I like attention but don't like being evaluated.
As a teacher, I get evaluated twice a year. One evaluation is a fairly informal observation, one that I don't sweat too much as it changes little from year to year. The other observation, however, is a formal classroom observation. An administrator shows up at your door, unannounced, and sits in on your class, writing down and evaluating everything you do.
Yesterday was my turn, but through an accidental bit of Nancy-Drewing, I knew that the principal was coming. I was prepared; I wasn't worried; and I was happy to know ahead of time because that gave me forty minutes to prepare.
But then the clock began to tick. Each minute that passed made my chest tighten and my stomach churn. When I returned to my classroom before my observation period, I saw the principal at the end of the hall, yellow legal pad in hand.
And then I was on. And I was fine. Nary a nervous stammer or awkward gesture. The kids were wonderful--Wonderful--and all seemed to go well.
But now I'm back to waiting. Now I have to see if the principal's evaluation is the same as my self-evaluation. And now that tightness and anxiety returns.
And that's not the only reason that the weight of pressure in creeping onto me.
This is another in a series of images that has made it onto Flickr's "Explore" pages. It's a great platform for getting your work noticed and for getting people to add you to their contact lists so they can see your work on a regular basis. It's exciting...and horrible.
As much as I try to just take personal pleasure in creating my images, there is that voice in the back of my head reminding me that people are going to see this, that they'll be expecting a certain level of artistry...that they'll be let down by mediocrity.
Or am I just projecting my own insecurities onto them? Am I the one who cannot bear mediocrity from myself? In some facets of my life, I'm satisfied with my own mediocrity.
In art? I am not. And that carries a great deal of weight.