Fair Frustrations

Today was project judging for the fair.  DD2 is in a 4H group which focuses on crafts, and she’s worked quite hard through this past year.  Her projects often frustrated her to the point of tears, yet she would come back and work on them again until they were finished.  One of her projects took months, some took days or weeks, but almost all of them were involved and taught her new things.

She is shy in speaking to the judges, which no doubt hurts her chances of best-in-show ribbons, but she’s always taken blue ribbons.  Two of her projects were put in the best-in-show judging today and neither won.  Another project should have been in the running, in my opinion.  It was in the home arts grouping, which has low turn out, was something I’ve not seen in the fair in the five years we’ve been a part of this, was full of hard work, was an involved project, and was neatly done.  The judge was impressed with it, but it didn’t make the cut.  There were about five items in that grouping’s best-in-show judging, all ages on the same table.

Last year, a best-in-show ribbon was given to a Puzz 3D that someone had put together and entered.  ?????  was the sentiment of this clan.

I was so disappointed for my daughter and confused at the outcomes.  She had projects that were of intricate work, neatly done, she entered sets of items rather than dashing out one of this and one of that to get more prize money, and she had unique items.  Yes, I’m her mom, but I saw the projects that were getting the rosettes and I honestly don’t know why she has yet to win one.  The judges have a big task before them, but it does seem as if the same kids rack up stacks of rosettes each year, while other deserving projects don’t win any.

So, on the way home I pointed out that last year she had one project in the best-in-show judging and this year two.  That’s a good indicator for next year.  She has Christmas gifts made for her grandmothers, has learned new skills, and has several cool new items made by her own hands.

Speaking to the judges is good practice for overcoming her shyness.  It’s important to be a good sport when we lose, or simply don’t take the highest prize.  It’s important to learn to keep trying, even if you don’t rate your chances too high.  She’s learned perseverance in the construction of several of her projects.  She’s learned that sometimes it’s better to walk away from frustration for a while in order to have a task run smooth later.

She’s not a quitter, so I guess I should take the lead from her.

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About homereferee

I'm a stay at home mom who sometimes feels more like a tape recorder yelling, "Get apart!".
This entry was posted in children, fair projects, family, kids, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Fair Frustrations

  1. sage_brush says:

    I have students in my “Keepers” class who have won big at 4H with sewing projects I have helped them with. I, myself, have never been involved with 4H, so I don’t really understand it. But, I can relate that the projects that won, were technically difficult for young sewers. Applique, ruffles, etc. I’m not sure what the judges are looking for either. I can imagine how heartbreaking it is after all your daughter’s hard work and not to be recognized.

    Did the judges offer any critiques? I’ve heard from some of the parents that they often do.

  2. homereferee says:

    There weren’t any critiques offered, just general comments which were positive. DD2’s sewing teacher has given the guide line of ‘two new things’ in each year’s project, which we try to follow. If the winning projects were technically difficult, losing would be easier to take, but they generally aren’t.
    Part of the problem may be that my daughter does different types of things which most people aren’t familiar with, and thus they don’t know how much work they are. For example, one project she had up for the big win was a pair of beaded overlays for Christmas bulbs. The judge said she’d never seen anything like it. If you’ve never beaded, you don’t know how much effort it takes, especially for a first timer. She does quilling, which many have never heard of and can’t appreciate the effort to make so many pieces a uniform size and the time involved.

    Of course, I’m the one who sees the tears of frustration. The big pauses in the work, then the return to try again, and then the road to the finish. I know exactly what went in to each of her projects, and many of them turn out beautifully (some have room for improvement).
    Thanks for the feedback.

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