Undergraduate Research at the Vis Center

Food for Thought

I’m beginning to feel the end of our project. While there is still much to be done in the future for the App, our list of things to be done before August 2nd is becoming shorter by the day.

I have finished assembling all of the data on the Chad Gospels and have begun to work on the Wycliffe Bible. I thought it would be a little easier because the Wycliffe Bible is in English. However, what I have realized is that it is in Old English… which is not the same as regular English, in case you were wondering. It honestly might as well be Latin!

In finishing up the Chad Gospels, I had an encounter with technology that brought about an epiphany of some kind in regards to my problem solving tendencies verses those of the people I work with.

We have been trying to process the 3D images of the Gospel book using a script that would go through and reduce the size of the 3D images. It took 4 days looking at it on and off for us to finally get it to run correctly. I really struggled in this because in my mind, the most efficient way to solve this problem would have been for me to process the images by hand. Sure, it would not have been the most thrilling thing for me to do, but I have never been afraid of a little grunt work. This would have probably taken a few hours as opposed to the 4 days it took for us to get the script to work. However, the intent of this whole project is for us to create a system that will be easy to do with other manuscripts. The point was not for us to finish this project in the fastest way we could, but rather to finish this project with the intent of enabling the next person who works on this project to do better than we did. (This could be a metaphor for many things in our society today, but I won’t go into that.)

However, in this, I realized that I am very result driven which influences how I solve problems. I think a large component of why I am like this is because I am also a really hard worker. I don’t say that to sound self-righteous. I truly believe that someone can work hard and not be a good worker… and someone can be a good worker and not work hard. I think I am result driven because I know that if I work hard, I can usually complete a task. It kills me when things are not finished or not done correctly. I have often been called a perfectionist, and I think that is a fairly accurate describer of me. However, I think I am missing something in my pursuit of perfection. I think there is something to be said about enjoying the process of working towards a goal as opposed to simply enjoying reaching the goal.

This certainly isn’t a new concept and I think a lot of people practice it already. I have just been thinking through this recently in my own life and work. It has proved to be some great food for thought.