Laziness Versus Caring Deeply About Doing a Good Job

Classes in the final semester of my BAS Internet and Web Development degree at ASU began seven days ago. So, I’ve had seven days to get the first assignment turned in. A couple of hours ago, I finally created the rough draft and emailed it to the professor.

Lazy man in blue pajamas.
Lazy man in blue pajamas.

On every one of those days, I heard my mother’s voice yelling at me about being “such a lazy kid”. She loved to pull out a Jehovah’s Witness book and make me read (and re-read) the entry on “laziness”. Read it for yourself if you don’t believe me when I say the JWs have a horrible attitude about this.

I’m a Master Procrastinator Instead of a Lazy Bum

It’s serendipitous that I just happened to receive the article quoted below right after I finally turned in my assignment. And, I feel so much better about myself after reading it. I’m not lazy; I’m a master procrastinator who cares deeply about everything he works on! Here’s a quote from the article that resonates with me more than anything:

“When a person fails to begin a project that they care about, it’s typically due to either a) anxiety about their attempts not being “good enough” or b) confusion about what the first steps of the task are. Not laziness. In fact, procrastination is more likely when the task is meaningful and the individual cares about doing it well.”

Medium.com – Human Parts – “Laziness Does Not Exist” by Devon Price

That describes me to a T; especially in this case with this Senior Project assignment! I was absolutely “…anxi[ous] about [my] attempt not being ‘good enough'” to get a good grade. And, I was absolutely “…confus[ed] about what the first steps of the task were.” This task is the most meaningful thing in my life right now – I want nothing more than to finally get my degree and start my new career! Also, this Senior Project class is all about creating something that showcases what I’ve learned while working toward my degree. I absolutely want to have a portfolio to show to a potential employer when I start hunting for a job!

I Did It On My Own

It’s heartening, too, to have read this article that confirms what I did on my own this week. I realized before I read this article that I haven’t been being lazy! I’ve been fighting against barriers of self-doubt and lack of confidence.

Web Accessibility

The important thing about this is that I feel so much better about myself. And I actually got the work done well before the deadline. And, I think I did a great job, frankly. As you may have seen in some of my other posts on this blog, I’m learning to live life with a variety of disabilities. To do that, I’ve worked on a degree in a new field so that I can start a new career in this field that I think I’ve been meant to do from the start.

I’ve learned about efforts that fellow user experience designers have made to assure that everyone is able to access the content available on the web; including those like me with disabilities. So, this is the topic I’ve chosen for my Senior Project – Web Accessibility. I want my new career to focus on improving websites so that everyone is able to enjoy their content and no one is left out, regardless of their inability to see, hear, use a keyboard or mouse, see colors, and so on.

So, you can imagine (can’t you?) that this topic I’m working on is extremely important to me. I care very deeply about doing a good job with it. After all, it’s only my entire future we’re talking about here! If you ask me, now that I’ve read Devon‘s article, it’s no wonder I’ve had trouble with procrastination (not laziness).

If you’ve ever had trouble with what you thought was “laziness”, I encourage you to read Devon’s excellent article on Medium.

9/2/19 UPDATE: I got 25/25 on the assignment! 😊

Featured on Hearing Health Foundation

My story was recently featured on the Hearing Health Foundation’s (HHF) blog! “Hearing Health Foundation’s mission is to prevent and cure hearing loss and tinnitus through groundbreaking research and to promote hearing health”. Their telling of my story focuses on redefined justice, as they put it. Mayo Clinic could’ve been better in the way they handled the issues I faced there. Their lawyers responded to my EEOC case by claiming that I actually did not have a hearing loss disability. This really hurt. They were wrong, of course. But, I don’t hold any animosity toward them for their choice of how they handled my concerns.

Moving On

Instead, I’ve moved on from it. I imagine you might be thinking that I don’t seem to have “moved on”. After all, I’ve brought it up twice on this blog and it’s the focus of an article on another blog. It just happens to be part – a small part – of my story of learning to deal with a hearing loss.

Redefined Justice with WAI-ARIA

A bigger part of the story is that I’ve chosen to get the education I need to begin a new career that doesn’t require as much emphasis on hearing ability. That education has a focus on User Experience (UX) Design. Within that focus, I’m concentrating on the web-based methods that exist to accommodate all people. The W3C describes WAI-ARIA best on their site:

WAI-ARIA, the Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite, defines a way to make Web content and Web applications more accessible to people with disabilities. It especially helps with dynamic content and advanced user interface controls developed with Ajax, HTML, JavaScript, and related technologies. Currently certain functionality used in Web sites is not available to some users with disabilities, especially people who rely on screen readers and people who cannot use a mouse. WAI-ARIA addresses these accessibility challenges, for example, by defining new ways for functionality to be provided to assistive technology. With WAI-ARIA, developers can make advanced Web applications accessible and usable to people with disabilities.

https://www.w3.org/WAI/standards-guidelines/aria/

Graduation

I’m especially excited to announce that I’m only six classes away from graduating! I should finally have my Bachelor’s degree at the end of the Fall 2019 semester. You’re invited to the graduation ceremony! More on this later.