As Beyoncé has eloquently put for us,”… you don’t realize that you can work super hard and give everything you have, and lose.”I think that truly understanding this idea is the key to growing as a person. Sometimes, you do give something your 100% effort, but you still just don’t get it right.
With our maker project, it was very trial and error. We decided to make LED shirts using LilyPads and the arduino software.We waited for a few weeks for all our supplies to come in, and spent some time doing designs, and we decided to design our shirts to support the LGBT community. Next, when our conductivity thread came in, we set to work on combining that with the LilyPads to get an LED to light up. We worked with a very simple code that would just make it blink one color for one second, then stop for one second. Our first big success is when it lit up! It blinked red perfectly. Our next big task was using the code we found and our newly acquired knowledge of LEDS to get it to light up in a rainbow sequence. It turns out the each wire extending from the LEDs (there are 4), each have a different meaning. The longest one is the ground lead, and the rest are red, blue, and green. Each has to be sewn to the fabric with a different line of thread or wire, and then to the LilyPad in order for it to light up. This took a long time to understand. But in the end, we got it to work.
As we were creating this project, one of the biggest milestones was when we were able to use our shifting light LED code, to make our lights change color every few seconds, and it worked. We were ecstatic! We used a breadboard and wires to see how many LEDs we could hook up on one wire. After we found this, we began to sew the LEDs to our shirts. This was when the trouble started. We knew that if we did it just right, then it should light up. What we didn’t learn till we had already begun sewing is that if any of the threads crossed, the entire shirt would not light up, end of story. After all of the work we had out in, something so small was the reason most of our shirts didn’t end up lighting up. By the end of the project, exactly one shirt lit up correctly. Unfortunately, by the time maker faire happened just a few days later, only the red LED was the one that was functioning properly. So every few seconds it would blink red, and that was all.
So, I guess the moral of this story is to embrace failure. As much as we wish everything could be perfect and have everything that we work hard on to turn out amazing and perfect, that often isn’t the case. But, we can’t let that keep us down. We just got to keep our chins up. Because even if it doesn’t work now, that doesn’t mean it never will. There’s hope in it all.