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FIELD JOURNAL FIELD JOURNAL FIELD JOURNAL FIELD JOURNAL

"Making a list, checking it twice..."

by Bridget Landry

June 20, 1997

In reading over my last journal entry, I realize how much has changed. We've done two more tests, both of which went quite well. Many of the sequences we will use in the first few days on Mars are done, tested and onboard the spacecraft.

We're now pulling a "Santa Claus"--we're making lists and checking them twice, tweaking sequences, making sure that all the "that's a good idea; we'll do that right after this test" things actually get done and tested. We're putting finishing touches on procedures: lists of what a particular job entails on a very detailed and step-by-step level.

Not everything we'd like to do is done; moreover, not everything will get done. However, all the important things, the necessary things, the critical things WILL get done. In all my years in the theater, there was never a time when I didn't want *one more* rehearsal. I've only rarely had a costume completely finished the first time I wore it. And I always mean to go back and clean up the code I write, to make it cleaner, faster, easier for someone to read and understand. But there is only so much time and money and energy--you do the things that matter most, until it's "good enough." Striving for perfection is a good and worthwhile effort. Perfectionism, expecting to actually attain perfection, can kill you. The trick, of course, is in determining where that distinction lies. That's where experience--your own, and that of folks who have done it before--comes in, helping you to prioritize.

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