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Every year (generally in October – 8 of the last nine years) our family hops into whatever vehicle we are driving and take a day trip to look at the fall colors and do some hiking and apple picking in the St Croix/Mississippi River valley. We did this this past weekend.

We often do some window shopping in Red Wing which evidently has some history in the shoe-making and pot-making business. In one of the pottery stores, there is a guy making pots and a person and his kids could watch him. Our kids watch with interest. This time he spent time showing all of the kids how they could make a dog and a flower with the clay and gave some of the clay to each of the kids.

But he must not do this everyday, because last year when we were there, he spent the time very quickly making pencil holders on a pottery wheel (or whatever you call it). I was impressed with his speed and asked him how long it took to make them. He answered that he had never timed it and “that way lies madness.”

While I respect this answer, I’m pretty sure that his prescription for the prevention of insanity would not work for me. When I am of doing a job which requires a repeated task, I, like most, get bored. So I look for something to reduce the boredom. So I need something to keep my attention. So I would have a watch with which I could time myself and I would keep track. I would make a goal of improving my time (while of course keeping the quality up) and I would probably even write it down. Over days. Maybe I’d make an excel chart. And tell people my results. And ignore the fact that they aren’t listening with eyes wide open as if this was the most thing they had heard all day.

Something tells me I wouldn’t make that great of an artist.

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