This I Believe

Steve - Western Springs, Illinois
Entered on February 26, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Taking Pride in What You Do

I believe in the importance of different types of pride. Whether it is the pride of where you come from, what you have accomplished or what you do with your life. My Father believes that Ben Franklin was right on when he said, “By not preparing you are preparing to fail.” The more I heard these words, the more meaning I found in it. I have strived to put my best effort into whatever I am doing, whether it is school projects, sports, or work.

One memorable example of where I personally experienced pride in what I did was when I was chosen to represent my school in the Chicago Regional Middle School Science Fair. My science project involved determining which material could cushion a falling clay ball the best. I was proud of this because of the effort I put in researching related topics, the detail with which I noted all of the variables, my organization in writing up the entire experiment and the many nights spent rehearsing my presentation, making sure my graphs were easy to read and that the poster flowed with my presentation. My project was one of four selected from approximately ninety at my school.

The next competition was held at the Museum of Science and Industry. I practiced even more on my presentation, and changed it around a little to fit a new audience of judges. My area was crowded with twenty-six projects that dealt with physics /consumer products. I gave my presentation exactly as I had rehearsed. My poster was eye catching, and I ended up giving my presentation not only to the two judges but also numerous times to people attending the fair.

At the end of the day, all the contestants were gathered together in an auditorium for the awards ceremony. I was not selected to go downstate. I did, however, receive two awards, from different specialty groups/societies. The HVAC Society awarded me a seventy-five dollar bond for my analytical approach to the project. A mechanical engineer from Texas had established an award for the best oral presentations, and that netted me a Texas Instruments graphing calculator. I was elated!

As I was packing up my display, a man in a blue Museum of Science and Industry polo walked up to me. He handed me a brochure, and asked if I would like to volunteer at the museum during the summer. He said that because of my presentation skills, I could either lead tours, or be one of the docents at the booth that demonstrates cool chemical reactions. Right then and there, I knew that all those hours had paid off.

Pride is a five-letter word that everyone should respect. The world should judge based on quality and not on quantity. The time and effort we put into every aspect of our lives are reflected in how we are perceived as a person.