Make opportunities, not excuses. In the real world, no one cares why you're late, or why your part of the project isn't finished. All they know is that you didn't do what you were supposed to. So, what they want to know, is how you plan to make it right—how you plan to contribute despite your failure, and how will that contribution move the project along?That's a nice quotation, but there's a story behind it that's even more interesting. This student took two courses with me last year—my colloquium on game design in the Fall and my game development studio in the Spring. As she was reviewing her notes in preparation for a presentation, she found similar quotations each semester. However, according to her, the one from Spring was much better articulated than the one from Fall.
The idea represented by this quotation is one that I fall back on regularly when dealing with student teams, but I do not rehearse any particular articulation of the idea: when the time is right to bring this up, I talk about it extemporaneously. I wonder, then, was the difference in articulation simply random, or was there something about the environment or context that inspired me more in the Spring? Both were among my favorite teaching experiences, although one was more like a conventional course than the other. The Fall meeting was late in the day, while the Spring meeting was early in the morning. In Fall, everyone had their own projects, whereas in Spring we were one team.
I realize that the difference may be inconsequential, but I cannot help but wonder, and so I am glad she shared this story with me.