Hanging Drapes: Method and Metaphor

A simple task like hanging drapes proves not so laborious when one considers it a metaphor for accomplishing any task. “There are life lessons in the most mundane tasks,” my Dad said to me this morning after teaching me how to properly hang drapes. Properly hung drapes are a testimony to the importance of precision. You have to use your measuring tool to figure out the proper length of the fabric. You use a pencil and a straight-edge to draw a clean line and lines help guide you as you shorten a piece of fabric. An extra guideline helps you later when you are about to fold the cloth over a strip of fabric tape. No need to purchase a sewing machine for this job when Singer’s Iron-On Fusing Web will do. Time is precious and the “no-sew” method works well for this DIY (Do-It-Yourself) task.

And just as cutting fabric works better when using a sharp pair of scissors, most tasks, be they craftsy, or academic, are accomplished through preparation.

It helps to have a map in order to know what you want to accomplish, and to see if you have the proper tools to do the job well.

If you or someone you mentor or tutor is stuck in the most challenging phase of a task, take a break and think about what the finished product is supposed to look like. Then review the tools in the tool kit. Make sure the proper tools to get the job done are accessible. Use your tools. Use your tools, use your tools.

Review the guidelines for accomplishing the task. Write the guidelines down if you need to – in pencil – so that you can make any revisions before the project is completed.

And consult a respected and capable tutor if ever you get stuck on a task.