I’m becoming better at it and I didn’t even know I could do it at first. I also finished the DIY camera I bought online which I never have imagined I could do because I wasn’t good in assembling stuff with screws, hinges, gears, etc. Lastly, making things yourself gives a touch of your own personality to that project and it also helps you appreciate the beauty of it more. It gives you pride in yourself knowing that you’ve accomplished something you can call your own. So if you ask me again why I find this activity enjoyable and meaningful, my answer would be simple. There may be lots of amazing creations done by talented artists out there, but there could never be a masterpiece more special than the one you have created yourself, with all the labor, inspiration and personal touch you have given it.