Monday, May 21, 2012

Quest For The MMR: Author

One down, six to go.

If you've paid any attention to this blog over the past couple of years, you know that I'm working towards becoming a "Master Model Railroader", an achievement program endorsed by the National Model Railroad Association.  It requires a good deal of work, a good deal of effort, lots of paperwork, and a healthy level of patience.

Why, you might ask, would someone do this?  Aren't "toy trains" supposed to be fun?

First, you need to understand that I don't view these as "toys", no more than another guy sees his golf clubs or his classic car as a toy.  To me, this is an art form, a three-dimensional art form.  It's a form of expression, and a learning exercise.  I get to improve my writing skills.  I get to improve my photography skills.  I learn about painting and electronics and carpentry.  I get to do a lot of historical research.  Most of all, I get to CREATE stuff instead of destroying it.

Second, I don't see this as work.  I'm a goal-oriented person.  I see a task to be accomplished, a goal to be achieved, or, as a good friend and fellow modeler has said it, a milestone to be reached.

Third, it's a way to distinguish myself in the modeling community.  There are millions of model railroaders around the world, but less than 500 have completed the MMR program.  I'm lucky enough to have two of them nearby to lean on, and several others that are ready and willing to help me out.

So, long story short, I received my first of seven certificates this past weekend at the TLR convention:

Six more to go...

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